- Online School
- About Us
- Contact Us
In the meantime, the reformed churches had been moving towards ecumenism. And the Counter Reformation was doing its work. Jesuits, who according to their oath have no problem posing as anything including another denomination, had been working hard to introduce doctrines contrary to the Reformer’s teachings into Protestant churches.
The World Council of Churches (WCC) had formed in 1948, embracing most of the Protestant Churches, but excluding the Orthodox and Catholics. However, in 1965 the Roman Catholic Church and the WCC created a Joint Working Group to “discuss issues of common interest and promote cooperation.”i
The Roman Catholic Church also works with the WCC’s inter-religious dialogue and cooperation program. This move on the part Roman Church positioned them more favorably with Protestant denominations.
However, the principles of the ecumenical movement spelled out at Vatican II showed that the focus of the entire ecumenical effort was to solidify the Pope’s supremacy. In order for churches to unite, they would have to recognize the Pope as their leader.
Priest J. Cornell said, "The final object of ecumenism, as Catholics conceive it, is unity in faith, worship, and the acknowledgment of the supreme spiritual authority of the Bishop of Rome. -as quoted in Charlene R. Fortsch, Daniel: Understanding the Dreams and Visions (British Columbia: Prophecy Song, 2006).
In 1995, Pope John Paul II showed that this belief still stands when he claimed in his encyclical Ut unum sint that recognition of the primacy of the Pope and Catholic doctrine was essential for church unity.
Catholic newspaper Our Sunday Visitor explains the Pope's attitude this way:
The pope doesn’t want everyone to become Latin Catholics...To achieve unity, for example, does not mean that everyone has to celebrate the Eucharist the same way. With Eastern churches, especially, you’re talking about a great diversity liturgically, and that’s just fine. The Pope does use the term ‘hierarchy of doctrine’...Obviously, some teachings are more important than others, and there has to be agreement on those essential points, while leaving considerable latitude on other points that are less essential to the faith (emphasis added).ii S/B Our Sunday Visitor