Catholic or Lutheran?
'We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy
everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our
separated brethren, that is for the Protestants.'
Annibale Bugnini, L'Osservatore Romano, 19 March 1965.
Personally, I don't think this is entirely a wrong approach although it did lead to a deformation of the Mass as celebrated in rank and file parishes to this day. This fact is a result of not reading the black and doing the red but instead of being sloppy, banal and careless with the Mass especially when it comes to music and indiscriminate selections of lay ministries for the Mass with little or no real training.
I can remember when I first got to the seminary having a heated discussion with another seminarian who thought we should not call ourselves Catholic anymore as it was too divisive when it came to reuniting Christianity. We should simply call ourselves Christian or the Christian Church.
Inter-communion became the norm and individual priests often made the decision to be magnanimous in inviting our separated brethren to the table of the Lord. In my previous parish I gave permission to a neighboring parochial vicar to celebrate the wedding Mass of one of his parishioners at my ornate downtown church. I just happened to be in the sacristy at the time of Holy Communion to hear him state to the congregation that anyone was free to come to Holy Communion at this joyous ecumenical event. Of course he even gave Holy Communion to the non-Catholic spouse. To say the least, he was not given permission by me to celebrate any more weddings or funerals at my parish church.
But I have to admit that the English Mass does make weddings and funerals more intelligible for non-Catholics. In fact in my southern parishes there are usually more Protestants in attendance at our weddings and funerals than there are Catholics. In fact I have had funeral Masses where the deceased and altar servers were the only Catholics present at the Mass and the Church was full.
The English Mass was at least understandable to them in language even if the Protestants don't really get the mystical aspect of the Mass. But let's keep in mind that prior to the Council Protestant were converting to the Catholic Church in great numbers and appreciated the more complicated Latin Mass of that period. It was not a stumbling block to converts although to those who had no desire to become Catholic it didn't matter what language or how stripped down the Mass could be, they weren't becoming Catholic period!
Pope Francis is very suspicious of theologians and regularly denigrates them. He thinks ecumenism will come about at the grass roots. I thinks so too, but not in worship necessarily, but how Catholics relate to Protestants in the world.
On the institutional level ecumenism is best carried out in helping the poor through cooperative ministries. It is not occurring in worship, doctrine or morals. In fact we are further apart today than we were in the 1960's prior to the Council in these areas. And the reason for this is that Protestants have moved away from us even as we tried to move closer to them.
The ecumenism of tea and crumpets of the officials of the Church is a miserable failure. Annual conventions and workshops that these so-called ecumenists attend at diocesan expense have accomplished nada, nothing but good manners in social settings and a heady exchange if ideas and speeches not to mention some educational opportunities. I'm with the pope of this one, what uselessness!