Dharma Affinities: Cardinal Yubin and Father Rogers

You can be a Buddhist among the Catholics, and I will be a Catholic among the Buddhists

You can be a Buddhist among the Catholics, and I will be a Catholic among the Buddhists. Once the two of us are able to communicate, there won't be any more sectarian views, conflict, or boundaries. If we can do this, all the wars in the world will come to an end, and people won't exclude each other anymore.

In consonance with his vision of the Dharma Realm, the Master often said that Buddhism was too limiting a label for the Buddha's teaching and often referred to it as the teaching of living beings. Just as he criticized sectarianism within Buddhism as opposing the true spirit of the Dharma, he felt that people should not be attached to interreligious distinctions either, that it was important for people of all religionis to learn from the strengths of each religious tradition. To make that vision a reality, he invited his good friend Paul Cardinal Yubin, the Catholic cardinal of Taiwan, to join him in establishing a World Religions Center at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas and to be its first director. He suggested that the cardinal be a "Buddhist among Catholics" and that he himself would be a "Catholic among the Buddhists." Unfortunately the cardinal's untimely death delayed the plans for the Center, which eventually opened in Berkeley as the Institute for World Religions in 1994.

With his good friend Father John Rogers

With his good friend Father John Rogers.

Father John Rogers, Lecturer in Religious Studies at Humboldt State University was also a good friend of the Venerable Master. In April of 1989, Father John Rogers brought several dozen HSU students on a field trip to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas as part of their course in Comparative Religion. Since then, Father Rogers has organized field trips to CTTB every semester and each time Father Rogers would also hold a Catholic Mass in the Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas. He also held a Mass in memory of the Venerable Master in 1995.