Non-Catholic seeking Catholic materials


Hi all,

I’m a Protestant (Assemblies of God) that is currently in the process of seeking credentials. I recently listened to an old debate between Father Mitch Pacwa and Walter Martin and was very impressed with Father Pacwa. This sparked a desire in me to find out for myself what the Catholic Church actually teaches. I acquired the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the folks here at Catholic Answers sent me a couple of free books!!! I’m reading both. They are Catholicism & Fundamentalism by Keating and Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic by Currie. They are both good but neither provides much exegesis of disputed texts. This is what impressed me most about Father Pacwa. He was able to deal with the text in context with integrity and give a resonable explanation for Catholic beliefs from Scripture. I would not consider myself an “Anti-Catholic” but a “Non-Catholic”. I was hoping the folks here could give me some suggestions for good Catholic materials to study. I don’t have alot of money to purchase them so if the Lord lays it on anyone’s heart I’m not too proud to receive donated used materials :slight_smile: .



Welcome, Steve,

May God bless you as you research!

Have you tried the back issues of This Rock? They’re all here online at the main site. Each issue will cover a variety of topics specifically from the standpoint of explaining why Catholics believe as they do. I used their articles often for solid, but concise, explanations of Catholic doctrine for my CCD (Sunday School) students when they had questions. They’re a lot less dense than trying to read the Catechism cover-to-cover, but usually reference the applicable CCC paragraphs. Best of all, they’re free. :thumbsup:

Also free is the Vatican website, which will have all of the papal encyclicals. A Protestant friend of mine commented that he particularly appreciated “God is Love”, Benedict XVI’s first encyclical.

You might also be able to find St. Thomas Aquinas’s Summa somewhere online or at a library; he argues the opposing side, then explains why Catholics don’t agree with those arguments, then argues the positive side of why Catholics do believe as they do. (It’s huge, but broken down into fairly small question-opposition-answer chunks.)


the Summa at about 700 volumes might be heavy going for you. try Patrick Madrid’s little handbook Where is That in the Bible as a quick ref. for scriptural support for Catholic doctrines and from there go for further research.


This website will give you at least a starting point:

It provides not only Biblical references to Catholic doctrines, but references from the Early Church Fathers.


All of Robert Sungenis’early books provide very detailed exegesis on many disputed passages. Titles are: Not by Faith Alone, Not by Scripture Alone, and Not by Bread Alone.

Madrid and Hahn are great intro’s into the subject matter as well.

PhilVaz has a great site as well at



EWTN has an audio and a document library that you can choose from.

Just type in Father Mitch Pacwa here:


**Catholic Home Study Service **

Catholic Answers

New Advent

Scripture Catholic

Baltimore Catechism

Catechism of the Catholic Church online

May God Bless you on your journey in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit Amen:signofcross:


PhilVaz site is a nice one please checkout St. Peter and Paul Catechism Ministry website at

Pax Christi. :thumbsup:


Thank you for the responses thus far. Please keep them coming. Could someone explain what a Papal Encyclical is?


Hi Steve

** Roman Catholic usage**

For the modern Roman Catholic Church a Papal encyclical, in the strictest sense, is a letter sent by the Pope which is explicitly addressed to Roman Catholic bishops of a particular area or to the world, usually treating some aspect of Catholic doctrine. However, the form of the address can vary widely, and often designates a wider audience. Papal encyclicals usually take the form of a Papal brief due to their more personal nature as opposed to the formal Papal bull. Papal encyclicals are so famous that the term encyclical for Roman Catholics is used almost exclusively for those sent out by the Pope. The title of the encyclical is usually taken from its first few words.
Within Catholicism in recent times, an encyclical is generally used for significant issues, and is second in importance only to the highest ranking document now issued by popes, an Apostolic Constitution. However, the designation ‘encyclical’ does not always denote such a degree of significance. The archives at the Vatican website currently classify some encyclicals as “Apostolic Exhortations”. This informal term generally indicates documents with a broader audience than the bishops alone.
Pope Pius XII held that Papal Encyclicals, even when they are not ex cathedra, can nonetheless be sufficiently authoritative to end theological debate on a particular question:
“It is not to be thought that what is set down in Encyclical letters does not demand assent in itself, because in this the popes do not exercise the supreme power of their magisterium. For these matters are taught by the ordinary magisterium, regarding which the following is pertinent: “He who heareth you, heareth Me.” (Luke 10:16); and usually what is set forth and inculcated in Encyclical Letters, already pertains to Catholic doctrine. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their acts, after due consideration, express an opinion on a hitherto controversial matter, it is clear to all that this matter, according to the mind and will of the same Pontiffs, cannot any longer be considered a question of free discussion among theologians.
Humani Generis Hope this helps


Also, if you would like audio talks on various aspects fo the Faith based on scripture, there are many talks which can be downloaded free here:

You might also look for books/talks from Tim Staples. He was an Assemblies of God minister before converting to the Catholic Church.


Welcome, Steve!

Here’s another excellent website for you:


Scott Hahn’s books are pretty thorough for a lay audience. He devotes a separate book to each “Catholic issue” – for instance, one book regarding confession, one book regarding Mary, and so forth.

e-Bay might be a good source for cheap books, if you have certain specific books in mind that you’re trying to find used or discounted.



Thanks for the explanation. It was very helpful. For a Protestant w/o much interaction with Catholicism it can be quite challenging trying to understand the terminology.



Steve, there are many many good books which describe what Catholics believe. Some are very broad and some are focused on particular subjects.

Are there particular subjects of interest to you?

BTW - here’s a good site, with lots of introductory information.

On the right side of the main page, click on “I’m not Catholic”. Also, the “Epic” movie on the main page is quite good (IMO).


Also check out the Knights of Columbus, CIS (Catholic Information Service) there is a place to read any of them online or you can order them.


Occasionally they send out free ones to your home.



You are more then welcome. I am glad that you found that piece useful

God Bless

Free Catholic c.d.'s


pm me with your address, and I will send you some books and tapes.

Here are 2 other sites with free mp3 downloads:

Also, this site of Scott Hahn’s:

Also, try your local library.


I must commend you on your openness to the truth no matter where it takes you. That seems to be a huge barrier for a lot of non-Catholics. I don’t know if you have ever watched the Journey Home program on EWTN, airing Monday nights, but that is definitely a recurring theme among converts and reverts. There is a sincere search and wanting to do God’s will among them all. So may the Holy Spirit be with you wherever it takes you.

You can listen to past programs of the Journey Home here…

I am sure you could find some Assemblies of God stories in there.


I think you would get a lot of good information from the Catholic Bridge website. He explains Catholic teaching in Protestant-ese. :wink: As someone else suggested, the talks at the Bible Christian Society are very good, too, as are the articles in the Catholic Answers Library.

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