Would there be any concerns if (from the Catholic perspective) if a Catholic were to practise two religions such as Catholicism and Buddhism?

I’ve heard that in Buddhism your allowed to be a Buddhist and practise another religion.I guess that from the perspective of Buddhism it’s okay to be practising both Buddhism and another religion.However if the person doing this was from a religion such as a branch of Christianity like Catholicism would it be okay (from the Catholic perpective in this case) to be doing that?.
Thank you very much so for your time.

Buddhism, strictly speaking, is not a religion. It is really more of a philosophy on how to live life. That being said, there are several key Buddhist tenets that do conflict directly with Christianity in general.

I’m grossly oversimplifying here, but one of the goals of Buddhism is to reach a state of enlightenment in a manner that does not involve God.

Second, you pass through this world as many times as it takes until you reach this purpose.

Both of those ideas run counter to being subject to God. You are essentially relying on yourself for everything.

I wouldn’t think so. I’d discuss my newfound fascination with a Priest. Would it not cause a focus on the teachings of Buddha? Seems to me, you can not serve two Masters.

God Bless!

Personally speaking, you should stay away from Buddhism.

The Problems:

  • Self-Enlightenment contrary to the need of God in our lives.

  • Reincarnation, contrary to Resurrection; Individuality of the Mind, Body and Soul that God specifically gave us; Denial of the the necessity of the Kingdom of Heaven.

  • Karma - contrary to the notion of ‘What goes around comes around reward/punishment’, if I’m correct is basically that which dictates the position of your life after reincarnation. - This is contrary to the significance of Resurrection and the individuality of the person.

  • The Four Noble Truths -

    1. Life as we know it ultimately is or leads to suffering/uneasiness in one way or another.
      The Problem: While it is True that suffering occurs in our life, as our Blessed Saviour suffered in Gethsemane, the Flagellation, the Crowning of Thorns, the Carrying of His Cross and His Crucifixion. It fails to understand why suffering is within this life, and without that understanding, it tends to associate itself as the meaning of life is to suffer. If this can be a logical conclusion, it should be remembered why there is suffering in life (The Fall) and our purpose (To follow the Will of God.)
    2. Suffering is caused by craving - Suffering is in fact caused originally by The Fall and Original Sin.
    3. Suffering ends when craving ends. - Suffering ends only by God’s Grace.
    4. Reaching this liberated state is achieved by following the path laid out by Buddha - This is again self-enlightenment, when one should really rather trust in God.

This is already a few, and its becoming very problematic.

Also, why do you wish to practice a second religion if Catholicism is the Truth?

I may not be able to respond as much, so please don’t be offended if I vanish and may never respond. I hope this however provides a discussion point for the thread.

As already stated: It’s best you stick to Catholicism, a second religion is not necessary.

God Bless you,


From my experience it’s hard enough being a good christian and everyday brings new trials ( and sucesses too ). There is so much depth in our faith and so much room to develope and grow. I fail to see how you could have time to be a Bhudhist and a Christian. If you do then you are not living your Christianity with all your heart ; soul and mind.

I suggest you try to do this first and im guessing you wont have time for any distractions from the true message.

Sorry if my answer seems negative but no other position makes sense as even after a lifetime you still won’t be finished learning how to be a true follower of Jesus.

love and Respect

This is very true. You must be careful. There are several serious conflicts. Buddha saw ending existence entirely (becoming one with the great void, nirvana, however you wish to say it) to be more desirable than serving God forever in an idyllic heaven, regardless of the splendor and joy that might be found there. However, there is MUCH to Buddhist philosophy which is in line with Catholic teaching. As an example, his teachings on morality were highly developed and mirror in many ways Aquinas’s treatment of the same subject. I would recommend getting with a priest or spiritual director if you are planning to explore Buddhism alongside Catholicism.

The fact of Catholicism is that it contains the whole truth.
So a Catholic does not need any additional thing because there is nothing lacking in the essence of Catholicism. Jesus is the fullness. That’s why he is the first and the last one and no one can add to him.

God bless

One goal of Buddhism is to reduce suffering.

