The contribution of Rev. Prof. PhD Ioan
Ică to the theological
dialogue between the Romanian Orthodox Church (BOR) and the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD)
Rev. Prof. Ioan Tulcan*
The Romanian Orthodox Church is, for several decades, in Christian terms, in general, and theological dialogues, particularly, with other denominations and churches, confessing with vivid responsibility the richness of faith and of its life in a world eager for knowledge, dialogue and cooperation. These dialogues were conducted in an exemplary manner by great theologians of the Romanian Orthodoxy, within whom father Professor Ioan Ică occupies a place of honor. A focusing light on his contribution in this direction ought to be done now, when celebrating the venerable age of eighty years.
Father Professor Ică was a passionate researcher of theology, not only in Orthodoxy, but also in the Western thinking. He paid a particular attention to the relations between Orthodoxy and the other churches, in general, and those between the Romanian Orthodoxy and these Church, in special. He agreed, openly to the ecumenical dialogue, that Orthodoxy can testify not only through the mission done intra muros ecclesiae, but outside of the ecclesial, canonical framework of Orthodoxy. Therefore many of his studies and articles bring upon issues that concern the churches, in their desire of Interchristian knowledge and togetherness. The beginning of the dialogue between BOR and EKD in 1979 constituted to theologian Ică a good opportunity to implementing the richness of his theological, cultural, historical and symbolical knowledge, which was the result of an exemplary work of documentation and theological study.
The ecclesiastic relations between the Romanian Orthodox Church and the Protestant Churches has a special place in the father Professor Ioan Ică’s concerns. The beginning of the bilateral theological dialogue between the Romanian Orthodox Church and the Evangelical Church in Germany offered him the opportunity, to not only to use his information and knowledge regarding the Western Christianity, but also his ingenuity, the theological intuition and the scientis’ passion in the field of scientific research, which he has harmonized, highlighted and analyzed with the accuracy and the fervor of the one who felt it as a calling, the need to foster the mutual knowledge between the two Churches, but not least, the desire to contribute to a greater proximity of faith between East and West.
The bilateral theological dialogue between the Romanian Orthodox Church (BOR) and the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). The context of its beginning.
The twentieth century was a century of dialogue and knowledge in several areas: scientific, cultural, religious, etc. This is because manz of us realized that they can not continue to behave in loneliness and isolation, but it is necessary cooperation, dialogue, building bridges between people, cultures and religious beliefs as a prerequisite for world pacification.
Regarding the faith, it should be noted that religious and theological dialogue would not have been possible without a spirit of search, unchaining and initiation of specific forms of knowledge and communication between different theologies in order to get Christians together, and, no less, to remain faithful to our Savior’s commandment that all who trust and believe in Him to be one (cf. John 17, 21). The bilateral theological dialogue between BOR and EKD would not have been possible without the existence of two major premises: first, the ecumenical openness of the Romanian Orthodoxy beginning with the first half of the twentieth century, as well as the entrance of our Church in the Council of Churches, starting with 1961, and the Pan-Orthodox Preconciliare Conferences which set for the Local Orthodox Churches a certain agenda of their concerns, from theological and ecclesiastical points of view. Among these concerns is that of the initiation of bilateral and multi-ecclesiastical theological dialogues placing the Church in continuous theological dialogues that aim to getting together into the apostolic faith and achievement of the visible unity of Christians. In this respect, the theological dialogue between BOR and EKD initiated in 1979 should be considered.
1. The first session of theological dialogue between BOR and EKD, 19-23 November 1979, Goslar – Germany, has as its theme: the Holy Scripture, the Tradition and the Confession
The beginning of the theological dialogue between the churches mentioned above occurred due to the efforts undertaken by the local Orthodox Churches at an Ecumenical level. “The Fourth Pan-Orthodox Conference (Chambessey, Switzerland, 1968) recommended that the autocephalous Orthodox Churches begin bilateral talks with the Protestant churches, especially with the Lutheran ones, to prepare the stage for the global Orthodox-Lutheran dialogue. Finally, the first pre-conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference held also in Chambessy, in 1979, found that many of the bilateral talks between the Orthodox and Lutherans, as well as the academic relationship between the two theological traditions have yielded good results, so it recommended starting the preparations for initiating the official dialogue between the Orthodox Churches and the Lutheran World Federation, which began in 1981”.
