Since the Reformation, this has always been the core difference between Catholics and Protestants. It is what troubled Martin Luther. Are we saved by baptism into a church, or are we saved by faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross and nothing more?
The Pope is also a fan of the Latin mass, something that was done away with by previous popes in an attempt to modernize that church. Pope Benedict is reverting to the old ways – the traditional ways for his church.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” Catholics, of course, believe that when Jesus said to Peter, “Upon this rock I will build my church,” he was speaking of Peter as that rock. But why should Jesus have chosen a sinful man who had denied him three times to help construct his church? Protestants believe Jesus was speaking of himself as the rock. It makes much more sense. And it is biblical.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.