The Catholic principles which should direct our spiritual sharing and
our ecumenical encounter and exchange are explored in The Search For
Christian Unity 1V.
When the Catholic Church uses the term ecumenism (or ecumenical), it
refers to those who have been baptised into Christ’s body the Church.
This understanding aids Church leaders to maintain their focus on
ecumenism as serving the unity of Christ’s Church. Although Christian
Unity and the search for it are, necessarily, realisations of the unity
of all creation and all humanity in Christ, the task of the ecumenical
ministry of the Church is our reconciliation with other Christians.
Ecumenism, therefore, does not primarily address the relationship
between the Catholic Church and the great religions of the world.
The journey towards visible unity among Christians is not only
concerned with joint activities, important as these are. It must first
and last be founded on prayer. At the heart of the ecumenical quest,
there is a vital need for all Christians to share spiritual gifts in
building a communion in faith, hope and love. Our ecumenical learning
and exchange among the different Christian traditions will need to be
characterised by the spirit of listening, of humility, of learning, of
penitence concerning the wrongs our own community has inflicted in the
past, and of forgiveness concerning the wrongs we have endured.
Various important Catholic figures brought vigorous growth to the
Catholic Church’s sense of its own identity in relation to the world
and to others who believe in Christ, as well as all who have faith in
God. Above all this can be seen in the recognition of “spiritual
ecumenism” in the Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis Redintegratio
8), as the heartfelt prayerfulness of the Catholic Church in response
to the call of Christ, and that insistent call from the world for the
service of those who claim to follow him. Thus the wholehearted
participation of the Catholic Church in the ecumenical movement is
generally recognised as a fruit of the Second Vatican Council.
A list of useful ecumenical resources - teaching documents, Vatican resources, books, Liturgical and devotional resources.
Cardinal Avery Dulles Ten Principles of Ecumenism 1973