If a Protestant (Baptist maybe, or even a confused Reformed) decided they were needed to convert from Evangelicalism to Catholicism, mainly because of their perceived call to the solitary vocation (which is not accepted in Protestant/Evangelical Churches):
1. What would be the steps in this process of conversion? Are they automatically accepted or are there tests, etc?
2. What Catholic doctrines or theological/beliefs would be considered essential or non-negotiable to become Catholic (most specifically: transubstantiation, confession, veneration of Mary or the saints, acceptance of the pope as the final authority of the church, acceptance of Church tradition as the final authority of interpretation of the Bible, and can a Catholic convert still hold to Sola Fide)? Basically, could someone convert to Catholicism while still maintaining some or all of their protestant theology? Or would this be grounds for rejection or non-admittance?
3. Are there within Catholicism a diversity of beliefs held by members (i.e. on end times, types of gifts, evangelism), such as in Protestant denominations, or does everyone pretty much believe the same tenets across the board?
4. If there are any protestant to Catholic converts answering, how is being a Catholic different from being an evangelical? How has your life changed since conversion? What parts of Catholicism drew you and has post-conversion been what you'd hoped (Likewise, anyone who went from Catholicism to Protestantism, please provide the same answers to this question if you like)?
5. How important is the attendance of Mass for Catholics (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly)? Is it an essential (if you don't attend local mass you are not Catholic)? Is there a lot of interaction with others during Mass? Can non-Catholics attend Mass (to see what it's like)? If so, is there any particular protocol?
Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide.
Getting to know more about a particular group
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