Father Professor PhD Ioan I. Ică took part in the first four sessions of theological dialogue between BOR and EKD. The first session of this dialogue has focused the debates on a general topic, complex and profound and with a particular relevance in terms of ecumenical dialogue in general: the Holy Scripture, the Tradition and the Confession. At this first meeting of bilateral theological dialogue, Professor Ică presented the report entitled: Confession of Faith Today on the Basis of the Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition, as Permanent Mission of the Church.
Father Ică notifies from the beginning of his contribution the importance and topicality of the theme, which he presented with great eagerness. The Confession of faith is of fundamental importance for the Church, whose unity it implies, with deep implications of soteriological, ecclesiological and ecumenical nature. He notes from the beginning that, for the theological and ecumenical dialogue, the confession of the apostolic faith, common and complete, is essential, as well as for the life and unity of the Church.
a) Faith and its complete confession understood as measure and content. The author starts from the fact that faith and its confession is a biblical concept and defines Church itself and its unity. What is important to note in this respect is the fact that understanding the Christian faith in its complexity means seeing it as both a spiritual experience of human encounter with God through Christ in the power of divine Grace and as personal participation of the believer in witnessing the complete, full truth, that Jesus Christ gave to His Church. Being based on the understanding of faith by St. Paul, from a theological point of view, it must be said that this belief represents not only a content, that invites man to know it, content that we meet in the Church as the Body of Christ, but also an endorsement of this content through verbal confession and assuming faith by man through deeds of love towards God and men.
b) The form and doctrinal content of the confession of faith. Place, position and authority in the Church’s life. Father Ică, referring to the doctrinal content of the confession of faith starts from the explanations given by St. Cyril of Jerusalem, whereupon, we must receive and retain as trustworthy only what the Church has given us and that is confirmed by the Holy Scriptures. However, the Church, from its beginning, taught the truth of faith revealed while responding also to the heresies of the time which questioned what the Church said and confessed. Since the New Testament we can be found short confession of faith, which summarized the essence of what Christians should believe, in order to be saved (eg. Romans 10, 8-9). An important part of father Ică’s contribution to the Romanian theological development in general was to highlight the significance of faith’s symbols and confessions for the theology, life and mission of the Church. But at this first meeting of theological dialogue, he showed the theological and ecumenical valences of these testimonies of the ecclesial conscience. Confessions of faith as they appeared over time, differ from what the Symbol of faith means, because these confessions have some minuses regarding the depth and the formulation of the Orthodox doctrine of faith, reflecting at the same time, the development’s status of the theological thinking from the moment when they appeared. The confession of faith wish to express the existing Tradition of the Church and its remaining in this Tradition. They formulate once again the Tradition of all times, without intending to replace it. Thus, these confessions do not bring us new doctrines, but they restore only what the Church has always believed and confessed in a new form in response to certain queries of the time, or in response to some false teachings that brought uncertainty and disorder within the Church. So confessions of faith want to express in a manner or new form what the Church has always believed since Apostolic times. They have occured and will always occur, whenever is required to be stated authoritatively the teaching of faith of the Church to the world and especially to those who profess the wrong doctrine.
The way in which father Ică presented the relationship between the Holy Scripture and the Holy Tradition came to meet the position represented by the Evangelical Church in Germany. Referring to the position of some Protestant theologians on this topic, father Ică concluded that they seek to preserve the content of their symbolic books, as necessary way to keep their own identities. After analyzing the importance of the Scripture and Tradition in the context of the Orthodox-Protestant theological dialogue, father Ică reached some encouraging conclusions. First, father professor said it should be noted that evangelical theologians recognizing the importance of symbols of faith and ecumenical councils, they notify implicitly their connection with the Church, and thereby they see a certain connection of these with the Apostolic Tradition.
Secondly, it should be noted, on this occasion, the focus on the apostolic content of the Confession of Faith and its significance for the rule of faith and life of the Church. The confession of faith becomes a confirmation of the Church presence in the revealed truth of Jesus Christ as the ultimate revelation of God.
