Collationes: Vlaams Tijdschrift voor Theologie en Pastoraal vol:43 pages:401-427
In the literature on Vatican II the influence of the observers on the final documents is often presupposed, but seldom studied in detail. This article focuses on their reactions, formulated in the Autumn of 1963, on the new draft of the future decree on ecumenism, De Oecumenismo, a decree in which the observers were mostly interested. A detailed study of the documents in which the collaborators of the Secretariat for Christian Unity motivated their acceptance or rejection of certain modifications proposed by the Council fathers, makes it clear that a number of changes finds its origin in critical remarks made by the observers. The harmonious relation of Council and observers, and especially of the staff of the Secretariat for Christian Unity and the observers, was not one of “fratres separati” but of “fratres seiuncti”.