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Author Topic: Interview With Father Gabriel Bunge  (Read 506 times) Average Rating: 0
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podkarpatska
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« on: October 31, 2013, 12:01:13 PM »

This interview with Father Gabriel Bunge is fascinating. I debated whether to post it here, on the Convert thread, on the Faith thread or on Christian News, but I settled for here. If others (mods) feel it better suited elsewhere, please act accordingly.

Father's words are careful, well thought out and important. 

An eminent patristic scholar and noted Catholic theologian, Fr. Gabriel is the abbot and sole monk of what is now the Monastery of the Holy Cross, part of the Russian Orthodox Church. He was baptized Orthodox on the eve of the Dormition of the Theotokos in Moscow, August 2010. He is now Schema-Archimandrite Gabriel.

There is much wisdom in his words. http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/65138.htm

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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2013, 12:37:52 PM »

Amazing interview.
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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2013, 01:51:41 PM »

Thanks for sharing.
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« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2013, 02:47:01 PM »

Excellent interview and very insightful. I really enjoyed Fr. Gabriel's suggestion that in the west, especially in the Catholic Church, there is a need to rediscover the roots of the faith. Sounds like a wise and holy man.
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« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2013, 03:55:18 PM »

He was not baptized orthodox, he was received by profession of faith and vesting only.
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« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2013, 04:37:34 PM »

He was not baptized orthodox, he was received by profession of faith and vesting only.

Quite right. I should have caught that when I lifted the preface from the article.
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« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2013, 04:40:02 PM »

Why does the article say this:

Quote
Fr. Raphael, a Swiss, has since passed away, and Fr. Gabriel is the abbot and sole monk of what is now the Monastery of the Holy Cross, part of the Russian Orthodox Church. He was baptized Orthodox on the eve of the Dormition of the Theotokos in Moscow, August 2010. He is now Schema-Archimandrite Gabriel.
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« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2013, 05:13:14 PM »

Why does the article say this:

Quote
Fr. Raphael, a Swiss, has since passed away, and Fr. Gabriel is the abbot and sole monk of what is now the Monastery of the Holy Cross, part of the Russian Orthodox Church. He was baptized Orthodox on the eve of the Dormition of the Theotokos in Moscow, August 2010. He is now Schema-Archimandrite Gabriel.

Perhaps it was described that way on purpose because baptising a Roman Catholic appeals to certain types who feel uncomfortable with the Russian exercise of economy.  But the lack of reference to ordinations and tonsurings is odd: no one comes out of the font a Schema-Archimandrite, no matter how much they might want it to be so (certainly not Fr Gabriel). 
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« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2013, 05:17:04 PM »

Interesting interview.
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« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2013, 05:18:18 PM »

Hmm. AFAIK he was received with vesting.
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« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2013, 05:57:15 PM »

I was struck by something early on in the interview:

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...I had an opportunity to travel to Greece with other students, and to discover living Orthodoxy there. I saw holy monasteries, and even met a holy monk. I went to the Liturgy. This was before Vatican II. The Greeks were extremely kind and friendly to me as a Catholic. Today that would probably be different, because the Catholics have changed completely towards the Orthodox.

—For the better, or for the worse?

—From the worst to the best. But now the Orthodox keep their distance because they feel invaded.

How much of contemporary Orthodox "resistance" to Roman Catholicism is a reaction to the new tone from Rome since the 1960's?  How did getting along worse allow us to get along better? 

Also, some favourites:

Quote
—Of those who are wavering—do you think they could go in the direction of Orthodoxy, or might they instead give up everything?

—The only way I see it happening is if they turn to their own Orthodoxy, because unless God works an unprecedented miracle that turns everyone to Byzantine Orthodoxy, there is a whole culture at work to prevent it. It is not just a matter of texts, or formulas. But they must turn back to their own Orthodoxy, their own traditions. For all these years, when I wrote my little books, my aim was this: as a monk, to help people have a spiritual life, to rediscover, reintegrate their own spiritual heritage, which is of course the same as ours; because we have the same roots.

...

I feel that my own path is to prove, even to the Orthodox, that it is possible, even within the Western tradition, to rediscover the common ground, and to live out of this. You can do this—not by yourself, of course, but only with God’s grace. But then I reached a point where I could no longer support being in only spiritual communion with the Orthodox Church so close to my heart. I wanted real, sacramental communion. Therefore, I asked for it.

...

—I am sure that everything happens according to God’s will and plan, but do you feel that perhaps Orthodox people should provide more encouragement to those people who are searching, wavering? Who are digging deeply but not getting to the roots?

—They should know their own faith better, and be capable of answering questions. They should not criticize everything and everybody.

—As many converts are prone to do.

—Yes, the converts are the most severe judges. But, yes, they should be able to answer essential questions. However, I am speaking of my own experience, in Switzerland. I would suppose that it is different in America, where there are hundreds of different churches, Protestant denominations, and they are all equal, so to say. There are dozens, unfortunately, of Orthodox Churches also.
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« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2013, 12:37:33 AM »

Quote
—Of those who are wavering—do you think they could go in the direction of Orthodoxy, or might they instead give up everything?

—The only way I see it happening is if they turn to their own Orthodoxy, because unless God works an unprecedented miracle that turns everyone to Byzantine Orthodoxy, there is a whole culture at work to prevent it. It is not just a matter of texts, or formulas. But they must turn back to their own Orthodoxy, their own traditions. For all these years, when I wrote my little books, my aim was this: as a monk, to help people have a spiritual life, to rediscover, reintegrate their own spiritual heritage, which is of course the same as ours; because we have the same roots.

What do you think he means by "their own Orthodoxy" and "their own traditions"? The Orthodoxy and tradition of their ancestors?

If that's the case, looks like I need to return to my own Orthodoxy... Orthodox Judaism.  Shocked
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« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2013, 12:49:27 AM »

What do you think he means by "their own Orthodoxy" and "their own traditions"? The Orthodoxy and tradition of their ancestors?

I understood him to be speaking to Western Christians and referring to the Orthodox tradition of the West: Fr Gabriel's conversion to Orthodoxy was the culmination of a long journey that started with his rediscovery of this heritage.   
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« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2013, 03:45:29 AM »

What do you think he means by "their own Orthodoxy" and "their own traditions"? The Orthodoxy and tradition of their ancestors?

I understood him to be speaking to Western Christians and referring to the Orthodox tradition of the West: Fr Gabriel's conversion to Orthodoxy was the culmination of a long journey that started with his rediscovery of this heritage.   

Having read the full interview, your explanation makes sense. Thanks. Smiley

"So, we have to return to our roots." That's the simple truth, isn't it?
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« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2013, 07:28:12 PM »

My priest shared this with me and it was fantastic. Some of his comments hint at great insights for the Western Rite!
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