If they stand by two very different beliefs, as in your example, then I would say they are neither.
Perhaps they are looking at religion through a philosophical lens?
I could understand it a little bit more if they were talking about two similar Protestant denominations.
I had a neighbor who was raised Catholic and she married a non practicing Jew. After he died she suddenly decided to merge Jewish traditions with Catholic, and she arrived eventually at a personal version of Messianic Judaism. She made choices as to what traditions and feasts to observe as she went along.
Buddhism can be a philosophy or a religion. Zen, for instance, can be approached from this philosophical perspective and has no dogmatic, and therefore no dogmatic beliefs to conflict with Catholicism. A Catholic can therefore be both a Catholic and a Buddhist at once. Fr. Robert Kennedy, for instance, is both a Jesuit priest and an ordained Zen roshi.
Incorrect. Eastern philosophies hold much that is incompatible or even dangerous for the Christian faith, and the existence of a priest such as this does not imply that permission is given for the rest of the faithful to hold dual beliefs or have a dual office. Please show the Magisterial doccuments that say it is OK to be Catholic and Buddhist, and I will offer articles that say it is not.
These apparent similarities led to heightened Catholic interest in Buddhism with the rise of the New Age movement in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Some imagined that Buddhism had many new insights to offer to Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular due to their supposed compatibilities.
But Pope John Paul II threw water on that fire in 1994’s Crossing the Threshold of Hope with comments regarding Buddhism that received a good amount of press at the time (and also a lot of debate). In his comments, our late pontiff really didn’t pull any punches, calling Buddhism “in large measure an ‘atheistic’ system’.” He pulled the carpet out from under comparisons to Catholicism by pointing out that the ultimate end of man for Christians is union with God, while for Buddhists it is Nirvana (complete detachment, or a state of nothingness).
I agree in that, if one apparently professes to believe two religions…he’s not any religion at all. I can’t POSSIBLY understand how, and WHY a Catholic would be Buddhist as well. To be Catholic you must believe in everything the Church teaches, therefore…being a Buddhist would be impossible.
If your religion is not exclusive, I see no reason why you cannot have two religions. Thus it would be very easy to be a Buddhist and some other religion (as long as the second religion was not exclusive)
Christians believe you are born and die once and are judged.
Buddhists believe people are reincatnated many times.
One of the two are false. You can’t believe both at the same time.
Similarly, all religions contradict one another on some matter or another. God can not be triune and unitarian. You can either be saved and never lose your salvation through sin, or you can lose salvation. There are either seven sacraments or there are some other number. The pope is either the head of the Church as the successor of Peter or he is not. It is either sinful to drink alcohol or it is not.
A person can not claim to believe two opposing things as religious truth at the same time. A person can appreciate certain aspects of different religions, but all different religions differ on different matters or they would be the same religion.
The statement above on a religion claiming or not claiming exclusivity is irrelevant.
Cats and dogs are both animals. Birds and butterlfies fly. Cats are not dogs and butterflies are not birds. Religions are the same until they differ. In their differences they refute one another. It is impossible to belong to two religions, because all different relgions at some point refute one another.
A person can not say I am a Catholic who believes in reincanation. Catholicsim denies reincarnation. Similarly, a Buddhist can not say a person is not reincarnated many times.
Anytime a person tries to claim being more than one religion simply find the place where the beliefs of the religions refute one another and ask which of the two beliefs is true and which is false.
I find comfort, guidance, inspiration, and truth in all the religions I’ve studied; Catholicism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Jainism, Wicca, etc.
From a Catholic perspective, it’s not proper to “mix” religions, but if one is not concerned with strict Catholic religious adherence, as I once was (and currently am, although I am trying to learn more and perhaps become a better Catholic), then nothing would hold them back. I respect everyone’s beliefs even if they mix and match. Some people feel that all religions are flawed, therefore following one completely is less sensical than taking bits and pieces of each and forming your own unique path.
My struggle now is trying to break away from this view and be a strict Catholic but it’s a process and I can’t change overnight.
Syncretism was one of the earliest heresies condemned by the Church. It might be helpful for you to look into the history.
What people feel, or some people feel does not change what is. Aristotle said, what is, is. What we think about reality does not change reality. We can either know reality for what it is, the truth about it, or we do not know it.
Logic says either all religions are false or one is true. All religions can have some elements of truth, but since they all disagree with one another, have doctrinal contradictions, then all either have some false belief or there is one whose doctrines are all true.
