Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dalai Lama in Ann Arbor, MI

While Pope Benedict has been visiting the United States, the Dalai Lama has been visiting Ann Arbor, MI., very close to my home. I have largely ignored his visit, but the local papers have done quite a bit of reporting on it. I wanted to relate a story I heard:

I saw a Catholic woman today who told me she had just come back from seeing the Dalai Lama. I jokingly asked her if she had thrown some water on him when he wasn't looking and said the words of baptism. She laughed, but told me that in his talk today (4/20), he related to the crowd how he had visited to shrine at Fatima to venerate Mary. There, he claims that the statue of the Blessed Virgin turned her head and smiled at him (!). Then, he followed that story up with these astonishing words: "I am a Christian!"

Obviously, he does not understand what being a Christian means if he says that yet simultaneously maintains to be the 14th reincarnation of the enlightened "Tulku" Buddhist Masters. It is not surprising to me, either, that given the modern state of the Church, he felt welcome at Fatima and claimed that the Blessed Virgin smiled at him. I have no corroboration for this story other that the words of this woman who heard them from his mouth today. Any thoughts on it? UPDATE: PLEASE SEE COMMENTS FOR CLARIFICATION AND CORROBORATION OF THIS STORY


Anonymous said...

A Christian Huh..... yeah right....

Makes me want to start singing....

"well a-halo....on-Dolly, a-halo, on-Dolly......"

Anonymous said...

I was there at the event. He said "I am a Christian" accidentally, he meant "I am a Buddhist". He apologized for the slip of tongue, don't read too much into it.

He was saying this in the context of how all religions have the same basis; and how some Father in some Australian church introduced him as "A good Christian" -- i.e., you can be "a good christian" even if you are buddhist, and vice versa.

In essence, his message was : there are many religions. They all have common intents. Each religion is unique because of the people and the culture that created it. But the goal is the same. So follow anything you want, but respect others' religions.

Boniface said...

Thank you for this clarification.

Anonymous said...

Now, now, let's give him the benefit of the doubt. Buddhist...Christian? Maybe a little slip of the alphabet. They are, after all, only one letter off. And it could be understandable how someone who does not have the mastery of the English language could make an error. The alphabet is somewhat confusing.

Boy, after reading what I just wrote, I think I may have to take a thorazine pill and see my shrink.

Satan is working overtime to convince everyone that we're all the same. The blind leading the blind.