Orthodox/Reformed Theological Dialogue (English)
International Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches
Sambata de Sus, Romania - The 8th session of the International Theological dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches took place at the Brancoveanu Monastery, Sambata de Sus, near Sibiu, Romania, September 4 to 11, 2003. It was graciously hosted by His Eminence Metropolitan Dr. Antonie Plamadeala of Transylvania and co-chaired by the Metropolitan of Tyroloe and Serention, Prof. Dr. Panteleimon Rodopoulos (Ecumenical Patriarchate), and by the Rev. Prof. Yong-Bock Kim (Seoul, Korea).
The general theme of this dialogue officially started in 1988, is the affirmations of the creed of Nicaea-Constantinople discussed in the light of the teaching of the Fathers of the undivided Church. The 8th session dealt with the last clause of the Nicene Creed – ‘I believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church’ - focusing particularly on the holiness of the Church.
The keynote papers on the main theme of ‘The Holiness of the Church’ were given by Prof. Dr. Christos Voulgaris (Athens, Greece) and by Rev. Prof. Dr. Michael Weinrich (Paderborn, Germany). Rev. Prof. Dr. Dorin Oancea (Sibiu, Romania) addressed the topic ‘Holiness as a divine gift’. Prof. Dr. Vlassios Pheidas (Athens, Greece) and Rev. Prof. Dr. Yong -Bock Kim (Seoul, Korea) presented papers on ‘Holiness as a human task’. Papers on ‘the Saints’ were given by Rev. Prof. Dr. George Dion. Dragas (Brookline, USA) and by Rev. Prof. Dr. Edgar Moros Ruano (El Escorial, Spain). Finally, two additional papers were offered on Evaluation of the Dialogue by Fr. George Dion Dragas and Rev. Prof. Dr. Karel Blei (Harlem, The Netherlands).
Other Orthodox participants included His Excellency the Bishop of Nilopolis Georgios Vladimerou (The Patriarchate of Alexandria); the Rev.Monk Dr. David Perovic (The Patriarchate of Belgrade); His Excellency the Chorepiskopos of Arsinoe Georgios (The Church of Cyprus); the Rev.Andizej Minko (The Church of Poland); Mr.Jan Holonic (The Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia) and Theol. Lic. Pekka Metso (The Church of Finland).
Other Reformed participants included: Rev. Dr. Habib Badr (Beirut, Lebanon); Rev. Prof. Dr. Camagie Samuel Calian (Pittsburgh, U.S.A.); Rev. Prof. Dr. Tamas Juhasz (Cluj, Romania); Rev. Prof. Dr. Phee-seng Kang (Hong Kong, China); Rev. Dr. Gottfried W. Locher (observer, Bern, Switzerland) and Rev. Dr. Odair Pedroso Mateus (Geneva, Switzerland).
The two delegations attended the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Sibiu on Sunday, September 7 and visited the Orthodox Theological Faculty of Sibiu, where they met with the Dean, Rev. Prof. Dr. Durnitru Abrudan. They were received for lunch by Metropolitan Antonie of Transylvania. They also visited the Reformed Church of Sibiu, where they were received by the pastor, Rev. Varro Sandor. They gathered at the cemetery of Sibiu to commemorate in prayer the late Rev. Prof. Dr. Aurel Jivi, former member and Secretary of the Reformed/Orthodox Joint Commission, and were offered dinner by Presvytera Liliana Jiviat at a new Orthodox Church/parish of St. Nicholas which is deeply engaged in diaconal work in the suburban area of Golden Valley, Sibiu.
On September the 8th the Commission celebrated the Feast of the Birth of the Theotokos at the St. Nicholas Church in Brasov and visited the Brasov Black Church. While in Brasov they were entertained to an ecumenical lunch by the local communities and had discussions in the diaconal center of the Reformed Church House of Hope. There they met with the Reformed Pastor of Brasov Miklos Mennesy.
The next session of the Orthodox-Reformed dialogue will take place in Beirut, Lebanon, (2005).