Buddist and Catholic?


#1

A friend of mine said that she is buddist and christian. She said that you can be buddist and another religion as long as that religion is based on love. I would never become buddist because some of their believes disagrees with what i believe. (ex. reincarnation). So I was wondering, can a Catholic be buddist and still be a Catholic?:hmmm:


#2

NO!

:banghead:

The Catholic Encyclopedia offers some good food for thought:

The fundamental tenets of Buddhism are marked by grave defects that not only betray its inadequacy to become a religion of enlightened humanity, but also bring into bold relief its inferiority to the religion of Jesus Christ. In the first place, the very foundation on which Buddhism rests—the doctrine of karma with its implied transmigrations—is gratuitous and false. This pretended law of nature, by which the myriads of gods, demons, men, and animals are but the transient forms of rational beings essentially the same, but forced to this diversity in consequence of varying degrees of merit and demerit in former lives, is a huge superstition in flat contradiction to the recognized laws of nature, and hence ignored by men of science. Another basic defect in primitive Buddhism is its failure to recognize man’s dependence on a supreme God. By ignoring God and by making salvation rest solely on personal effort, Buddha substituted for the Brahmin religion a cold and colourless system of philosophy. It is entirely lacking in those powerful motives to right conduct, particularly the motive of love, that spring from the consecration of religious men and women to the dependence on a personal all-loving God. Hence it is that Buddhist morality is in the last analysis a selfish utilitarianism. There is no sense of duty, as in the religion of Christ, prompted by reverence for a supreme Lawgiver, by love for a merciful Father, by personal allegiance to a Redeemer. Karma, the basis of Buddhist morality, is like any other law of nature, the observance of which is prompted by prudential considerations. Not infrequently one meets the assertion that Buddha surpassed Jesus in holding out to struggling humanity an end utterly unselfish. This is a mistake. Not to speak of the popular Swarga, or heaven, with its positive, even sensual delights the fact that Nirvana is a negative ideal of bliss does not make it the less an object of interested desire. Far from being an unselfish end, Nirvana is based wholly on the motive of self-love. It thus stands on a much lower level than the Christian ideal, which, being primarily and essentially a union of friendship with God in heaven, appeals to motives of disinterested as well as interested love.

Another fatal defect of Buddhism is its false pessimism. A strong and healthy mind revolts against the morbid view that life is not worth living, that every form of conscious existence is an evil. Buddhism stands condemned by the voice of nature the dominant tone of which is hope and joy. It is a protest against nature for possessing the perfection of rational life. The highest ambition of Buddhism is to destroy that perfection by bringing all living beings to the unconscious repose of Nirvana. Buddhism is thus guilty of a capital crime against nature, and in consequence does injustice to the individual. All legitimate desires must be repressed. Innocent recreations are condemned. The cultivation of music is forbidden. Researches in natural science are discountenanced. The development of the mind is limited to the memorizing of Buddhist texts and the study of Buddhist metaphysics, only a minimum of which is of any value. The Buddhist ideal on earth is a state of passive indifference to everything. How different is the teaching of Him who came that men might have life and have it more abundantly. Again Buddhist pessimism is unjust to the family. Marriage is held in contempt and even abhorrence as leading to the procreation of life. In thus branding marriage as a state unworthy of man, Buddhism betrays its inferiority to Christianity, which recommends virginity but at the same time teaches that marriage is a sacred union and a source of sanctification. Buddhist pessimism likewise does injustice to society. It has set the seal of approval on the Brahmin prejudice against manual labor. Since life is not worth living, to labour for the comforts and refinements of civilized life is a delusion. The perfect man is to subsist not by the labour of his hands but on the alms of inferior men. In the religion of Christ, “the carpenter’s son”, a healthier view prevails. The dignity of labour is upheld, and every form of industry is encouraged that tends to promote man’s welfare.


#3

There are some folks around here who call themselves “zen catholics.” They like to sit still together praying for a long time, sitting in the traditional buddhist lotus posture. They say the lotus posture helps in stilling the mind. One of these people is a very holy priest and several are devout Catholics who attend daily mass… They do not seem to espouse buddhist philosophy, and the prayers they use are traditional Christian prayers such as the rosary. It doesn’t sound quite right to me, but I’m having a hard time finding anything wrong with what they are doing.


#4

like dominus bobiscvm said…!


#5

[quote=rianredd1088]A friend of mine said that she is buddist and christian. She said that you can be buddist and another religion as long as that religion is based on love. I would never become buddist because some of their believes disagrees with what i believe. (ex. reincarnation). So I was wondering, can a Catholic be buddist and still be a Catholic?:hmmm:
[/quote]

This is what happens when people consider something from only one side. Because the Buddist side says that she can also be a Catholic, she assumes that it is so. However, the Catholic side says that she cannot. If both sides said that this was okay, then the answer would be yes. Since that is not the case, the answer is clearly no.

