Benedict XVI with Buddhist monks|
During a walk in St. Peter's Square on March 1, 2006,
Benedict XVI greets a delegation of Buddhist monks, above.
It is difficult to harmonize the approval of Buddhism by the Conciliar Popes with the previous condemnations of the Church against Pantheism,
the philosophic fundament of Buddhism.
Indeed, regarding the spread of Pantheism in the West as a work of the enemies of the Church, Pius IX taught the following in the allocution Maxima quidem:
"Now then, they [the plotting enemies of the Church] have reached such a degree of impiety and shamefulness that they attack the Heavens and try to eliminate even God. In fact, expressing an evilness that only equals their foolishness, they affirm that the Supreme Divinity, full of wisdom and providence, is not distinct from the universe; that God is not different from Nature, and that He, like it, is subject to changes. They say that God is mixed with man and the world; that all things are God and have the very substance of God, and God is one and the same thing with the world, and as a consequence, that there is no longer any difference between spirit and matter, necessity and liberty, truth and error, good and evil, justice and injustice. Certainly nothing could be imagined more unwise, impious, and repugnant to reason"
(Pius IX, Allocution Maxima quidem of June 9, 1862, in Recueil des Allocutions Consistoriales, Encycliques et autres Lettres Apostoliques Citees dans l'Encyclique Quanta cura et le Syllabus, Paris: Adrien Le Clere, 1865, p. 459)