I emailed the priest that did the wedding mass for my neighbors son. I wanted to thank him for his example and wanted to ask a few questions about the Catholic church. It was at that service that I felt like I could believe in God again. The liturgy filled in and answered every complaint I had about my old churches worship style.
He offered to meet with me even though I asked if there was a layperson who could answer my questions. We talked for over an hour and I don't think he was prepared to meet with someone like me. Being the geek that I am , I quoted scholars mixed with comedy throughout. He came across as tired and when he referred to his parishioners, he sounded like a tired husband. His bride really was the church and I felt sorry for his loneliness.
From the questions I asked and reading I had done I figured out something. The Catholic Church really is a leftover form of the Roman Empire's government. They have beliefs that you must agree with to get through the door. This is of course silly once you notice most practicing Catholics ignore them. I tried to ask him directly about my concerns some faking would be required of me to join the church. He told me that through RCIA I would come to understand and believe the practices the church holds on birth control as true. Then in another breath he mentioned that 90% of Catholics don't buy in either.
There is too high of a fence you have to climb to join the Catholic Church. I would have to lie and pretend to get in and it wouldn't be much more different than my old church. There is so much tradition and theology I love about the Catholic Church but there is an insurmountable mountain keeping me out. That is what I like about my Elca Lutheran church. I was lost when I showed up there over a year ago. They took me in right away and there were no hoops to jump through to fit in. I could fully participate when I walked in with no pretending about who I am.
I look to Rome with admiration but for the foreseeable future I will remain Lutheran. Which is funny, since I tend to defend Catholicism and understand it better than most cradle Catholics do.