Thirdly, it is important to keep in mind that together those in theological dialogue can claim a close relationship between Scripture and the Church, in the sense that the Bible or the Holy Scripture is only in the Church and in the Church the Scripture is sufficient. Thus, the confession of faith becomes an interpretation of the Scripture by the Church and the value and its authority depend on the full agreement of the confession of faith’s content with the Divine Revelation. 
The theological and ecumenical relevance of father Professor lcă’s essay in this first session of theological dialogue between BOR and EKD is significant because the author’s efforts have gone towards underlining the link between Confession of faith and Church, respectively, and that between the Symbol of faith and the official Confessions of faith of the Church, on the one hand and, on the other hand, the ecumenical dimension of this Confession, which expresses the whole revealed and redeeming faith which the Church confessed every time in a new form, but never evading from the redemptive apostolic faith. The role of Church in confessing the faith is essential. For the Church has set in writing the Divine Revelation, the Bible canon as well as the apostolic Tradition, which first circulated orally and later in writing. With Jesus Christ as His Head the Church is infallible, as a whole, and not as a single person, as stated in the Roman Catholic Church. Here is the point to which the Evangelical Church can submit.
2. Holy Sacraments of the Church in Confessio Augustana and in the Orthodox Confessions of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries.
This was the theme of the second session of theological dialogue between BOR and EKD, which took place in Iasi, between 24-26 October 1980. Father Professor Ioan Ică presented in Iaşi his report entitled: Holy Mysteries of the Church after the Confessions from the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. In two essential points, this paper develops the theme proposed in this second session of theological dialogue.
a) The context in which appeared the Confessions of faith in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and their purpose. From the very beginning it should be noted that the Church has always responded to the Word of God through confessing the faith. This confession is a necessity and an obligation for the Church, which is to preach the faith of Jesus Christ and to meet the challenges as they were born against it. Faced with these situations, the Church responded through broader forms of the truth of faith, clearer and more precise, whenever needs required. After the ninth century, when was no longer possible to convene a new ecumenical council, the Church has answered the time problems, through Confessions of faith, approved by local councils, through which it showed its position in front of the misinterpretation of faith. Of these Confessions of faith, the author noted the following: The responses of Patriarch Jeremiah II to the Protestant theologians of Tubingen (1573-1581), Mitrofan Kritopulos’ confession of faith (1625), Metropolitan Petru Movilă’s confession of faith (1642), Dositheos the Patriarch of Jerusalem’s confession of faith (1672). These Confessions of faith have a remarkable theological, historical and ecumenical value. In the historical period in which occurred these confessions, the Church was forced to answer to controversies of religious nature generated by the dispute between the Reform and the papal Counter-Reform, which moved to East. Except Dositheos of Jerusalem’s Confession of Faith, all other Confessions had irenic nature, positive with impact on the Lutheran-Orthodox theological dialogue.
All these confessions of faith were for clergy and believers “guides of the Orthodox faith.” Due to their Orthodox content and the historical circumstances in which they occurred, they are still of prime theological and historical importance.
b) The Holy Mysteries of the Church according to the Confessions of faith. As part of this point of theological development of the Sacraments, father Professor Ică manages very successfully to highlight some of the coordinates of this great problem of the Sacraments of the Church. In Orthodoxy, the Mysteries are closely related to Christology, Soteriology and Ecclesiology. This is because the Mysteries can not be understood isolated from the ecclesial, soteriological and Christological context, in which they act and express in their meaning, work and purpose. Orthodox confessions of faith clearly emphasize the connection between the ontological character of redemption in Christ and its continuous renewal through the Sacraments. Within this bilateral theological dialogue an approached was also to the nature of the Sacraments, the conditions of their commission and their nature. With regard to the being of the sacraments in Orthodoxy, the Orthodox confessions of faith say unanimously that they are not mere signs of divine promises, but they are means and visible bodies, founded by Jesus Christ, through Whom we actually share the unseen sanctifying and saving grace. The deep being of the sacraments has to be understood starting from the fact that they are intentional and justified by God, so that through exterior gestures, through the material and prayer, to be able to share the unseen, saving grace of the Holy Spirit in the Church, the Mystical Body of the incarnate Word. Based on these Confessions it was emphasized the fact that the Sacraments have three defining characteristics: their divine origin, the seen and the unseen part of the divine grace communion.