One reduces suffering by realizing that suffering is caused by desires. Get rid of all desires of the world and you get rid of suffering, become detached from the world and may attain Nirvana.

This is clearly in contrast with the Christian message that desires are okay and suffering is necessary for holiness.

It’s is very true that it is clearly in contrast with the understanding that many Christians have about the life of Jesus as it relates to desire and suffering. That is not necessarily the correct understanding of the life of Jesus, however. If you delve into the teachings of Jesus from the perspective of eastern thought, you see a totally different Jesus without changing a word He said.

Your friend

Buddhists believe there are many many gods.

No, it would not be permissible from a Catholic perspective. Jesus said very clearly that you can not serve two masters. What aspects of Buddhism attract you?

Jesus was a 1st century Palestinian Jew and must be understood from that perspective. He was not an eastern guru or teacher of any kind. I think N.T. Wright has written on this idea before. I’d recommend giving his extensive research a look if you are interested in the historical Jesus and the background to his life.


As much as I appreciate everyone’s answers I would like to say that I was not thinking about practising Buddhism.I’m definately satisfied with being Catholic and I dont believe in reincarnation (no offense to anyone who does).I just find that the perspective on morality and emotions in Buddhism really interesting,that’s mainly it.Thank you all anyways.

It depends upon what you mean by “practice Buddhism”.

I am aware that is what you believe. I am aware of the cultural influences that created the context from which Jesus would later be viewed by Christians. What I am saying is that a person from some Eastern religions would see nothing new in anything Jesus said or did. I understand that Christians think it is something new, but I have yet to see anything new in any of it. That doesn’t mean it’s bad or wrong. My understanding of Jesus is simply different than yours.

Your friend

It also should be remembered that the Jews of that time (just like the Jews of today) were exposed to many religious and spiritual traditions, including Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Greek, and, undoubtedly, Indian: Jain and Buddhist monks were well-known in the Hellenistic world. Jews have been living in India (and traveling to and fro) since around the time of Jesus. The magi may have been Persian astrologers, or they could have been (as some suggest) Hindu sages (and in Hinduism, astrology is considered a sacred science).

It is not a matter of what I believe and it isn’t a matter of simple difference in opinion. It is about reconstructing the likely context in which Jesus lived and taught. When this is done, Jesus is not an eastern teacher or guru. That would be forcing an alien context on Him without justification.

The Jews of 1st century Palestine, as well as before, were quite zealous in guarding the purity of their religion. Unless you can offer some evidence that the Judaism of the day was actually influenced and changed by foreign sources, there is no basis for claiming that cultural contact with outsiders could lead to Jesus teaching and preaching in an essentially non-Jewish context.

Unfortunately, this is getting way off-topic. If you are interested in continuing this discussion, I’d recommend starting a new thread.

Hi again SedesDomi: Everything you have said here is very true.

Your friend,

Hi ChristisTheWay: God has visited humanity many times. This is not your belief, but as you said, God is not a matter of opinion, nor are His manifestations to one group of people more or less valid than His manifestations to other people. People who think their experience of God is in some way more special than another have probably missed seeing God altogether and have unwittingly seen only a reflection of their own psyche. You are correct that He understood the social influences of the people He was among in Palestine, however, the message is the same.

As for the guru thing, Jesus was God. He was also a teacher, was he not? Guru means teacher, or guide. Aside from being God in human form, was He not these things? By the way, technically, Palestine is oriental rather than occidental, so being a teacher from the orient, was Jesus not an eastern guru?

Your friend,

You’re assuming that there is a radical, absolute separation between what is Jewish and what is non-Jewish, as if to practice something from one is to totally reject something from another. The Genesis narratives show clear influence from Mesopotamia; some of the Proverbs show Egyptian origins. The Hebrew language itself is part of the broader Afro-Asiatic linguistic family. Jewish legend has some of Abraham’s nine sons going to India and founding religions there. All this points to the idea that Judaism is an evolving tradition. Zealous commitment is of course important, but zealousness does not equate to a radical rejection of outside ideas.