Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Father Gabriel (Bunge) “Orthodoxy is the Fruit of My Whole Life as a Christian and a Monk”
By Archpriest Pavel Velikanov
Jan 25, 2011, 10:00

A famous Swiss Catholic theologian, Hieromonk Gabriel Bunge, converted to Orthodoxy on August 27th 2010 in Moscow, on the Eve of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary. It was Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk who received Fr. Gabriel into the Orthodox Church. We are glad to offer our readers translations of two interviews with Fr. Gabriel. The first interview “I came to the faith owing to my peers” was conducted by Archpriest Pavel Velikanov, the editor-in-chief of the scientific theological website “” in 2008. At the time Fr. Gabriel was still a Catholic hieromonk. The second interview One Can't Learn to Pray Sitting in a Warm Armchair Fr. Gabriel had right after he had converted to Orthodoxy. It was conducted by a Russian Orthodox Christian Journal for Doubting Thomases – Foma.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

For Some of Us This Is Not News

Where's the Media? L.A. Attorney Declares Many Abuse Accusations Against
Catholic Priests Are 'Entirely False'

By Dave Pierre | January 02, 2011 |

In a stunning ten-page declaration recently submitted to the Los Angeles County Superior Court, veteran attorney Donald H. Steier stated that his investigations into claims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests have uncovered vast fraud and that his probes have revealed that many accusations are completely false.

Read more:


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Does Our Image Change

I thought myself into a question today and decided that I'd post it
here as well.

Asteriktos :
If someone believes that they will suffer eternally in hell if they
choose against God, are they really free to choose in favor of God?
Isn't there some degree of coercion involved in such a case? I realise
that one possible answer is that telling people about hell is merely
letting people know that there will be consequences for the choices
they make. However, I don't know that this changes things, for even if
the intention is not to use coercion, it still seems like there is a
problem if someone acts or believes based on fear or perceived threats
of torment and suffering. Am I just looking at this bass ackwards...?


To me the question is much simpler:  If God is freedom, and the good
of his creation is free, and sin is the antithesis of that freedom,
then how can I choose the slavery of sin and expect to be free?

Well that addresses the general question of freedom at its source.

But the question that we, as religious beings, ask more specifically
is: Can I choose freely or without coercion...external coercion?   And
the answer comes back for us as children of God, "Yes!"

Now a more nuanced question and one that is addressed frequently by
the desert fathers is one that suggests that the deeper one advances
into sin, the more alienated he or she becomes from God, and thereby
more distanced from the good and freedom. So for me, one of the more
compelling questions is: Can the one whose soul is deadened and darkened by sin choose freely?

And again, I believe and my Church teaches, the answer is "Yes!"
because we are made in God's image and though we lose his likeness,
we, as creatures and children of God, never lose the image and it is
in the truth of this image that we always remain free.

Now:  If we are in way out...does our image change?
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