An essential aspect of the sacraments is the belief expressed by all Confessions of faith, that through them is shared actually and concretely the saving grace, if they are professed canonically.
Beyond the presentation of the defining elements of the Sacraments by the Orthodox Confessions of faith, father Professor Ică tried to bring in this theological dialogue some convergences and theological perspectives in the context of the theological dialogue between the BOR and EKD.
An important element of general nature regarding the Orthodox Confessions of past ages, is that they have tried to give an honest answer to the problems raised by the Protestant Reformation both for the Orthodox believers and also for the Protestant theologians, who were waiting an answer or official theological position from the Orthodox. “In connection with the Holy Mysteries in general, we can speak about some more common points, convergences and complementary aspects, such as: the being of the sacraments as means or works of the Church for the salvation of believers, instituted by Christ, through Whom we are shared the saving work of Christ, in a mysterious way, by means of the grace of the Holy Spirit”.
A certain convergence and complementarity can be remembered in the role and work of the Holy Spirit in the Holy Mysteries. Also a valuable convergence is that of the close connection between God’s Word and the Sacraments’ words from the religious services, as well as between faith and Mystery. These aspects ought to be deepened on other occasions.
Of course, there remains the central issue that must be deepened, that is the sacramental priesthood, whose recognition depends on the mutual recognition of the Sacraments. This is a theme which the theology of the two Churches must explore further, bringing to the surface of the theological dialogue aspects and coordinates that would mean an advancement on the path of a shared understanding of apostolic Tradition.
3. Busse und Beichte im Glauben und Leben unserer Kirchen und ihre Bedeutung für die Erneuerung und Heiligund des Christen, dritter bilateraller theologischer Dialog zwischen der ROK unde der EKD vom 28 Mai bis 3 Juni 1982 in Hüllhorst.
This is the third meeting of theological dialogue between BOR and EKD. Father Professor Ică presented at this meeting for dialogue the essay with the theme: “The Sacrament of Confession in the Sacramental Practice and its Importance in the Pastoral Ministry of the Orthodox Church”, emphasizing the essential aspects of Orthodox teaching about the Sacrament of Confession. Thus, the Sacrament of Confession is the holy work in the Church, through which God forgives through the priest-confessor, the sins of those who confess and sincerely regret them, but with the firm resolution not to repeat them. In this Sacrament we can remembered its three constituent parts: sincere repentance, full confession of sins and absolution or actual forgiveness of sins by the priest-confessor. Thus, in the life of the penitent appear the renewal seeds of his life, which he must develop, aided by sanctifying grace, shared through the prayer and the Sacraments of the Church.
From the beginning, it shown the importance and meaning of the Sacrament of Confession in the Christian life, as a sacrament of renewal and sanctification of life.
a) The Sacrament of Confession in the Sacramental Practice of the Orthodox Church. Through the Sacrament of Confession the believer participates in the new life of Jesus Christ. The Orthodox doctrine on the Sacrament of Penance can not be fully understood outside the doctrine of the saving work of Jesus Christ and the own appropriation of it within the Church, through the work of the Holy Spirit. In Christ the sin was conquered once and for all, so Christ shares strength to people through the Holy Sacraments, so that they can overcome sin also. Although the being of the believer was renewed through Baptism, it carries in it a certain oscillation on the path of fulfilling the good deeds, reaching a state of weakness and sin. The liberation from the state of weakness and sin can take place through the Sacrament of Penance or Confession. Thus the penitent comes out of the state of selfishness and isolation and reintegrates into the ecclesial body, hence gets new life energies in order to strengthen in the renewed life through the Sacrament of Confession. Thus, Confession becomes a second Baptism, because it will transpose the believer in the spiritual cleanliness, purity, as happened in the Sacrament of Baptism.
b) The Sacrament Confession, its nature and its constitutive elements. A theological presentation of this Sacrament in terms of being and its nature as well as its constituent elements comes to accurately highlight what this represents sacrament for every believer. From the presentation of the Sacrament of Penance as a holy work of sins’ forgiveness of those who confess them with sincerity and regret, but also with the determination not to repeat them, follow also its constituent elements: repentance for sins, confessing them in front of the priest-confessor and receiving forgiveness from him. Based on a solid Biblical foundation, confirmed by clear and relevant references of the Church Fathers, father Ică presents a harmonious theology, articulated and relevant to the life of the Church, the Sacrament of Penance or Confession.
c) The Sacrament of Penance as a tool for spiritual guidance of the believers in their individual pastoral work. More than all the other sacraments, within the Sacrament of Penance appears highly profiled the spiritual dialogue between the priest-confessor with his spiritual son, in the ambiance of grace of the Church.
