We’ve made good progress since the 1960s:
231. Over forty years ago, Vatican II recognized the action of the Holy Spirit in the movement for the unity of Christians. Since then we have gathered many fruits.
But perhaps recent efforts have not been up to a needed standard:
In this ﬁeld, we need more and better qualiﬁed agents of dialogue. It is good to make better known the statements signed by the Catholic Church in the ﬁeld of ecumenism since the Council. Bilateral and multilateral dialogues have produced good fruits. It is also advisable to study the Ecumenical Directory and its instructions on catechesis, the liturgy, priestly formation and pastoral ministry.* The human mobility typical of today’s world can be a propitious occasion for the ecumenical dialogue of life.**
*Cf. Pontiﬁcal Council for Promoting Christian Unity, The Ecumenical Dimension in the Formation of those Engaged in Pastoral Work, nn. 3-5.
**Cf. Pontiﬁcal Council for the Pastoral Care of Ministry to Migrants and Itinerant People, Instruction Erga migrantes caritas Christi 56-58.
Keeping up to speed on these curial documents is a good start for those serious about Christian unity. Here follows good advice:
232. In our situation, the emergence of new religious groups, plus the tendency to confuse ecumenism with interreligious dialogue, have hindered obtaining greater fruits in ecumenical dialogue. Hence, we encourage ordained ministers, lay people and those in consecrated life to participate in ecumenical bodies after a careful preparation and meticulously following by their shepherds and to carry out joint actions in the various ﬁelds of ecclesial, pastoral, and social life.
Fruits to seek:
Indeed, ecumenical contact
- favors mutual esteem,
- encourages listening to God’s Word in common,
- and calls to conversion those who claim to be disciples and missionaries of Jesus Christ.
We hope that the promotion of the unity of Christians, undertaken by Bishops Conferences takes ﬁrm hold and bears fruit under the light of the Holy Spirit.
For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.