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 meditate 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.
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,