For every heretic they burned, the Catholics incinerated many ideas which presented a far more coherent and less pagan notion of Christianity. It took centuries before Calvinism was able to recover many of these ideas.
Note that a believer who truly put his faith in scripture would instinctively know many things his church does are simply wrong. Think about how much more reasonable it is to call Mary "The Mother of Christ" as opposed to "The Mother of God." That is simply more accurate according to scripture itself. Mary gave the world the Logos, the link that enables God to communicate with humans, Jesus Christ. She didn't give birth to God. The Catholic Church is full of things like this and nobody in it has ever cared enough to reform these doctrines. If a man had the Holy Spirit, he'd find his way to these conclusions but a merely religious person never would.
The slavish devotion men show to their particular sect nearly always exceeds the faith they are willing to put into the scriptures themselves. Why would a person trust in these things when one's church will tell us what to think on these subjects? Fortunately, the "Church" in Christianity is wherever true believers are gathered and not invested in some secular institution that claims authority because they wear cones on their heads or sport magical wands with paganist symbols at the end. I was raised a Catholic and I assure you that although almost all Catholics will not hesitate to put their trust in their "traditions," you would rarely find a single one of them who would put his trust in the Lord instead. How many cardinals does the Lord have? That's how they'd feel about it.
Rather than choking on some doctrine, it is better to eschew the inside of all churches and enter into heaven on nothing other than Christ's vouching for you. That is all you need according to scripture. If every man on Earth tried to bar the door, if Christ were to open it for you then you would enter inside.