Obadiah, we’ve been through this before on the Apostacy. My point is that the Apostles were replaced with the local bishops when that should have never happened. The Apostles travelled from church to church, keeping watch over the larger flock and the bishops as well.
The whole question of Apostacy of the church, of it’s leaders and of its people is really bigger than the Catholic/Protestant divide. There is the “matter of degree” aspect that affects everyone. Martin Luther was a reformer and unless you want to support the sale of indulgences, I would expect that most modern Catholics would agree that the Catholic church emerged from the Reformation in better shape. At least the indulgences were dropped.
Personally, I think the Protestants made a few serious mistakes from their sola scriptura approach which eventually degraded into legitimizing all personal interpretations. I still object very much to the OSAS that is occasionally debated here.
Back to the matter of degree thingie. Not every Catholic or every Mormon believes 100% of the “party line”. Harry Reid (D senate leader) is supposed to be a Mormon but he’s a abortion supporter which is a very serious sin in our church. So he’s a bit of an apostate in this regard. Somehow, in his mind, he’s still a good Mormon. The Catholic church is a mighty defender of Christ and has preserved and interpreted the Bible for all the world for centuries but somehow, someone some where allowed the sale of indulgences. So there’s a problem there that was addressed. But while it existed, it was a variance from the gospel.
The point where we disagree is the line of priesthood authority. You claim in through Peter and we claim it through Peter, James and John too but in 1820, not 33 A.D. This is a matter of faith. There’s no proof that the Catholic church lost their priestly line and there’s no proof that it was restored. Proof is not for a believing people anyway.