I have one question about Catholicism in the Philippines. Now, many Asian countries are economically successful, with the exception of the Philippines, which is still poor. It is said that one big reason for this problem is their faith in Catholicism. Please tell us a way or a method to grow beyond the traditional Catholic teachings and to harmonize economic success with faith. Thank you.
Master Ryuho Okawa’s Answer:
1. Be Responsible for Your Own Thinking and Deeds
The problem of Roman Catholicism is the inclination of the priests to put heavy emphasis on the idea that “man is a child of sin”. The problem of original sin in ancient days, historically more than 4,000 yeas ago, was that Satan, as a snake, deceived Eve into eating the fruit of wisdom. Can you believe that was the original sin? It’s an amazing and very interesting story, but it cannot explain the evil of the world. It’s not enough to spell it out. Why Adam and Eve made sin does not relate to you, whether or not it really happened, and I don’t know if it did. It’s irrelevant to you, and you have no responsibility for the sins of Adam and Eve.
You must be responsible for your own thinking and deeds. Of course, you have had previous lives in the old ages, and you did accumulate karma. But even the influence of karma on you, your thinking, and your saying and your deeds, which appear from the bottom of your heart, should encourage you to be responsible for yourself. So, you must firstly take responsibility for your own life. I believe the floating situation for the economy and the government of the Philippines hangs on the Catholic idea that “man is a child of sin”.
2. As a Result of Catholic Discipline, People Cannot Free Their Minds
Secondly, the traditional Roman Catholic system is similar to that of the kairitsu (the disciplines of Buddhism). There are a lot of forbidden things in Catholicism. It makes people think narrower and narrower, and they cannot set their heart free.