Buddhist-Catholic????


#1

Can a person be both a Catholic and a Buddhist at the same time?My friend, who was raised Catholic, is very involved with Buddhism and thinks Buddhism could actually make you a better Catholic. He lent me a book written by Robert Kennedy who is both a Jesuit priest and a Zen leader and teaches that Buddhism did make him a better Catholic. Many things seem to compliment each other, but I’m very guarded. Is Buddhism dangerous to the Catholic faith?


#2

Thats impossible.

Catholics worship God as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit = 1.

Buddhists worship Buddha who was a man, born of man and woman, founded some peaceful and good beliefs, but then his followers 300 years later, make him a deity. They also worship a hindu god along with Buddha.

You cannot worship God, A Man-Deity, and a Pagan Deity.

If he does, then he has apostaized himself from Christianity.


#3

Maybe your friend would be interested in reading Paul Williams’s The Unexpected Way: On Converting from Buddhism to Catholicism .

http://www.continuumbooks.com/new/superfile/book_info/2682.gif

The review from Commonweal states that Williams, “is mostly concerned to show how clear and deep are the divergences between Buddhism and Catholic Christianity, and this is important to emphasize against the easy syncretism of our times.”

The review from Dharmalife concurs, explaining that, “Williams has little time for those who wish to combine Buddhism and Christianity. ‘No matter how we detect similarities in detail (taken out of context) we have here quite different perspectives on reality, and on our highest destiny.’”


#4

Try also the book “Moonie–Buddhist–Catholic,” the account of an unusual conversion. The author is Thomas W. Case.


#5

[quote=MorphRC]Thats impossible.

Catholics worship God as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit = 1.

Buddhists worship Buddha who was a man, born of man and woman, founded some peaceful and good beliefs, but then his followers 300 years later, make him a deity. They also worship a hindu god along with Buddha.

You cannot worship God, A Man-Deity, and a Pagan Deity.

If he does, then he has apostaized himself from Christianity.
[/quote]

I will readily agree that a Catholic can by no means profess to be a Buddhist as well.

However, your other statements about Buddhists themselves are quite mistaken. The Buddha has never been diefied by traditional Buddhists. No traditional Buddhist would claim him as a god. It was the Hindus who claim him as part of their panteon (has they have also St. Francis).

Theravadan beliefs differ from Tibetian beliefs as well as Zen.

The problem with Buddhism at the core is the belief that people can attain spiritual release by themselves, without the help of an Almighty God.

This mis-association that you make would be as if I were to look at some culteral practices of the West Indies, South America and Africa (Voodoo, Santeria and Animalism) that have blended with aspects of Catholicism and claim that it is an apt discription of the faith.


#6

Pax.

I never said traditional buddhists, But many Buddhists whatever they are, worship Buddha as a god. And its in Eastern India where Buddha and a hindu god are worshipped in peace, which is odd with hindus anyhow.


#7

I’ve been living in Japan now for several years and I do believe we can learn some things from Buddism and still remain faithful Catholics. Mainly, how to prepare ourselves to pray. There are many breathing techniques we can use that would help us to relax and clear our minds as we are about to pray. Also Buddist believe that the way we sit and our posture is important in helping us to remained focused on our task at hand. Which in the case of Christians, would be talking with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.


#8

[quote=Smack Daddy]I’ve been living in Japan now for several years and I do believe we can learn some things from Buddism and still remain faithful Catholics. Mainly, how to prepare ourselves to pray. There are many breathing techniques we can use that would help us to relax and clear our minds as we are about to pray. Also Buddist believe that the way we sit and our posture is important in helping us to remained focused on our task at hand. Which in the case of Christians, would be talking with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
[/quote]

Absolutely. Through my usual dismission of other religions, I usually miss these things, being so focused on Catholicism, but i realized this watch the last samurai, of all places to learn something…lol Bushido has a lot of great teachings, Honor, Peace to brothers and Sisters, Love for Mother country etc.


#9

Much as I like Thomas Merton, he revealed a huge error in his understanding. Coming upon the Great Buddha statue, he entered into a state of nothingness. But that is not the Christian goal. We do not attain to emptiness/nothingness and being at one with the universe. We seek to be filled with a Person–Jesus Christ–the Logos who fills all in all. That is a major difference. There are no shortcuts, either.


#10

In addition to not worshipping Buddha, I believe that they say Buddha was born of a virgin as well.

However, you can not be Buddhist and Christian at the same time because Buddha taught that the origin of alll suffering is desire, while Christians are told to desire God with their whole being.

It just does not fit.

A lone Raven


#11

How does Thomas Merton fit in to this? Was he still Catholic when he died?


#12

"I must decrease so that He may increase."
I believe here is a lot in Buddhist practice that could help a person to better express their Catholic faith. It seems that the difference would be in the goals of emptying oneself to let Christ in. Couldn’t this be a part of “inculturation” to show where the light of Christ is already present in those countries that practice Buddhism?

