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SeekingProtestant wrote:

Hi, guys —

I'm a 22 year old female who lives in the Southern United States. I live with my mother and little sister. My religious background has only had relative consistency, within the last five years, since I began attending a non-denominational church after leaving a Southern Baptist church over a deeply personal dispute with the youth pastor.

If I have had any problems with a church, it is because of one of a few reasons:

  • someone has "talked trash" about my family (i.e. telling me my family was dysfunctional and sinful because my mother left an abusive relationship to protect myself and my sister)
  • I could not fellowship because members classed me as a "less than desirable" or made fun of me, or
  • I lapsed in my faith.

I have a hard time caring for my spiritual needs when I don't know how and cannot find someone approachable to fellowship with that's "on my level" so I can learn how. I feel like that for the majority of my "faith journey" I've been told what to believe without knowing why or how to find information so I can accept these truths for myself, which is why I reached out to your lovely site and recently requested a Catechism.

With all that being said, I tried reading the Catechism as I would a book the other night and put it down because I felt really confused. You'd think that someone who has been in a teaching position would have an average knowledge of the Scriptures and things concerning the Church but I don't and this is really embarrassing for me with my church experience and my level of intelligence. This is where my questions come in.

  • How should one read the Catechism?
  • Is there Scripture that I might read in accompaniment with the Catechism?
  • Are there any resources for seeking Protestants like myself who want to learn more about the Roman Catholic Church on their own?
  • I'm thinking about reaching out to my local Catholic church for resources because personally, I don't know any Catholics.

Thank you so much for your help!

SeekingProtestant

  { What is the best way to read the Catechism and are there other resources for seeking Christians? }

Mike replied:

Dear SeekingProtestant —

You should read the Catechism, section by section, in small parts that you feel comfortable with.
The Catechism itself, is loaded with Scriptures references — most of the time they can be found in the footnotes. Reading the whole Catechism in one sitting is like reading the Bible in one sitting: you'll just get disappointed.

Read a portion you feel comfort with and mediate on it between readings. Again, make sure you look to the footnotes for quotes from:

  • the Scriptures
  • the documents of the Church, and
  • early Church fathers - these were the first Christians who lived from 100 A.D. to 787 A.D.

You said:
If I have had any problems with a church, it is because of one of a few reasons:

  • someone has "talked trash" about my family (i.e. telling me my family was dysfunctional and sinful because my mother left an abusive relationship to protect myself and my sister)
  • I could not fellowship because members classed me as a "less than desirable" or made fun of me, or
  • I lapsed in my faith.

I don't want you to have high hopes that everyone in our Church have halos around their heads :)

You shouldn't join any Church based on feelings or how they will treat you. You should join a Church because it is a truth-telling Church and, as you know, Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Jesus speaks through the Church He founded on St. Peter and his successors. The job of the popes are to safeguard and, if necessary, clarify teachings.

We can't promise anything about the behavior of the members in our Church. There are many who are doing great work, but because everyone has their own free will; sometimes people use it to scandalize the Church, more times than not, at the local parish level.

If you ever run into a similar situation, just find another parish or group of people in the Church.
Make sure you get involved with the ministries at your local parish.

These postings may have some value resources for seeking Protestants and other Christians:

Hope this helps,

Mike

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
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