The Establishment Clause and the Ecumenical Movement

In recent years the Roman Catholic Church has begun to give tentative official support to the view that eventual reconciliation with the Protestants is feasible and desirable. The acceptance of the ecumenical ideal by the Roman Catholic Church removes virtually all doubt that in the ecumenical movement organized Christianity is facing an upheaval of major importance, comparable perhaps to the Reformation. It is not likely to lose force after a few years, as so many minor religious movements do. It is definitely under way, gaining momentum year by year. It is bound to have far-reaching effects and give rise to a great many problems, like all dynamic movements aimed at changing the existing state of things. This article will attempt to identify some of the foreseeable legal problems that will arise in the wake of this movement, and to examine the adequacy of the present law to provide solutions.