The pope’s outreach to rival churches has spanned the conservative-liberal spectrum. He has bolstered dialogue with Lutherans and other mainline Protestants. He met with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, regarded by some as the spiritual leader of Eastern Orthodox Churches. And he lifted an excommunication ban on the highly conservative Catholic splinter group Society of St. Pius X.
Few expected Pope Benedict to reach out to other Christian churches aggressively when he was elected in April 2005. Yet the rise of secularism among European Christians and the expansion of Islam on the Continent in recent decades have influenced thinking within Vatican corridors. In addition, this pope considers divisions among rival Christian churches as a threat to Roman Catholicism’s credibility in the market of ideas and faiths, according to Vatican analysts and advisers to the pope.
"Anyone who thought he wasn’t serious about ecumenical dialogue was seriously mistaken,"said the Rev. Joseph Fessio, one of Pope Benedict’s former students whom he occasionally consults.
Link (here) to Fr. Z's original post with his usual top notch decipherment of liberal speak. Link (here) to the original Wall Street Journal article.