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  #1  
Old Apr 23, '10, 11:57 pm
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mariahloves mariahloves is offline
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Smile Can you be both Catholic and Buddhist?

I have recently become interested in Buddhism as a philosophy. While I am a Catholic, believe in God (the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), the Bible, and sacred tradition, I also find myself sharing some common beliefs with Buddhists.

I don't consider Buddhism a religion although it's usually classified as one. There are no God(s) or Goddess(es) in Buddhism.

I was wondering if I could be a Catholic-Buddhist without going against Catholic teaching. Any thoughts?
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  #2  
Old Apr 24, '10, 12:24 am
dzheremi dzheremi is offline
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Default Re: Can you be both Catholic and Buddhist?

While I cannot for the life of me remember its source at this moment, the best Christian answer that I've heard to the draw of various "Eastern" non-God centered religions is to look at their ultimate object. While there is a great deal that is at least perhaps not immediately directly offensive about Buddhism, it is still problematic from a Christian perspective precisely due to its lack of God. The ultimate goal, as Buddhists have told me, is to achieve a kind of emptiness, devoid of attachment to the world or the ego. The problem with this, of course, is that such a goal does not bring one to God. Whereas Christian monks and mystics also experience a sort of detachment, it is from the life of the secular world in order to draw closer to God through a life spent in prayer and sacrifice. It is not self-centered. Through their example, the great saints of the deserts and mountains of the East have drawn others into a complete life in Christ, which is indeed the fullest life you can have. Buddhism has, at its best, drawn people into nothing.

In sum: No, you cannot, but you don't need to be. Look to Christian traditions, not those that cannot lead to Christ. Christ is life, and anything else is not worth meddling in.
  #3  
Old Apr 24, '10, 12:32 am
callmecharles callmecharles is offline
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Default Re: Can you be both Catholic and Buddhist?

The primary belief in Buddhism is that the self does not exist. Christianity has a belief in souls, which is akin to the very belief Buddhism aims to eliminate.
  #4  
Old Apr 24, '10, 12:37 am
shondrea shondrea is offline
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Default Re: Can you be both Catholic and Buddhist?

I think there are elemtns and certain beliefs of Buddhism that are universally beautiful, but I don't know enough about Buddhism to say straightfoward, and in whole
  #5  
Old Apr 24, '10, 12:47 am
mccloud mccloud is offline
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Default Re: Can you be both Catholic and Buddhist?

http://kennedyzen.tripod.com/

Robert Kennedy S.J. is a Jesuit priest and Zen teacher, so I presume it must be acceptable on some level.
  #6  
Old Apr 24, '10, 12:48 am
Dale_M Dale_M is offline
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Default Re: Can you be both Catholic and Buddhist?

When I was in college, oh so many decades ago, I remember seeing a book in the library whose title tickled my fancy: Zen Catholicism. it was originally published in 1963.

A recent convert to the Catholic Church, and while friendly to Tibetan Buddhism, I had no interest in Zen Buddhism so I didn't read the book. However, it apparently was written by a former Benedictine abbot and has a nihil obstat and imprimatur.... by no less than Cardinal Spellman of New York. Spellman was known as a strong conservative, being opposed to the Vatican II reforms discussed (and implemented) during his tenure.

Looking about the web, it appears that the book is regarded as very dry. Still, it's existence suggests some level of convergence of Catholicism and Buddhism. But, as I mentioned, I haven't read the book.
  #7  
Old Apr 24, '10, 2:33 am
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amhara amhara is offline
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Default Re: Can you be both Catholic and Buddhist?

I don't honestly know the answer to your question, but Peter Kreeft has an interesting article on Comparing Christianity and Buddhism that you may find interesting: http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics-mo...s_buddhism.htm
  #8  
Old Apr 24, '10, 5:57 am
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Sailor Kenshin Sailor Kenshin is offline
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Default Re: Can you be both Catholic and Buddhist?

Does no one else find this very idea disturbing?

It veers awfully close to moral relativism and the thought that nothing is good, nothing is bad, and there are no universal truths.

No. IMO, you cannot be Catholic and Buddhist---and it doesn't matter what individual priests might seem to believe; they would be leading others astray, which is wrong.
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  #9  
Old Apr 24, '10, 7:16 am
aicirt aicirt is offline
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Default Re: Can you be both Catholic and Buddhist?