In the Sacrament of Penance the priest-confessor appears in a triple hypostasis: as a judge, spiritual father and doctor or guide of the souls. As judge the priest-confessor appears in that he expresses himself, through the forgiveness that he gives, as an instrument of the loving and merciful forgiveness of God, Who is manifested through the confessor. The spiritual work which is born and still continues in the relationship between the spiritual father and the believer is very important and overwhelming, and we do not find one alike in the other Sacraments. The spiritual father has a special relationship of trust, responsibility and cooperation with his spiritual son, that does not stop, because the spiritual life of the believers can not stop its natural course, unless it falls back into a state of violation of the commandments of God and disregard of His just and holy will.
d) Common theses and theological perspectives. Father Ică emphasizes that drawing a parallel between the Orthodox and the Evangelic doctrine we may find a surprising theological consensus between the two theologies in dialogue. Some fundamental aspects of this convergence are due to be listed below: Confession or Repentance is understood by Confessio Augustana (CA) in the context of the doctrine of redemption, rejecting both those who say that man once redeemed can not lose salvation, and those who say it is possible that earthly life to come such a degree of perfection that transgression is not possible. Confession is an act in the life of believers, which should mean a permanent attitude in their lives, which leads to Confession and lives in their lives permanently from the fruits of Repentance. In the Lutheran Church the individual confession of the believers was never abolished, being appreciated as a good deed and a great comfort to believers. Thus, Confession was understood as a Sacrament in many Evangelical Churches and practiced as such, in that it is based on Christ’s command and on the power of the keys, which the Saviour gave to His Apostles. Also, there are many similarities in terms of ritual, time and place of commission of this Sacrament.
These common points identified with the gift to reassess the place and role of the Sacrament of Confession in the life of the Church and believers, as well as the notification of its common valences that boost the theological dialogue and ultimately to lead to unity in faith and Christian life for all the confessors of Jesus Christ.
4. Salvation in Christ and healing the world.
This is the theme of the fourth session of the bilateral theological dialogue between BOR and EKD, held at Techirghiol, 1985. Father Professor Ică presented here his report entitled Reconciliation – Part of Salvation. In this paper, its author points out that the preferred term of Orthodoxy for the name of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ is salvation, because it is found mainly in Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition, being heard over and over in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Symbol of Faith. The multiple meanings of the term are given in the New Testament through a lot of other terms, such as: redemption, reconciliation, straightening, new life, sanctification and so on, each of it defining aspects or stages of salvation in Christ. These terms, however, can not be understood separately from one another, but must be always seen together.
Compared to the theological terminology used in the East, the West has preferred more for the redemptive work of Jesus Christ the terms of redemption and reconciliation. These terms can be found in the patristic theology, but they are never used exclusively, but only in complementary with other terms mentioned above. The Orthodox theology has never understood the term reconciliation in the legal sense, understanding salvation and reconciliation in Christ, as heading in the three directions: towards God, towards the human nature assumed by Christ at Incarnation and towards all people. The meaning of reconciliation brought by Christ is not exterior, legal, as external regulatory link between man and God, a work detached from His own Person, but, through the Incarnation of Christ and His saving work, He closely united us with Him, immersing us in the communion of life and love of the Holy Trinity. Sharing the gift of reconciliation brought to us by Jesus Christ is not possible without our mysterious, sacramental and moral-ascetic union to Him.
By presenting this topic, father Ică makes an important contribution for the work of getting together in faith of the two theologies in dialogue. He emphasizes this approach in several points, among which we mention some.
Luther’s doctrine on reconciliation is similar to the teachings of the Church Fathers who understand reconciliation not as a legal document, but as a liberation work of the human nature from under the dark powers of sin, evil and death.
