As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "Christ bestowed unity on His Church from the beginning.
Hardly could it be said that this teaching was "invented" by the Second Vatican Council!
It is also asserted by many "traditional" Catholics that ecumenism itself was an invention of Vatican II. Consider Pope Leo XIII, who tried to encourage an attitude of respect and friendship with the Eastern Churches and with our Protestant brothers and sisters.
There are, however, a considerable number of "traditional" Catholics, (known as "Feeneyites" in that they are followers of the late Fr. Feeney and his rigorist and thereby erroneous interpretation of extra ecclesiam nulla salus) who deny Baptisms of blood and desire.
They often cite various quotations (mostly out of context) from early Popes, saints, and councils to "confirm" their erroneous position that Baptism of blood and Baptism of desire are false teachings.
Ultimately, true ecumenism does not require us to give up our Marian devotions or in any way compromise our faith; it means joining hands with other Christians and people of goodwill to bring our nihilistic, hedonistic, anti-life, anti-family culture back to God, while at the same time acknowledging our obvious differences.
Far from being a bad word, ecumenism is -- in the words of John Paul II -- "a response to the exhortation in the First Letter of Peter to 'give an explanation of the reason for our hope'" (1 Peter ). Abbott is the former executive director of the Illinois Right to Life Committee and the former director of public affairs for the Chicago-based Pro-life Action League, respectively.Yet a historical examination demonstrates that Baptism of blood and/or desire was taught by such early Church fathers as Iranaeus, Tertullian, Cyprian, Cyril of Jerusalem, John Chrysostom, and Augustine, and also by the Council of Trent.And the teaching of Baptism of desire was reaffirmed by Pope Pius XII in his 1943 encyclical Mystici Corporis and by the Vatican's Holy Office in 1949.He never referred to them as heretics, but rather as "separated Christians." And consider Pope Pius XII, whose ecumenical outlook in regard to Protestants is most striking.In his 1939 encyclical, Summa Pontificatus, he says that "we cannot pass over in silence the profound impression of heartfelt gratitude made on us by the good wishes of those who, though not belonging to the visible body of the Catholic Church, have given noble and sincere expression to their appreciation of all that unites them to us, in love for the person of Christ or belief in God." Also significant during the pontificate of Pope Pius XII was the publishing of On the Ecumenical Movement by the Holy Office in 1949.Now there also is such a thing as false ecumenism, which seeks to promote religious indifferentism (all religions are of equal value and therefore it doesn't matter which one you belong to), universalism (the heretical belief that all people are saved), and syncretism (the combining of various beliefs and practices of different religions as a "compromise").