Baptism is only valid in infant baptism… . . . The water of baptism washes away the contamination of original sin… But to have faith later during one’s life, as Luther demanded, in the power of baptism as the Divine act which initiates all Christian being, is not sufficient for the forgiveness of sins, and this means baptism loses, religiously speaking, its actual power for the later life. It does mean anything any more except for the fact of the “character indelibilis. It is not a point to which one religiously returns” The doctrine of transubstantiation is preserved, and where it is preserved you always find a clear test of it, namely, the demand to adore it besides its use. For Protestants, the bread is not the body of Christ, except in the act of performance.

For Catholics the bread and wine are the body and the blood of Christ after they have been consecrated. So when you come into an empty Catholic church – which you always do when you travel in European countries, because they are the greatest objects of interest in most of the small and big cities – then you come into a sacred atmosphere, not into a house which is used on Sundays, and sometimes even on weekdays, but you come into a house in which always, for 24 hours, God Himself is present in the holiest of the holy, on the altar, in the shrine. And this transforms the whole mood which prevails in such a church. There are always lights and always people who go around; there is always God Himself in a defined, circumscript way present on the altar. I believe this is the reason why the attempt of some great Protestant churches, also in this city, to be open for prayer and meditation during the whole day, has a very limited effect, because nothing happens. But if you go into a Roman church, something has happened, the effects of which are still completely there – namely, the presence of God Himself, of the body of Christ, on the altar.