Is it OK for Catholics to believe in "karma?"

I believe in karma, but I believe it comes from God, not Budda. Is it really inconsistent with the teachings of the Church?

The belief in reincarnation is based on karma…each life status is dependent on the good and bad you’ve done in past lives. So I would say that it is inconsistent with church teaching for sure. From a Buddhist point of view, our present mental, moral intellectual and temperamental differences are, for the most part, due to our own actions and tendencies, both past and present.

We shouldn’t do good deeds for a reward (Matthew 6:1-2). We’ve already received our reward in doing good for others and in showing them love as Jesus would. This is the greatest reward you can have in this life.

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…since the tenets of karma are based on reincarnation, self-sufficiency, and “fate,” this belief is totally anti-Catholic.

…what you may be confusing is that hollowoodsy sentiment: ‘that’s karma, man; what goes around comes around!’ :hypno::hypno::hypno:

Neither the belief (karma) nor the enhanced folklore is a Teaching that Comes to us from Yahweh God!

Maran atha!


We reap what we sow…thats in the bible.

So i believe in something similar i suppose. Not sure of the exact definition of Karma but isnt it like, what comes around goes around?

Simple answer: no.

Reincarnation, which is key to the idea of karma, has no place in the teachings of the Holy Church. Full stop.



In Scripture, it tells about good things
happening to bad people and bad things
happen to good people(Ecc. 8:14) SO
in THIS Universe, things are NOT right
and given over to corruption and chaos,
but, according to God’s Promise we look
forwards to New Heavens and a New
Earth, where Righteousness dwells!!
2 Pet. 3:13

There is no such thing as karma in Christianity…however, there is something that somewhat parallels it.

***Galatians 6:7 Make no mistake: God is not mocked, for a person will reap only what he sows, 8 because the one who sows for his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows for the spirit will reap eternal life from the spirit.

***[FONT=Georgia]Karma is tied to Hinduism but this is from St. Paul. Many westerners would simply recite the old adage that says, “What goes around, comes around.”[/FONT]

I do not believe in reincarnation, but as one post stated, what goes around come around.

I believe in all the Churches teachings, but to be honest, I’m not 100% sure about anything, including the Church’s teachings. Nobody has ever proved any of it, but we have to place all our faith in it even though none of us are 100% certain.

Here is a Catholic argument for karma:

Man possesses a spark of divinity; he is created in God’s image. His fulfillment consists of receiving God’s grace through faith whereby he embraces his divinity, life of the spirit - aligning his will into the will of Christ - Christ dwells in man and destroys sin; he frees the individual to affirmatively engage the world and live his life in commitment to goodness, truth, joy, etc. This brings true peace or happiness. (This peace is not the peace of the world; it is a peace that exists in spite of the world, negative events, evil, suffering).

I think karma is often simply just watching the above play out in human existence. Evil does lead to despair, emptiness, what you would call bad karma. Good does lead, in the end, to fullness, joy, peace. (though, again, this has nothing to do with the world’s standards; in fact it is often opposite - my point being that bad karma occurs when evil fails to achieve anything meaningful or valuable - results in a void, which is the true essence (non-essence) of evil) (Evil is the absence of good.) (Nothing can come from nothing.) (Vanity, all is vanity.)

There are shades of meaning within the various concepts of karma that, yes, can be understood in a sort of Catholic sense, although perhaps not necessarily as you have outlined. There are many more aspects of it, however, which are highly erroneous.


The good that is inherent in any teaching of another religion can only be understood as being good insofar as it conforms to philosophy or to revelation. As such, we have no need to search out other religions for the grains of truth they might contain: we would only recognize the truth because we would see that it reflects what the Church already teaches us. As such, the whole thing is simply redundant … and extremely dangerous, because one can be formed by the inherent error just as easily as by the good. The grains of truth in other religions are there to predispose certain cultures to be open to the Gospel. They are not there so that we can go chasing after those cultures or to, in Biblical terms, go prostituting ourselves to other gods.

Moreover, I get very nervous when I see people mixing and matching Catholicism with Hindu-inspired philosophies, since it’s usually the sign of someone influenced by the New Age. Please don’t be so foolish, OP, as to go chasing after those rabbits.

It is going to depend on what you mean by karma.


Oh, to be clear, I think Christianity is truth - not Hinduism. But I believe there is a spark of truth and wisdom in all great religions. There is a parallel to the extent that one makes one’s bed, one lays in it. Very simple, but also very true. I think bad karma is a way to explain suffering befalling good people; I think Christians are probably a little smarter to just leave it to mystery. Certainly more diplomatic anyway. By which I mean that I agree that much of Hinduism belief in karma is in error. The kernel there though has a grain of truth.

I feel the same way that there is a kernel of truth in all the major religions.

If it weren’t for bad karma, I’d have no karma at all.



I would say, due to life experiences, that there is no such thing as karma. The bad guys win a lot and receive no justice. Good people get thrown under the bus. And yes, karma has its roots in Buddhism. Catholicism believes God will give each person what they deserve in the next life. So I would say while you can probably propagate the belief that “KARMA IS A…NOT-COOL WOMAN,” it’s completely useless and naive as we all know people who hurt you often live their lives completely unchallenged, and in fact many will turn against YOU and support your enemy. When the bad guys DO lose, that certainly is a direct blessing from God and not “laws of karma” or whatever kind of stupidity. Hitler killed himself and Japan surrendered because God was with us.

Is the belief what goes around comes around acceptable for Catholics?

It depends a great deal on what the phrase means. It is much better to believe in God and his perfect mercy and justice. God certainly does not make sure all justice is meted out in this life. Some is executed in the next life.

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