Secondly, the doctrine of reconciliation accomplished through the Incarnation, the sacrifice and death of Christ indicates more towards the objective salvation brought by Christ, salvation that could not be brought by any man, through his powers. Reconciliation itself is brought by Christ, as a manifestation of divine love, that brought the necessary correction of the enmity between God and man, caused by the disobedience of the first man.
An important fact is that we can not operate a separation between the Person and redemptive work of Christ. Reconciliation was achieved through the sacrifice of the cross, in which believers take part, through faith, united with Christ sacrificed on the cross. Thus, Christ becomes our peace, Who through the reconciliation accomplished on the cross operated also a change in the human being, as a new life, as blessing and healing of the human nature, sickened as a result of disobedience. “There is a close connection between reconciliation and straightening, as new life in Christ, in which the gift of reconciliation is seen in all our relationships, both in the vertical dimension and in the horizontal one. Reconciliation in Christ is not only a divine gift, but also a task of realizing and fructification of peace from above in the believers’ life, whose fruits overflow through them to all and support the efforts for justice and peace in the world”.
If the theological dialogue between BOR and EKD was so encouraging so far, this can not be understood without the important contribution brought to this dialogue by father Professor Ioan lcă. His contribution is important for both the Romanian Orthodox theology and the universal Orthodox theology.
On the other hand, his contribution is directed towards the opening of Orthodoxy to the Western Churches. Not only that, father Professor lcă demonstrated that he not only masters the Orthodox theology, but also that of the Western theologians. These contacts resulted in successful theological approach to critical issues of theology in general, such as: importance of Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition in Church’s confession, the value of the Holy Sacraments and their significance for the life of the ecclesial Body, the Sacrament of Confession or Penance, salvation brought by Jesus Christ and its dimension of reconciliation. By addressing these issues in the first four sessions of theological dialogue between BOR and EKD, since 1979, was reached a greater proximity in faith, confession and ministry of the world by the Churches in this dialogue. Father Professor Ioan Ică’s contribution to this dialogue is remarkable and constitutes a stimulus and encouragement for the successful continuation of this dialogue.
Translated by Ana Monica Cojocărescu
 See also some of his contributions in this direction: „Contactele din ultima vreme dintre Bisericile Ortodoxe şi Bisericile protestante (Recent Contacts between Orthodox and Protestant Churches)”, in: O/Orthodoxy, XXV, 1973, pp. 135-146; „Relaţiile dintre ortodocşi şi luterani din România din secolul XVI până astăzi (Relations between the Orthodox and the Lutherans in Romania from the Sixteenth Century to the Present Day)”, in: Mitropolia Ardealului/ Metropolitan of Transylvania (MA), XXXV, 1980, pp. 58-75; „Martin Luther şi Reforma Bisericii din perspectivă ortodoxă (Martin Luther and the Reformation of the Church from an Orthodox Perspective)”, in: Ortodoxia/ Orthodoxy, XXXV, 1983, no. 4, pp. 487-495; Împăcarea – componentă a mântuirii (Reconciliation – Part of the Salvation), in: MA XXX, 1985, no. 11-12, pp. 719-732.
 See also: Valer Bel, „Teologia ca ştiinţă şi mărturisire în viziunea părintelui profesor dr. Ioan Ică. Biserica Ortodoxă Română(BOR) în dialog cu Biserica Evanghelică din Germania(EKD) (Theology as a Science and Confession in the Vision of Fr. Prof. PhD Ioan Ică. Romanian Orthodox Church (BOR) in Dialogue with the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD))”, in: Omagiu părintelui prof. univ. dr. Ioan I. Ică (Tribute to Fr. Prof. PhD Ioan I. Ică), Renaşterea Publishing, Cluj Napoca 2007, p. 113-140; Constantin Pătuleanu, Teologia Ecumenica. Istoria şi evaluarea dialogului teologic bilateral dintre EKD şi BOR cu publicarea comunicatelor finale (Ecumenical Theology. History and Evaluation of Bilateral Theological Dialogue between EKD and BOR with the Publication of the Final Resolutions), Mitropolia Olteniei Publishing, Craiova 2006, pp. 13-28.
 Valer Bel, op. cit., p. 125.
