The Swiss theologian and patrologist Schema-Archimandrite Gabriel Bunge met last weekend with Theology professors and students from the Institute of Orthodox Theology at Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich.
Archimandrite Gabriel Bunge retreated from the world 38 years ago in the Rovedero Capriasca hermitage, close to Lugano, and converted to Orthodoxy in 2010, after studying the writings of the Holy Fathers of Eastern Orthodoxy.
The pilgrimage took place on July 14-15 as part of the patristic seminary on the Philokalia, held by Rev. Daniel Benga.
Fr. Gabriel Bunge spoke Saturday with the theology students about the influential theologian in the late fourth century Church, Evagrius Ponticus.
Fr Gabriel referred to Evagrius as a disciple of the Cappadocian Fathers and of the Desert Fathers, pointing out to less known aspects of his life and work.
‘The talks held after the lecture focused on themes of mystical and ascetic theology, as well as on the mission of Orthodoxy in the contemporary Western world,’ Rev. Daniel Benga told the Basilica News Agency.
Four-language Divine Liturgy
On the second day of their pilgrimage, His Grace Bishop Sofian of Brasov, the assistant bishop to the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese of Germany, Austria, and Luxembourg, presided over the Divine Liturgy at the Holy Cross Chapel at Roveredo Capriasca Hermitage.
The liturgical responses were offered in four languages including Greek, Slavic, Romanian and German, by the Theology students directed by Prof. Konstantin Nikolakopoulos.
In his sermon delivered in German, Bishop Sofian pointed to the need of the contemporary man to have spiritual light and peace.
He spoke about the benefit and the beauty of eastern spirituality, which ‘through ascetics, prayer and liturgy facilitates peace and joy in this life here, preparing man for eternal life.’
In turn, Fr. Gabriel Bunge stressed the harmony of the Divine Liturgy, noting that its celebration in four languages did not create disharmony, ‘but rather a symphony that points to the harmony and communion of Orthodox peoples around the world.’
The pilgrimage concluded with a visit to the cathedral of Chur, Switzerland, where Bishop Sofian addressed the professors and students speaking about the history of early Christianity in Switzerland in the 4th and 5th centuries.
The group included Prof. Konstantinos Nikolakopoulos, Dean of the Orthodox Theology Department at the University of Munich, Rev. Daniel Benga, professor of Church History, Patristics and Liturgics at the Institute, and Associate Professor Krastu Banev at the Durham University in the UK.