SO the Holy Father has spoken. And there are many voices who are less than impressed.
The Vatican has confirmed that they are staying the course of tradition. In this case the traditional path re-affirms that only the Roman Catholic communion is the one true church.
NOw much as I disagree with the statement and the conclusions I have to agree with a colleague who points out that at least the Catholic Church is willing to draw the line and say "this we believe". My own denomination is not always (or is rarely) good at this. I think it is out of the fear we will make someone feel unwelcome.
But we do need to be able to stand tall and say "this is who we are".
Has Benedict hurt ecumenical relations? Probably, but somehow I doubt he will lose sleep over it.
HAs he said anything new? Not at all.
Will it make a real difference for all inter-church discussions? Nah. I suspect that many North American Catholics at least will roll their eyes and go about their business. AFter all they have done so on many other issues over the years.
ANd just possibly Stu is right -- you can have much more profitable discussions when people are willing to say forthrightly where they stand.
In the meantime, I am happy in my defective (oh so defective at times) faith tradition. And you are all welcome to join me.