To the person who said something about letting Christ be all in all is something that does not come easy, I would say that practicing an eastern form of meditation similar to what Buddhists do is not easy in and of itself, but takes a great deal of discipline.

But in the end, I do not think one can say I am Buddhist in the traditional meaning of term, and also Catholic. If one is Catholic then one is Catholic, no matter what rite one belongs to.


#13

I don’t think that’s correct. Buddah is not considered a God from what I have been told.


#14

Some of Buddhism is good Catholicism. But most of it is incomplete, insufficient, and error. I can see how a Buddhism could be drawn to Catholicism by my experiences. When I read Buddhist material, I found parellel pathways (though they sometimes go in opposite directions) to those belonging to my Catholic faith.


#15

Yes. The Catholic-Buddhist dialogues and centering prayer were largely inspired by Merton. He had many good points, but purity of the faith wasn’t one of them.

(from Rocky) Couldn’t this be a part of “inculturation” to show where the light of Christ is already present in those countries that practice Buddhism?

There is some notion that we have got to dress Christianity up in some fashion to make it palatable to other cultures. If Christianity is a matter of culture, then I wonder if it is true faith. Kirkegaarde once said of his fellow Swedes that they believed themselves to be Christians, when in fact they were neither pagan nor Christian. They presumed themselves to be Christian because they were Swedes.

Westerners have been** (had been)** Christianized for so long that people think of Christianity as a “white man’s religion,” and white men (and closely related varieties) presume themselves to be Christian because they attend meetings in steeple houses. When Europe was Christianized, their culture was nothing like the Middle East from whence the first missionaries came. When you think of Old Europe, think of India. Think of people who worshiped trees and animals and elements. That is the true native culture of Europe. Nobody had to “assist” them by pretending that Odin was really God the Father or that Thor was really Jesus Christ in disguise.

The closest the Church ever came to this was in restructuring certain pagan habits to conform to Christian thought. That is why we have today’s Christmas tree, Christmas Day and Easter).


#16

Dren The Catholic Priest in the next parish is into Buddhism and is respected for over a 1000 square miles as a leading exponent of Zen Meditation.

He has re-decorated his private chapel in a Buddhist/oriental theme. It certainly looks different. He is a former monk himself. He takes his annual holiday in buddhist countries.

His links to Buddhism has brought him into disrepute with a lot of parishioners who think he may be a covert pagan. I can say that could not be further from the truth. He is quite right wing in church affairs. :thumbsup:

He uses Zen and Buddhist themes in his homilies. He is by far the best Homiliest I have ever heard. He tells some fantastic homilies. He has every mass attender sitting in the pew absolutely fascinated by what he is preaching. :thumbsup:

He is also an excellent confessor. As our neighbouring Priest, he is my prefered choice for spiritual director. He is all into reconcilling folk with Christ and His Church. :thumbsup:

So to answer your question, yes, they are reconcilable. :thumbsup:


#17

I used to be very much against Buddhism until an elderly priest whom I respected [not the one mentioned above] told me that the Jesuits teach that the ultimate destiny for the human spirit, and the ultimate state of God is identical to what Buddhists believe is the ultimate state.

So, that is further proof the two are reconcileable.


#18

The closest the Church …] restructured pagan habits to conform to Christian thought. That is why we have today’s Christmas tree, Christmas Day

This is not true. The Christmas tree is a wholly Christian symbol. It is nothing to do with paganism. Quite the opposite in fact.

A famous Catholic missionary sent by the Pope to Lower Saxony in the third or fourth century [whose name I no longer recall] so fed up with the pagan faith that the most poweful man was the one with the biggest Oak tree, trying to convince ordinary folk that it was myth, chopped it down.Every one thought he would die. He did not. The most powerful man was thus stripped of his power.

But to give them something else in its place, he replaced the Oak tree [which shed its leaves] for one that was evergreen which was a symbol of Christ ‘ever-loving’.

That is the origen of the Pine [Christmass] tree :thumbsup:


#19

Buddhism as a pure philosophy has some truth just as does Confucianism. However, the true faith does not need a crutch either in Buddhism or in psychology. If it does, then Jesus Christ isn’t who He claims to be.

P.S. What good is the blood of Christ and why did He have to die and be resurrected if Buddhism takes you to the same place as Christianity? Reasoning like this makes atheism look promising.


#20

That sounds like *another *one of those legends again…there are SOO many. The last I heard, the tree was not specifically pagan…you are actually right on that point now that I think of it. However nobody really knows what it was for. As far as I have looked into the history of it, people had been chopping down trees in winter and decorating them for so long that nobody knew exactly why they did it. Although…they actually did worship Odin or Wodin–from which we get the word “wood.”


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