Looking at some of the statements of Rome, it is easy to see how some Protestants could be confused and feel obligated to consider Roman Catholics fellow christians. Consider this quote of the Pope from Catholic News:
"The pope's speech Dec. 21 focused in large part on his trip last May to Brazil, where he inaugurated a major meeting of Latin American bishops.
The theme of that encounter was "Disciples and Missionaries of Jesus Christ."
...In response, he emphasized a point that has become a touchstone of his pontificate: the Gospel cannot be implemented without a personal encounter with Christ.
Becoming a "disciple," he said, means getting to know Christ -- through Scripture, participation in prayer and the sacraments, and learning about the witness of saints.
"One can never know Christ only theoretically," he said.
That, in fact, was a key point in Pope Benedict's best-selling book, "Jesus of Nazareth," published last spring."
Of course,"a personal Encounter with Christ" is a very evangelical-sounding phrase. That must be good, right?
But when considering Rome one must consider all of Rome, and I offer this recent article on indulgences highlighted by Irish Calvinist:
"Pope Benedict is seemingly trying to get ahead of the vacation planning for the upcoming year. According to this article, the Pope is offering “relief from purgatory to Roman Catholics who travel to Lourdes over the next year”."
When you have "a personal encounter with Christ" you do not travel to a place where Mary has supposedly appeared to pray at the feet of her statue in order to earn a reduced sentence in purgatory for yourself and/or others.
(For more details on the Lourde's Indulgence, see here)
"This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men." Matthew 15:8-9
HT: Gene for the Lourdes post