And, Bishop Brian Farrell continued saying to L'Osservatore Romano, this dialogue is advancing, though not at the same rate on every front. He pointed to significant steps forward with the Orthodox and remaining uncertainties with communities born from the Reformation.
Bishop Farrell affirmed that for the present Pontiff, ecumenism is a "priority matter," as is proven by his "numerous meetings and discourses of ecumenical character."
"Precisely this progress in the 'dialogue of charity' has permitted the 'theological dialogue' between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches to obtain notable results, even unexpected ones," he said.
"Catholics and Protestants continue deeply divided in the concept of the reality of the Church, between a vision simultaneously spiritual and institutional -- Catholic -- and a vision exclusively spiritual -- Protestant," he said.
After recalling that ecumenism is a "gift of God," the council secretary clarified that though "dialogue cannot be by itself a guarantee of the fulfillment of the final goal of the ecumenical movement, which is Eucharistic unity," nevertheless, "it constitutes a solid base and an incentive to fulfill what is the will of the Lord and the aspiration of so many Christians."