Yes, I find it very disturbing. I'm not blaming the poster because I think the fault lies in not being properly educated in the Catholic faith.

All religions have a philosophy. You may see Buddhism as a "philosophy" but you cannot ignore the fact there are Buddhist shrines and statues. Being Catholic and a Buddhist is like being Catholic and a Jew, Catholic and Presbyterian, Catholic and Amish.

There's another post which asks if Catholics are committing idoltary if they have a statue of Buddha. Yes.

I have also been very surprised when a priest speaking from the pulpit discussed his interest in Buddhism.
  #10  
Old Apr 24, '10, 7:43 am
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CesarAugustus CesarAugustus is offline
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Smile Re: Can you be both Catholic and Buddhist?

Well, Buddhism doesn't have a lot of common ground with Christianity in doctrine

You can't be both Catholic and Buddhist

Blessings!!!

  #11  
Old Apr 24, '10, 9:11 am
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Nine_Two Nine_Two is offline
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Default Re: Can you be both Catholic and Buddhist?

The problem with mixing the two is when you get to a belief like reincarnation vs. the resurrection. Only one can be true. Additionally the idea of Nirvana is significantly different from Heaven.
  #12  
Old Apr 24, '10, 9:26 am
1ke 1ke is online now
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Default Re: Can you be both Catholic and Buddhist?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mariahloves View Post
I was wondering if I could be a Catholic-Buddhist without going against Catholic teaching. Any thoughts?
No. You cannot.

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/co...-iesus_en.html
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  #13  
Old Apr 24, '10, 9:58 am
MtnDwellar MtnDwellar is offline
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Default Re: Can you be both Catholic and Buddhist?

I don't think that one can be both a Buddhist and a Catholic. However, that does not mean you cannot be interested in Buddhism. I don't think that you have to identify yourself as Buddhist to enjoy and benefit from their rich teachings.
  #14  
Old Apr 24, '10, 11:21 am
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Lycorth Lycorth is offline
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Default Re: Can you be both Catholic and Buddhist?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ke View Post
Amen.

There are no "rich teachings" to be found in Buddhism. I explored Buddhism strongly during my three years of personal apostasy, when I fell away from all Christianity. Absolutely nothing found in the Buddhist concepts of the "four noble truths", the "eightfold noble path" and the "middle way" cannot be found in Catholic tradition and teaching, and taught in a much clearer, less ambiguous, more succinct and God-glorifying way. Buddhism is redundant at best, blasphemous at worst (since either atheism, agnosticism, or Gautama-worship will be found, and not Christ), and not necessary at all.

Like all other non-Catholic religions, it pays to stay away from it altogether. The Church gives us better than Buddhism.
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  #15  
Old Apr 24, '10, 11:33 am
Contarini Contarini is offline
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Default Re: Can you be both Catholic and Buddhist?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailor Kenshin View Post
It veers awfully close to moral relativism and the thought that nothing is good, nothing is bad, and there are no universal truths.
It's a bit ironic that you attack "relativism" using relative language ("awfully close"). Suppose you attack this belief for what it is rather than what it is close to?

After all, many fundamentalist Protestants think that the statement "Catholics are Christians" is 'awfully close" to moral relativism. The problem with this kind of language is that you can't prove or refute it.

I can't see any reason to believe that the affirmation "a person can be both Buddhist and Catholic" is morally relativist, since I can't off the top of my head think of any moral values affirmed as good in Buddhism but condemned as evil in Catholicism, or vice versa. (Maybe you could make the argument that the Catholic understanding of faith and obedience to the Church would be considered unhealthy by Buddhists, but i can't think of any moral values inculcated by Buddhists with which Catholicism would have a problem.) There is a difference of emphasis between the moral teaching of Buddhism and that of Catholicism (or any other form of Christianity), but not as far as I can see an outright contradiction. The disagreements come with regard to doctrine and metaphysics.

So one could make the claim that "Buddhist Catholicism" is doctrinally relativistic. Even then, we ought first to inquire how Buddhist Catholics understand each term. Catholic doctrine can be interpreted in various ways, and Buddhism is a far broader umbrella than Catholicism.

Don't you think it's better to inquire first, and then condemn in specific terms if necessary, rather than making a vague and undefinable accusation that Buddhist Catholicism is "too close to moral relativism"?

Edwin
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