Many non-believers -- and indeed many Christians -- may not understand how the papacy relates to protestants, but the Baptist Press has a brief and informative explanation.
Amid expressions of appreciation for the conservative moral views of Joseph Ratzinger, the German cardinal who was elected as the 265th pope of the Roman church, various evangelical leaders reiterated their disagreement with Catholicism’s papacy from a biblical standpoint.
“Evangelicals do not find any biblical warrant for the office of the papacy or the elaborate structure of the Roman Catholic Church,” Daniel Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., told Baptist Press.
“Further, the Catholic system's emphasis on merit, works salvation and veneration of Mary and the saints are issues that those committed to ‘sola scriptura’ could never endorse or affirm,” Akin continued. “While we can appreciate the moral stand on life and marriage of the papacy, we will resolutely maintain that our High Priest is Jesus Christ in whom we have direct access to the true and living God.”
There's scripture in the article to back it all up.