There’s an interesting article and a lively discussion in the Washington Post: Barbara Johnson’s Buddhist Catholicism. Barbara Johnson was denied communion at her mother’s funeral by Rev. Marcel Guarzino because she is a lesbian, according to the original article in the Post.
It’s a complicated story, and at one point, Johnson described herself as a Buddhist. So the article, Barbara Johnson’s Buddhist Catholicism, picked up on that aspect of her faith and explores whether one can be both Catholic and Buddhist.
Actually, it’s not uncommon, I have met many people who consider themselves both Catholic and Buddhist, and they practice a blend of the faiths. They take aspects of each tradition that feel right for them. The definition of a Buddhist is quite clear, one is a Buddhist if one goes for refuge to the Buddha, the Buddha’s teachings (Dharma), and the sangha (ordained spiritual friends). Well, maybe there’s a little more to it than just that.
What do you think? Can you be a Catholic and practice Buddhism at the same time? Where and how do we draw the line? Does it matter? Is it a question of labeling, or something more?