Question to fellow Protestants:
How much do the personalities of Catholics you know in real life, those with whom you interact on CAF, and those you may listen to on Catholic media influence your perception of Catholicism in general?
For example, is your perception of Catholicism solely based on Catholic doctrine or is it based to any extent on your experience in interacting with individual Catholics on CAF or elsewhere?
For example, I admire many Catholics on Catholic radio (EWTN), such as Fr John Riccardo, Fr Larry Richards, Fr Mitch, Fr Wayne Menezes, Jimmy Akins, Dr Ray, Al Kresta, etc. On CAF, I enjoy reading comments from and interacting with folks like @Lenten Ashes and a few others. Their approach to Catholicism is more invitational than confrontational, and they are more patient and respectful of Protestant Christianity. Their attitude makes me more open to the rest of what they have to say. If they represent the majority of Catholics, I could potentially see myself becoming one some day, provided I can work through a few doctrinal concerns I have. I used to have more issues, but they have been whittled down to just a few now.
On the other hand, I don’t know many Catholics in real life. When I see those on CAF who debate doctrine seem to be more of the “slash and burn” and “take no prisoners” radical traditionalist approach and seem to be out to humiliate and belittle Protestants, it makes me wonder which type of Catholic more accurately reflects Catholicism in America and the world.