Fr Z has started calling the Holy Father, "the Pope of Christian Unity", it is a good title, and yes it is a bit of Liberal bashing, because it is quite a different "unity" that he is seeking than most who are engaged in ecumenical dialogue. Some years ago I asked a Catholic "ecumenical representative", what dialogue they were engaged in with the SSPX, the answer was just a look of confusion.
On the local level in E & W, and I suspect elsewhere ecumenism often appears as a specialism for those with a penchant for weak tea, damp church halls and interminable meetings. Ultimately it seems as if the ultimate end is to foster friendly relationship rather than to establish institutional unity.
For Catholics unity is institutional. We believe that the institution of the Church is given by Christ himself, it is not optional. As Catholics we believe that it is Christ's will that all Christians share in the fullness of the faith, within the Catholic Church.
The great change under Benedict is that unity has been placed at the heart of both the papacy and the mission of the Church as the Vatican II teaches, and has a definite object - full institutional unity. "Gathering into one" is at the heart of his understanding of the Papacy.
The great change that has marked Benedict's ecumenism is its institutional character, it is focused on bishops and churches -or ecclesial communities, we see that in the talks with the Romanian Orthodox, with the SSPX and now with Anglicanism.
As I said in a comment on an earlier post we have been used laymen or clergy coming into the Church and following instruction and discernment being received, the plucking of individual fruit, there appears to be something different here, the reconciliation of bishops and therefore of whole -or significant parts- of Churches by the successor of St Peter. This "dragnet" ecumenism, Peter throws a net into the sea and pulls in a great shoal of fish - good and bad alike. With the reconciliation of the SSPX, the whole of the fraternity will be accepted, including possible sede vacantists, so too with Anglicans. The "sorting" one presumes happens after reconciliation, by the the newly reconciled Church or ecclesial community. I presume we will have to live with anomalies and ambiguities such as the divorced and remarried, in the case of both Anglicans and Orthodox, it will be messey, but the ultimate concern must always be the good of souls.