In the meantime, read this entry at The Remnant. The author reflects a good deal of what I think, and says it better than I could. But I don't necessarily agree with all of it, and so I don't adopt it whole. It is a good piece to think over though.
I would particularly note the author's nod to the bull Unam Sanctam of Pope Boniface VIII:
...Nor should it be taken to mean that I do not believe every soul should be in communion with the Holy Father, for the sake of their salvation. In fact, I believe, as it is an infallibly defined dogma of the Catholic Church that it is necessary for all souls to be subject to the Roman pontiff, for the sake of their salvation.