Hello, and thank you for visiting this thread. My question is this: Is it possible to be a truly faithful Catholic Christian, while at the same time adhering to fundamental beliefs adopted or adapted from other belief systems? I am Catholic, and I deeply love and respect my Faith. I could not possibly even imagine replacing my Catholic Faith with anything else (it is just simply NOT possible). However, I do see elements in other belief systems that are compatible with Catholicism. Thanks to my girlfriend and best friend, I wholeheartedly agree with Marxism’s condemnation of unfettered capitalism, and I truly admire Islam’s absolute total devotion to God through prayer five times daily and various other Islamic expressions. The following is an exerpt from a message I posted elsewhere, which inspired this thread:
I have a question about what is commonly referred to as “syncretism” - or the merging or fusion of two differing belief systems. (In this case, Islam and Catholicism.) Can a person be a believing Catholic AND a believing Muslim SIMULTANEOUSLY?
Although I am exclusively Catholic, I come from a background in which syncretism, particularly Catholic Christianity with other beliefs, is practiced by many people who are close to me. My grandmother was raised Buddhist but converted to Catholicism when she married my grandfather, and she has practiced elements of both faiths ever since (though she identifies herself as Catholic). My girlfriend of several years has always been (since before I knew her) a truly devout and faithful practicing Catholic while AT THE SAME TIME a dedicated and fervent committed Marxist. And finally, and most appropriately for this thread, my best friend, who is Lebanese with a Muslim father and Catholic (Maronite) mother, is Catholic of the Latin/Roman rite, attends Mass every Sunday and Holy Day and receives the Sacraments regularly, but he also adheres to many Muslim beliefs and practices, including attending mosque with his brother (who identies himself as Muslim), praying five times per day, abstention from pork & alcohol, various other tenets, as well as extensive Biblical and Koranic studies. I believe he is truly a sincerely holy man of deep faith in God.
This may seem naive or idealistic to some people, but I personally cannot find any appearance of internal conflict within any of the people I mentioned above and to whom I have formed very close bonds throughout my life. In fact, I see absolute peace, harmony, happiness, and fullfillment in all three people.
(It is a striking contrast to the rest of my family members who are strictly exclusive, almost extremist, conservative protestant/evangelical, “born-again christians”. This latter group in my family always seems so angry, hostile, aggressive, and deeply unhappy with themselves and with the world around them, which they condemn uncompromisingly.)
Anyhow, I would be most grateful for any thoughts or discussion on this matter. Thank you all for your time. Have a wonderful day.