Saturday, December 20, 2008

Can I be Buddhist and still be Catholic?

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Question: (unedited)
I like what buddhism teaches but I want to keep my other religion....can i be buddhist and still be catholic??

My comment:

Thank you for asking me.

You can't have both cakes and eat them all!

The funamental concepts of the 2 religions are totally contradictory to each other. One believes and fears the Creator God. The other does not subscribe to the existence of a Creator God, and does not believe nor fear Him.

Christians consider themselves subservient to God who punishes and rewards at His whims and fancies. Buddhists regard themselves as their own masters and not as puppets on the strings being manipulated by a puppeteer up above.

There are many other concepts that are totally opposed to each other, which at this juncture is best to refrain from commenting so as to avoid creating more controversy and antagonism.

There is no logic for one to subscribe to doctrines that are contradictory to one another. If two doctrines are contradictory, one must be wrong, or even both may be wrong. For sure both cannot be right.

If you are devoted to any one religion, you will know that the question of following the other religion does not arise.


Barry said...

Hi Justin,
How are you? Your correspondent might be interested to know that a number of Catholic priests and nuns actively practice Zen Buddhist meditation.

Some of these Catholic monastics have even been recognized as Zen masters, which is quite astonishing and wonderful. Somehow, they have found that the deep heart of spirituality transcends any defined religion.

Your correspondent can read about one of these priests, Robert Kennedy, S.J., at

For at least some people, Buddhist practice doesn't have much to do with religion. Perhaps we could view the practice as "pre-religious." In this view, it serves as the basis for all religious practice. In itself, it's formless - like water, it takes the shape of whatever container we pour it into.


A true Malaysian said...


It is normal to have people of other faith like your correspondent to face this kind 'dilemma'.

On one hand, he found truths in Buddhism, which doesn't believe in creator God, on the other hand, he fears God that resulted in him to let go Catholicism.

The word 'God' indeed has great influence on human. God is damn 'powerful' in this sense.

But on the other angle, maybe this correspondent can regard Buddha's teachings as 'teaching' and not as a 'religion' and continue to call himself 'Catholic'.

At the end of the day, substance is more important form, i.e. 'substance over form'.

A true Malaysian said...

sorry, 'substance over legal form'

Justin Choo said...


Unfortunately, in reality the other religionists are not so liberal to accept others' point of views even though these views may be beneficial to them.

Some will prevent their followers to even think of such ideas for fear that they may change their belief.

Justin Choo said...

A True Malaysian,

These people have been indoctrinated since they were born. It is very difficult for them to change their ingrained perception.

CYC said...


No matter what religion does one profess, it is actually 'not so' material to his/her real spiritual progress i suppose. Do good and avoid evil already encompasses everything that needs to be done heading towards enlightenment. Along the line one will surely found the ultimate prescriptions towards nirvana if his/her diligence has reached the level that him/her understand the truth. As Barry said: Spirituality (or Truth as i would say)transcends any defined religion.

Of course, as an ordinary being it will to reconcile the different labels in mundane world.

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