Theres been a lot of chatter here but I will just state my personal opinion about this whole problem.
When we commemorate the 500 years of the protestant reformation, I doubt that any Catholic actually thinks of it as a good thing.
What the point of ecumenism is bringing the Church together in unity as much as is possible.
I don’t think this necessarily means that the Church will change its doctorine.
And as we can’t really unite in everything without the holy spirit, I believe as this commemoration is here to show that there are SOME things that we agree on, and that in the end, heretics or not, a lot of people want to worship Christ. And that is where the whole point of unity comes into play. We can stay divided if they don’t want to change their doctorines, but we have to unite in our prayers for Christ.
As Paul says in 1 Cor 1:10 :
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,[a] in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought
But later he also says to get away from people who preach falsly, and to hold on to what they were thought (From the Church).
So which of theese 2 is it ?
I think Paul here is expressing the essence of ecumenism.
The ideal here is to be unified in Christ with everything we can be unified, and even Jesus wished for us to be one. But if false teaching appear, we mustn’t conform ourselves to them just for the sake of unity.
If that was the case, the protestants and catholics would have merged a long time ago.
Ecumanism at its core is an approach to understand each other, and despite our differences meet at the cores of our belief, prayer and union in Christ. Just because we believe different things does not mean we should break any contact. If the Church is a part of Christ’s body, and organism if you want to say, it requires comunication , both with the outside and the inside. Communication between each other is what is going to lead to more charity and possibly the changing of certain doctorines in the protestant church.
(Of course with this post I don’t want to say that I believe the protestants are in any way right or that we shouldn’t convert them , and I am repeating this again becase from reading the thread some people think that the church “celebrates” the reformation in a literal sense. It doesn’t .)
The ultimate unity will end up happening in God/Jesus,most likely at his second coming.