The Meaning and History of Ecumenism

Ecumenism, from the Greek word “oikoumene,” meaning “the whole inhabited world,” is the promotion of cooperation and unity among Christians. The Ecumenical movement today has been brought about by the conviction that a divided Christianity is a scandal to the world.

Underlying the Catholic Church’s pursuit of ecumenism is its recognition that elements of sanctification and truth are found in other churches (Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium 8). 

It can be said that the Ecumenicity of the Church is another way of expressing her radical catholicity or universality (See Guidelines for Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue 1967).

Since the 1960’s, following Vatican II, breakthrough agreements have been reached between Catholics and other communions including statements on Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry.


More from the USCCB:

Vatican II Documents on Ecumenism

Ecumenical Commission:

Purpose: To join with Orthodox and Protestant Christians in order to pray, study and work together for church unity. Services include acting as consultant to parishes in matters of church unity and interfaith concerns.

Ecumenical Officer

Rev. Anthony Lackland
Christ the King Catholic Church
8017 Preston Rd.
Dallas, TX 75225
(214) 365-1200

Lynn Rossol
Office of the Chief Operating Officer / Bishop's Office

Bishop's Delegate for Ecumenism and Legislative Advocacy