I have been reading my Catechism and I came across this topic known as “Ecumenism”. After reading the text, I have become confused and wish to ask these questions to get some help.
My main question is with what is the point of Ecumenism. We know that the early Church which was much smaller than today could not remain as one. There were various heresies. As early as 500 AD, you have a split between Oriental Orthodox and the rest of the Church that was due to the natures of Christ. Then there was also the Arian heresy, Nestorianism and other likes.
So why do we think that today we will suddenly be able to bring everyone in to one fold? Is this even realistic? Is it not the case that there will always be those who split away from the True Church?
Even today, there are groups like Sedevecantist, Conclavist, SSPX and “Old Catholic Church” which has split from the Catholic Church. How can we therefore have such an expectation that we will all be one? Is it not more likely that there will be very few who remain in Catholic Orthodoxy to begin with?
Then there are also the risk elements. After looking around on the web, I have found that there have been many abuses in the name of ecumenism. Catholic doctrine is no longer said with force and often veiled in different language to make it easier for ecumenical work. It seems obvious that when the leaders of the Church try to use veiled language for ecumenical reasons, the average man or woman in the pew will be confused?
Protestant errors today are never mentioned as actual errors. Even Luther seems to be looked at with sympathy. As beneficial as it maybe for ecumenism, I don’t see how it lessens the gravity of the Protestant errors in anyway. I also do not see how the real threat of Protestantism with its watered down and modern nature being attractive to many lukewarm Catholics is helped by encouraging common prayer services and joint faith study events.
For these reasons it seems to me that the whole concept of ecumenism is bankrupt and if this had been a business decision, I would have thought the person who came up with the idea should be fired. But it seems that the Church is very keen on this concept. How do you resolve these problems?