It is a common misconception of those who adhere to particular Eastern religions and the New Age movement that "all religions are truly compatible. This is based on flawed “comparative religion” studies that ultimately force all religions to be “compatible” by reducing the meanings of defined terms to the least common denominator. What does a Buddist mean by “God” (or whatever word they use)? It does not mean the same thing that the Catholic Church means by “God.” In spite of this, these groups claim that “we all believe in God” and then they reach the false conclusion that we all believe in different aspects of the same God. Such a view is not compatible with Catholicism and your friend can only be “Catholic” and Buddist by rejecting a HUGE amount of Catholic teaching. This is a self-refuting position.


#6

It could be argued that it is possible. There’s two main flavours of buddhism if I recall. One, Zen Buddhsim is not a religion, but a philosophy. They espouse the theachings of the Eight Fold path and if one takes the time to examine the eight fold path, there’s a lot of good things. Examples include:Right speech (similar to the words of the Apostle James when he warns us about the firey tongue), Right thought (ie, try to think good thoughts and avoid evil/cruel ones), right effort (to stop doing the evil you’ve done, and to help stop new evils from coming into being), right living/livelihood (try to find jobs that are helpful to others), etc…

Granted, some of the more typical buddhist teachings could be stretching things, but there is a seed of Truth in the eight fold path.

Now, Mahayan (sic?) Buddhism is a religion. They deify the Buddha and believe in reincarnation/etc.

I would be able to see being a Zen Buddhist/Catholic, but not Mahayan.

Of course, this is my personal opinion.


#7

The two main systems are Theraveda (sp?) and Mahanayra (sp?). Zen is an offshoot of the former.

One, Zen Buddhsim is not a religion, but a philosophy.

So what? Philosophies can also be false. Hedonism is a philosophy; so is popular Satanism.

Granted, some of the more typical buddhist teachings could be stretching things, but there is a seed of Truth in the eight fold path.

There’s a seed of truth in all false belief systems, even Satanism.

I would be able to see being a Zen Buddhist/Catholic, but not Mahayan.

You’re mistaken. Zen Buddhists also believe in reincarnation. Their philosophy presupposes it.

Yes, Buddhists do emphasize good works, but not to the extent Catholic Christianity does, and not for the same reasons. Buddhists rightly teach “death to one’s self,” but Buddhism ends where Catholicism only begins. We die to ourselves so that God can live in us (the Fathers call it deification). The Buddhist dies to himself so he can cease to exist, and so cease to suffer.

Therefore, Buddhism is incompatible with Catholic Christianity, though there are some similarites.


#8

Is your friend, who claims to be buddhist AND Catholic, from the San Francisco Bay Area? Hers is an all too typical belief in these parts. In fact, some parish ‘DREs’ currently teach that around here.Of course, I would point out to your friend that to say what she says is - in other words - saying: I believe in God AND I don’t believe in God.


#9

[quote=arnulf]There are some folks around here who call themselves “zen catholics.” They like to sit still together praying for a long time, sitting in the traditional buddhist lotus posture. They say the lotus posture helps in stilling the mind. One of these people is a very holy priest and several are devout Catholics who attend daily mass… They do not seem to espouse buddhist philosophy, and the prayers they use are traditional Christian prayers such as the rosary. It doesn’t sound quite right to me, but I’m having a hard time finding anything wrong with what they are doing.
[/quote]

That’s because they’re doing nothing wrong. :slight_smile: If you like to sit in the lotus while praying, what could possibly be wrong with that? It’s just a sitting posture!


#10

[quote=Lurker]It could be argued that it is possible. There’s two main flavours of buddhism if I recall.
[/quote]

There are three main vehicles: Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. You can learn more about buddhism at the following link.

[/font]http://www.tricycle.com/new.php?p=articles&id=16


#11

Jesus: “I am the way, the truth, the life”

He never said, I am A WAY, or ANOTHER WAY to truth and life… :cool:


#12

The modern mindset prefers mishmash to clarity, so of course they can be both. Add astrology and UFOs, stir gently.

The Buddhist contention that all religions are really the same is true if you leave out the parts where they are different. Figures.

As Chesterton liked to point out, Buddhism and Christianity are essentially the same, especially Buddhism!! :yup: :nope:

You have to be a very thoughtful person these days not to fall into a belief in reincarnation. Most people I know who are not Christians, assume that it’s true, and they can’t really imagine how it could be untrue.

There’s one TV channel here in Norway which is very big on three things: Reality shows, plastic surgery, and psychics/previous lives/strange phenomena. I’m wondering how the threee are related. Some obscure conspiracy, I guess.

In particular there is one programme where people regress to an earlier life, talk about what they see, make drawings etc., and then hop on a plane to wherever and see if it all “matches”. It’s mostly ludicrous, you know they turn a corner and see the harbour and say stuff like “I remember many fishermen here”…

But I’ve noticed that more often than not, they identify with some priest or other person of authority in the Catholic Church, without anybody ever mentioning the would-be interesting fact that reincarnation is totally incompatible with Christianity. I find that strange. There may be at least two explanations: 1. There is some sinister plot to undermine Christian beliefs (hardly possible anymore in pagan Norway), or 2. They are totally, utterly and invincibly ignorant (more likely) 3. Both.

