Washington Christopher Thomas
“Tesi Gregoriana” Teologia 213
2015 pp. 352
The Second Vatican Council and the Synod of Bishop are connected by the fact that Pope Paul VI created the latter during the Council in order to keep alive the spirit of collegiality experienced by the Council Fathers. This link has also been evident in the themes chosen for each Synod since they have provided opportunities to unpack and apply the teaching of the documents of the Second Vatican Council to various aspects of the Church’s life. One topic that flows from the Council through each Synod is the Church’s teaching on Ecumenism. Although much has been written about the Council and the Synods in the context of Ecumenism, one component that has not yet received ample attention is the participation of the non-Catholic Christian observers and guest at the Second Vatican council and the fraternal delegates at the Synods of Bishops from various Churches, Ecclesial Communities and Ecclesial Organizations. The positive experience of the participation of the observers and guests at the Council eventually prompted the Catholic Church to welcome observers (later called fraternal delegates) to various assemblies of the Synod of Bishops. Therefore, the purpose of this dissertation is to study their participation more closely in order to provide a fuller understanding of these important ecclesial events and to analyze the implications it has for the understanding of the Church’s Magisterium.
Christopher Thomas Washington was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Scranton (U.S.A.) in 2006. He completed a licentiate in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in 2007. Following several years of ministry in his Diocese, he was asked to enter the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in order to prepare for the Diplomatic Service of the Holy See. This doctoral dissertation, which was defended in 2015, was part of that preparation.