If all have some false doctrine and one tries to follow more than one it becomes up to the individual to try to figure out for himself which doctrines are true and false in each religion. You end up following no religion and making up your own.
In salvation history God reveals truth to mankind in general. He does not lead each individual into the individual’s own personal truth. If He did all people would agree on what they believe about spiritual truths. He would not tell one person one thing and another the opposite, or He would be deceiving. God can not deceive or be deceived. He is truth.
There is only one objective reality. Either heaven and hell exists or they do not. Jesus is the Son of God who came to save us, or He is not. What people feel, or more properly, think, about it does not change what is. He can not be the Son of God in reality for one person and is not who He is if some person or persons feel He is not.
You can know religious truth or you do not know it. If you try to find all truth, or the fullness of truth and belong to different religions at the same time you do not know truth. Jesus said He is the truth, the way and the life.
Different religions contradict one another. If you try to follow them all you end up confused and lost.
You either believe Jesus or you do not. He said He is the good shepherd. His sheep know His voice and will not follow a stranger, Buddha, Confusius, Krishna, Mohamed, or others. He said all who came before Him were thieves and robbers. He said you are for me or against me. There is no in the middle. If you try to follow multiple religions you will go astray, if Jesus is who He said He is.
I like your post. Ironic I attended the Mass yesterday and the Homily was about Scripture and the many Words spoken by Jesus Christ in relation to this topic and as you related. The Father then exanded on the Eucharist and the RP. In short the Homily was; “If you don’t really believe, then frankly you don’t believe”.
Jesus said He is the truth, the way and the life. Do you believe me, or will you leave me too?
The problem here is we are making general statements about all religions. This would be fine if all religions were as extensively defined as Christianity (Catholic or otherwise). The problem is some religions aren’t; some religions are designed to be parallel to other belief systems. Wicca is an example of a relatively simple religion in its belief structure. So why do you say you couldn’t be a Wiccan and Buddhist?
I understand that religions tend to contradict one another, but picking one belief over another when that contradiction happens shouldn’t preclude someone for being an adherent to both religions. I am both an American citizen and a Christian. I will always pick my Christianity over my American citizenship in the event of a contradiction, but that doesn’t make me any less of an American citizen. I seem to remember that there was someone who is said to be fully Human and fully divine. Surely that comes with some contradictions, but we don’t say that Jesus was any less human for being divine.
Perhaps Catholics who are attracted to another religion for its positive values and insights that are not in conflict with Catholicism might more accurately describe themselves as “Catholic with a Jewish (Buddhist, Native American, Mormon, Sikh, etc) flavor.” Just because all other religions are in conflict with Catholicism in some aspect or another does not bar us from obtaining insight from studying them.
I know it’s hard, since the Church has been about for some 2000 plus years and has become endlessly stretched in regards to it’s views and “thoughts” as you like about modern life. There’s just too much going on to make any sense. It’s simply overwhelming. That there is my biggest barrier too. It seems sometimes to be hopeless…
Messianics are Gentiles that are attracted to Jewish customs, rituals, and traditions.
They try to blend their Christian tenets (although they deny they are Christians) with
Jewish rituals/culture while claiming they are practicing “real first century Judaism”
or following the Torah “the way Jesus” did. Only problem is they aren’t Jewish,
and much of what they copy from Judaism did not exist at the time of Jewish.
Not to mention the beliefs of Judaism and Christianity are not compatible.
I’ve also heard of “JuBus”, secular Jews who follow Buddhism…although that isn’t
so much a blending of faiths as they have pretty much given up any Jewish practice.
I don’t recall as I have not kept up with her for many years. My observation of her during that time: her “pendulum” had swung toward Judaism more than Christianity. It became far more than an appreciation for Christ’s Jewishness and for the Old Testament–but in the wrong context. She was making up her own religion as she went along.
But my guess is that it her personal view of Christ’s divinity would have been “complicated” :o
How can I put it.
Jews have taught me things that the church has never been able to teach me. Through fellow Jews I’m actually finding my way of getting closer to G-d, and I thank G-d every day that He made me walk this path. Maybe this was the only possible path for me to walk in order to get closer to Him and this is why He chose things to develop the way they are with jewish school and everything. I’ve been invited to come to the synagoge but I hesitate going there on a holy Shabbat.
Oftentimes, maybe even always, even in church, I feel as if there was a bit of “jewishness” in my soul, and I’m glad that this is the case. Everyone needs to walk their own path, but I for one can’t imagine being a religious person without “feeling family” with the Jewish people. I just can’t.