Nobody ever was a used car salesman or a murderer in an earlier life.



#13

Hi, Rogo.

I just wanted to say hi to a fellow Norwegian. I think I have “seen” you at COL. :wink:

Back to topic. I have heard about Cafeteria Catholics who pick what they like and discard the rest of the Catholic Church’s teachings. Maybe we can call this Cafeteria Religion. Pick what you like from different religions and discard the rest.

I remember one person who wanted to combine elements from Islam, Wicca and another religion (can’t remember which). This person actually planned to convert to Islam while also practicing these other faiths. His argument was that God was everywhere (which is right) and that different religions just was different way of coming close to God and worshipping God (not right in my opinion).


#14

Thanks so much for this thread. I hope it helps convince a friend of mine that you can’t be both.

:gopray2:


#15

[quote=Rogo]The modern mindset prefers mishmash to clarity, so of course they can be both. Add astrology and UFOs, stir gently.

The Buddhist contention that all religions are really the same is true if you leave out the parts where they are different. Figures.
[/quote]

If you read the earlier Buddhist texts, you’ll discover that the Buddha never said that all religions were really the same. The Buddha was very critical of the various religions and philosophies prevalent in ancient India, systems of thought that included forms of atheism, hedonism, asceticism, and theism. The Buddha roundly criticized all of them as lacking in some respect or another. Only the Buddha’s path led to nirvana, which is not merely a state of non-existence (otherwise, what would be the difference between nirvana and atheistic nihilism?), but rather the highest joy/happiness/sublimity. All other paths were imperfect, and of varying degrees of truthfulness. But the Buddha also leavened his discriminative criticism with a consistent message of compassion, lovingkindness, and ethics.


#16

Coming at the question from the Buddhist side, the answer is also no. While it would be possible to do a “pick ‘n’ mix” from Buddhism and Christianity the result would be neither Buddhist nor Christian.

In the area of practical morality there is a lot of overlap between the two religions:

The Lord said … “Love others as you love yourself.”

Bhadramayakaravyakarana sutra 91

The five moral rules of Buddhism are:1 Avoid injuring living things
2 Avoid taking what is not given
3 Avoid sensual misconduct
4 Avoid false and malicious speech
5 Avoid intoxicants
I imagine that these do not give much of a problem for most Christians.

There are some Buddhist meditation techniques that are deity-neutral and so could be transferred direct into Christian practice - observation of breathing for example. However there are Christian meditation techniques already available such as The Jesus Prayer. Despite this, Christianity is relatively lacking in meditation techniques when compared to Buddhism or other Indian religions. This may be the area the Zen-Catholics are trying to work in.

Away from the areas of morality and meditation there are big differences in the theory behind the two religions. Buddhism is indifferent towards Gods, it uses the Indian paradigm of reincarnation and karma, and its philosophical underpinning is very different to that of Christianity.

rossum


#17

[quote=rianredd1088]A friend of mine said that she is buddist and christian. She said that you can be buddist and another religion as long as that religion is based on love. I would never become buddist because some of their believes disagrees with what i believe. (ex. reincarnation). So I was wondering, can a Catholic be buddist and still be a Catholic?:hmmm:
[/quote]

uhhh let me think… NO!!!

Podo The Hobbit


#18

[quote=rianredd1088]A friend of mine said that she is buddist and christian. She said that you can be buddist and another religion as long as that religion is based on love. I would never become buddist because some of their believes disagrees with what i believe. (ex. reincarnation). So I was wondering, can a Catholic be buddist and still be a Catholic?:hmmm:
[/quote]

That is as funny as the Army chaplin telling me he was both a Christian chaplin and a Rabbi. How can you stand for a big fat Buddha and then turn and say yes I believe in Christ?:confused:


#19

[quote=Toni]How can you stand for a big fat Buddha…

I find this discription very insulting.

[/quote]


#20

[quote=rianredd1088]A friend of mine said that she is buddist and christian. She said that you can be buddist and another religion as long as that religion is based on love. I would never become buddist because some of their believes disagrees with what i believe. (ex. reincarnation). So I was wondering, can a Catholic be buddist and still be a Catholic?:hmmm:
[/quote]

No.

In General:

Buddhism does not accept the Nicene profession of faith which every Catholic must accept and believe.

Specifically:

Buddhism has no concept of a Trinitarian God.

Buddhism affirms a variant of reincarnation (they call it “rebirth”) which flatly contradicts the Christian teaching of the resurrection of the body.

Buddhists do not baptize in the name of Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Buddhists do not accept that God assumed flesh and dwelt amongst us (the incarnation).

Buddhists do not acept that the Son died on the Cross and on the Third day rose again.

Buddhists do not accept that God (Christ) built only One Church on earth with Peter as His first vicar and that it was God’s desire that all men be part of it.

Gerry


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