 Ioan I. Ică, „Rolul şi importanţa mărturisirii de credinţă în teologie şi în viaţa Bisericii (The Role and Importance of the Confession of Faith in Theology and in the Life of the Church)”, in: Studii Teologice/ Theological Studies (ST), XXXII, 1980, no. 1-2, p. 275-282; in German: Das Glaubensbekenntnis heute auf Grund der Heiligen Schrift und der heiligen Tradition als bleibende Aufgabe der Kirche, în: Beiheft zur Ökumenischen Rundschau 42, Die Heilige Schrift, die Tradition und das Bekenntnis. Eine Dokumentation über das 1 Theologische Gespräch mit der Rumänischen Orthodoxen Kirche in Goslar 1979, Verlag Otto Lembeck, Frankfurt am Main 1982, p. 84-97.
 Ioan Ică, Das Glaubenskenntnis heute..., p. 84.
 Ibidem, p. 86
 Ibidem, p. 90. V. Bel, op. cit., p. 135: “ Unlike the symbol of faith and the dogmatic decisions, the confession of faith developes and enriches over and over again according to the needs of the believers from that time. The dogmatic decisions of the ecumenical councils can not be changed, but they can be completed or extended in broader formula. The Confessions of Faith of the Orthodox Church have developed in a certain sense the doctrine of faith, which was not developed by the ecumenical councils and which the heterodox have understood wrongly. This process never ends because no writing can exhaust the Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition and always new problems appear and the heresies have not stopped” (see also: Ibidem, p. 94)
 Ibidem, p. 94
 Ibidem, p. 179-180.
 Idem, Die heiligen Sakramente im Leben der Kirche in den orthodoxen Glaubensbekenntnissen des 16/17 Jahrhunderts, în: Beiheft zur Ökumenischen Rundschau, Die Sakramente der Kirche in der Confessio Augustana und in den orthodoxen Lehrbekenntnissen des 16 und des 17 Jahrhunderts, Verlag Otto Lembeck, Frankfurt am Main, 1982, p. 71.
 Ibidem, p. 74: “Was die Einsetzung anbelangt, so wurden alle Sakramente ihrem Wesen nach von dem Herrn eingesetzt. Der sichtbare Teil der Sakramente besteht aus dem von der Kirche festgesetzten Gottesdienst, den Worten, der Materie und den Handlungen, durch welche die unsichtbare Gnade vermittelt wird. Für den Vollzug des Sakramentes, sagt Petru Movila, sind drei Elemente notwendig: ersten, die Materie, wie das Wasser bei der Taufe, das Brot und der Wein bei der Eucharistie, das Öl oder etwas anderes so wie es das Sakrament verlangt; zweitens, der kanonisch ordinierte Priester oder Bischof und drittens, die Epiklesis oder die Herabrufung des Heiligen Geistes und die Form der Worte, mit denen der Priester das Sakrament durch die Kraft des Heiligen Geistes heiligt, und zwar mit dem festen Entschluss dieses zu tun”.
 Ibidem, p. 79
 Ibidem, p. 80: “Dazu benötigen wir aber genauere und umfassendere Formulierungen der evangelischen Kirche über das, was in der CA nur implizit und allgemein behauptet wird und das, was in ihrem kirchlichen Leben von den heiligen Sakramenten tatsächlich halten.”
 In: Mitropolia Ardealului (MA)/ Metropolitan of Transylvania, XXVIII, 1983, no. 7-8, p. 415-429 or in German: „Das Sakrament der Busse in der sakramentalen Praxis und seine Bedeutung im pastoralen Wirken der orthodoxen Kirche”, in: Beiheft zur Ökumenischen Rundschau, Busse und Beichte im Glauben und Leben unserer Kirchen und ihre Bedeutung für die Erneuerung und die Heiligung des Christen, Verlag Otto Lembeck, Frankfurt am Main 1987, p. 117- 129.
Ioan Ică, „Das Sakrament der Busse und seine Bedeutung...”, p. 119.
 Ibidem, p. 128.
 Idem, „Împăcarea – componentă a mântuirii (Reconciliation – Part of the Salvation)”, in: MA XXX, 1985, no. 11-12, p. 722.
 Ibidem, pp. 731-732; see also: Valer Bel, op. cit., p. 139.