Buddhism replaces Marxism as Catholic Church’s Main Enemy
Pope Ratzinger’s prediction “The challenge to the Church in the twentieth century would not be Marxism, but Buddhism” has come true. Pope Benedict XVI
The Catholic Church earned the wrath of all other religious communities when Ratzinger was appointed Pope Benedict XVI in 1997.
Rabbi Michael Lerner, the editor of the world’s largest circulation progressive Jewish magazine, Tikkun, wrote “Ratzinger said that Europeans attracted to Buddhism were actually seeking an “autoerotic spirituality” that offers “transcendence without imposing concrete religious obligations.” Hindusim, he said, offers “false hope,” in that it guarantees “purification” based on a “morally cruel” concept of reincarnation resembling “a continuous circle of hell.” At the time, Cardinal Ratzinger predicted that Buddhism would replace Marxism as the Catholic Church’s main enemy”. Many Western newspapers disclosed that Cardinal Ratzinger, as a young man served Adolph Hitler’s Nazi army in Germany before becoming a Catholic priest. They also said the new Pope was elected with the influence of a “secretive” Catholic lay organization called “Opus Dei” which means work of God in Latin, founded in Spain in 1928 by a Catholic priest named Josemaria Escrivia, who belonged to the inner circle of the Fascist dictator Francisco Franco that supported Hitler.
Surfing through the Internet, in Rumania alone, there are 14 Buddhist centres listed in the ‘World Buddhist Directory’ of the Buddhanet. There are four Theravada centres, i.e. Theravada Asociatia Buddhista Theravada din Romania, Buddhism Theravada în limba română and Centrul de Meditatie Vipassana (Dumbrava de Sus) and Goenka Vipassana. Described as Vajrayana are five centres, the first four belonging to Karma Kagyu and the last to the New Kadampa tradition – all initiated by Tibetan Lamas. They are: Budddhist Center Oradea, Buddhist Group Oradea, Buddhist Group Satu Mare, Diamond Way Buddhist Center Timisoara and Compassion Centre. There are four centres described as Mahayana, i.e. Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Association from Romania, Macusho Zen Dojo, Soto Zen in Bucharest, Zen Groupe of Oradea. The only centre listed as non-sectarian is Seeds for Happiness. Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Association from Romania is also known as Amida-Ji Retreat Temple Romania which had been initiated by a Rumanian, attempts to attract alcoholics and drug addicts.
Almost all other East European countries have a visible Buddhist presence, though in small numbers. Buddhist centres and Buddhist websites are proliferating.
The rapid spread of Buddhism in many parts of the world can be attributed to several reasons: Buddhism being more a skills manual than a religion encourages Westerners to embrace it as a spiritual philosophy that will not contradict a rational, scientific world view. Its central tenets of compassion and tolerance are compatible with similar Western humanist ideals. The Buddhist concept of impermanence and change appeals to individuals burdened with the hectic pace of modern lifestyle.
Buddhism will certainly remain a challenge to the Catholic Church and well become the religion of the future.
Buddhist Times 9 (10&11) February/March 2011, p. 1.
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