From West to East

A Catholic Hermit Converted to Orthodoxy

On the eve of the Dormition in 2011, a Roman Catholic hieromonk Gabriel (Bunge) of the Order of Saint Benedict who had been a monk for 50 years and lived a solitary life in the Swiss mountains for over thirty years was received into Orthodoxy by Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) and Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware.) Fr. Gabriel is a renowned Benedictine hermit and considered a master of Patristic thought. Below he is being interviewed sometime after his conversion:

A: While still in Greece, being a Catholic, I realized that it was the West that separated from the East, not vice versa. … What we call Western Christianity today was born as a chain of ruptures with the East. These ruptures were the Gregorian reform, followed by the separation of the churches in the XI century, then the Reformation in the XV century, and finally the Second Vatican Council in the XX century. This is, surely, a very rough scheme, but I think it is correct on the whole.

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