Catholics/Joss stick


Can Catholics use joss sticks when participating in a Buddhist's ceremony just to show respect without having the intention to worship false god?

Buddhism is a very complex "religion".  In some segments, the Buddha is worshipped as a god.  In others, the Buddha is simply the one who developed the "science" of reaching "nirvana".  And there are many variations on these themes.  Zen Buddhism in Japan and the Buddhism practiced in SriLanka are "atheistic" in that they don't worship any god at all.  
That being said, the real question you need to ask is whether you are giving scandal by participating in a Buddhist ceremony.  So if you are participating out of respect and those who know you know that you are and will remain a practicing Catholic, I would think that this is alright.  Even for Buddhists, the josh stick is something like a candle is in a Christian ceremony, and we certainly wouldn't object if a Catholic participated in a non-denominational candle lighting service.  


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Donald Higby


Most any question about Catholic teachings, the structure of the Church, issues related to Catholic teachings on sexuality and marriage; I also know a lot about biblical foundations for Catholic teaching, and apologetics. As a scientist and a deacon, I am conversant with the dialogue between science and religion.


Deacon, 13 years; Religion minor, Catholic University of America. Self study.

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Diaconal Formation, four years (college level courses) Catholic University of America, religion minor, philosophy minor. (AB)

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