Gabriel Bunge, OSB, he converted to Orthodoxy… wither thou goest, Fr Gabriel? Remember, appearances CAN be deceiving… do keep the Uniates in mind. SVS publishes his books… a hint of theological squiffiness, at the least. That child “John” of ad Orentem is in orgasm over this… that’s a sign that this is probably phony. Caveat emptor!
A well-known Swiss theologian, Monk Gabriel Bunge, converted from Catholicism to Orthodoxy. On 27 August, on the eve of the feastday of the Assumption, he attended services led by Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk, the head of the MP Department for External Church Relations of Moscow Patriarchate, at The Icon of the Mother of God “The Joy of All Who Sorrow” parish in Bolshaya Ordynka. For more than 30 years, Fr Gabriel was a hermit-monk in the Swiss mountains. He was received into Orthodoxy prior to the start of the service proper at the Moscow church. “You were Catholic, but were Orthodox in your heart. Today, before the All-Night Vigil, you converted to Orthodoxy, which was natural”, Metropolitan Hilarion said, noting that Fr Gabriel’s embrace of the Orthodox faith was the “fruit of a long spiritual journey”, according to the website of the DECR. Vladyki Hilarion gave him an icon of the Godbearer, “The Joy of All Who Sorrow”. Metropolitan Callistos Ware of Diokleia (EP) also served at the Vigil, who has taught at Oxford for more than 40 years, Metropolitan Hilarion was his pupil 15 years ago, learned from him, Metropolitan Callistos was his faculty advisor. Metropolitan Callistos said that the EP thought highly of Fr Gabriel’s theological works, and said, “[I hope that] the cross of the Orthodox Christian, which he has taken on himself, doesn’t prove too heavy for him”.
30 August 2010
This is the first news of the Boy Wonder in about a month… my view is that it’s not sinister in the least. Like everyone else, he was taking an “August Holiday”. All of the irreverent and waggish sorts in Moscow are expecting a new “composition” from him… be on the lookout… his new “work” is probably in the hands of his “ringer” right now.
As for this “Catholic theologian” becoming Orthodox… there isn’t enough information given to make a coherent conclusion. It could be that HA is bringing in a sincere convert… it could also be that he’s bringing in a turncoat… since both are equally probable, they cancel one another out, which means that reasonable observers are left flummoxed. Is it a white horse with black stripes? Is it a black horse with white stripes? We’ll need more (and better) information before we could issue any sensible opinion (what information I’ve been able to scare up shows him to be a firm, resolute, and unshakable papist). All the usual suspects who are in awe of the non-existent “Eastern Church” (especially that nappy-wearing convert “John”) are in unwarranted ecstasy over this. It’s certainly “interesting!” Is this a shot across the Pope of Rome’s bows or is it a kowtow before his “infallibility?” We’ll have to wait and see…
One of the interesting points in this is the participation of Callistos Ware. He has a well-merited reputation for dottiness and dodginess (to put it mildly)… he has made odd statements on female ordination, for instance. To know that Ware was Alfeyev’s tutor at Oxford casts doubt on HA’s academic credentials, does it not? Some friends of mine believe that the Boy Wonder was “sent to the woodshed” by KMG… inviting his old mentor to Moscow would fit that… he’s smarting and wants the presence of old protectors about him. It’s an “interesting” fact… why would Ware come to Moscow? For certain, it didn’t happen without permission from Metropolitan Yuvenaly Poyarkov, His Nibs’ unsinkable satrap for Moscow (if the Boy Blunder didn’t do so, Vladyki Yuvenaly will feed him a big shit sandwich, and boy oh boy, is HA ever going to have to take a BIG bite). Things are never boring in Orthodoxy!
Editor’s Further Postscript:
A waggish priest wrote me:
This guy wasn’t received by His Holiness at Christ the Saviour… this was on Alfeyev’s own nickel… it may be unsanctioned by higher authority.
If so… one can see why the Wonder beat feet to New York… I can say that the reception of this rather minor and inconsequential figure didn’t merit a photo spread on patriarchia.ru (there was only one very small tatty image posted with the article)… telling point, that.