The USCCB is posting a series of blog entries relating to the anniversary of Vatican II. The most recent post comes from Bishop Denis Madden, chair of the USCCM Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs. Truly, the changed relationship between the Catholic Church and our brothers in Christ and non-Christian brothers in humanity, is one of the most obvious and outstanding fruits of the Second Vatican Council. I have previously called attention to Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams' extraordinary address to the Synod of Bishops, an address that was extraordinary both in its content and in the mere fact of it, that an Anglican archbishop was being invited to take the rostrum at an RC synod!
I have some strong reservations about the limits of ecumenism, reservations about the direction of certain sectors of both liberal and evangelical Protestantism. But, no one can deny that the pre-Vatican II hostility and estrangement was a fruit of the Spirit and no one can deny that the amelioration of that hostility and estrangement has been one of the outstanding achievements of the Council and of the papacies since.