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He is also a contributor to The Wanderer Catholic newspaper.(This article originally appeared in The Wanderer and is reprinted with permission.The Catechism quotes Vatican II's Lumen Gentium on this subject: "Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation....

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.

Yes, it is (unfortunately) true that some Catholics go too far in this arena and end up promoting erroneous doctrines and ideologies instead of authentic ecumenical dialog.

Even a priest can be guilty of this, such as when he allows or encourages non-Catholics to receive Holy Communion -- something ordinarily not permitted by the Church.

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.