The Collection entitled „Church Fathers and Writers” was first initiated by the worthy remembering Patriarch Justin Moisescu representing the most comprehensive collection of patristic texts of the Romanian Orthodox Church. 37 books have been printed so far out of the 90 planned in the beginning, comprising texts of great theological importance by some authors as Clement the Alexandrin, Origen, Saint Atanasie the Great, Saint John Chrysostom, Saint Kyril of Alexandria, Saint Maxim the Confessor, translated by consecrated theologians like Father Dumitru Staniloae and Father Dumitru Fecioru.
The re-establishment of the “Church Fathers and Writers” collection was decided during the working session of the Holy Synod of 23 January 2008, at the initiative of His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, based on the proposal submitted by Academician Prof Dr Emilian Popescu and by the late Prof Dr Dan Slusanschi. The main focus of the new commission is to continue the old collection, and keep on editing the most important texts drafted by the Holy Fathers in the course of time, observing high scientific standards. The commission was first called Church Writers and Fathers, but at present its title was changed into the “Patristic Commission” given the fact that editing the “Church Fathers and Writers” is only one aspect of the activity of this Patriarchal Commission.
The Commission is made up a 12 members, with one president, one vice-president, a secretary and members chosen from among remarkable specialists in classic philology, patrology, history etc. A large group of translators and collaborators with philological and theological studies is associated to the Commission.
The first important project administrated by the new Patristic Commission is marked by the celebration in 2009 of the Cappadocchian Fathers and consisted of the translation and publication into the Romanian language of the complete series of works of Saint Basil the Great.
The Patristic Commission is closely collaborating with the Department of Patristic Books recently set up within the publishing houses of the Romanian Patriarchate. The setting up of the Department of patristic books is designed to increase and improve the editing and publication of the books on patristic themes, the Department operating as an interface between Commission and Office, the secretary of the Commission having also been the coordinating editor of this Department. The Commission exerts its consulting and decisional role only in regard to the issues related to the estimation of the translations and translators. In fact, the concrete activity of the Commission has an editorial purpose. Thus, the Patristic Commission is in permanent relation with the publishing houses of the Romanian Patriarchate, collaborating and discussing the patristic editorial plan.
At present, besides the writings of Saint Basil the Great, some previous patristic translations are being reviewed, as well as the original translations from Saint Gregory the Theologian, Saint John Chrysostom, Saint Ciprian of Carthagena, Tertulian, Saint Kyril of Alexandria, Blessed Ieronim, Saint Gregory the Great, Saint Ambrosius of Milan, Saint Ilarie of Pictavium, Leontiu of Byzantium etc.