UPDATE: Well, I am going to suppose this post got linked somewhere. Amy? What have you done to me? 🙂 I really appreciate the kindness and all the time represented in the answers. I haven’t read the thread, but have read the MANY emails that I received. I’ll catch up on the thread later. (Internet has been down.) I especially thank those of you who know that I am not interested in converting to the Roman Catholic Church, but have friends I love who quite possible may some day, and I am asking in reference to my relationship to them.
Again, thanks for your gracious answers and the very helpful, positive tone of the discussion.
I have some questions for a knowledgeable Roman Catholic. Pretty important matters.
1) Do Roman Catholics consider Protestant ministers like myself valid ministers? More particularly, if a good friend becomes Roman Catholic, are they now confessionally required to believe that I was never called of God to be a minister?
2) Why is so much of my dialog with Catholics frustrated with “cafeteria Catholicism?” Catholics will tell me that I must accept the church’s teaching on subject X, but if I point out that they also must accept the church’s teaching on subject Y, I often hear, “Don’t put words in my mouth. That’s not what I believe.” With all due respect, since when did the beliefs of an individual catholic matter? If a Protestant demonstrates that the church has infallibly taught Y, isn’t that the end of the discussion for the catholic?
3) What would be the church’s view on someone who is convinced the Catholic faith is true, but who is unable or chooses not to openly convert to Catholicism at this time? Is such a person committing a sin?
4) Exactly what is meant when a non-Catholic goes forward at communion to be blessed, but not partake? What if such a person- like myself- openly disagrees with some of the church’s teaching and is not seeking reception into the church?
5) What is the church’s view of leadership and submission in marriage? Would the church teach that a wife should join the church over the objections of her Christian, but Protestant, spouse? If so, how does this fit into the church’s teaching on marriage?