Comment from Understand The Times:
Earlier in May, on a trip to Brazil, Pope Benedict XVI, much to the offense of some, described Pentecostal churches as "sects" and said that they used aggressive tactics to win souls. In Brazil alone, Roman Catholics used to account for about 90 percent of the population in the 1960s; by 2005, it was down to 67 percent, the Associated Press noted. The Vatican has been increasingly lamenting the rise of Protestant evangelical communities in Latin America, Africa and elsewhere, and the resulting flight of Catholics
According to AP, Kasper said the rise of independent, often "aggressive" evangelical movements in Africa and elsewhere had complicated the church's ecumenical task. Nevertheless, the Vatican official told reporters that "ecumenism is not an option but an obligation."
Kasper said that the Catholic Church had to "give witness to the richness and beauty of our own faith in a positive and welcoming way," rather than pointing out the weaknesses of other faiths, AFP reported.
He also said that there were encouraging signs emerging from dialogue with Protestants although there were still "differences in the moral domain."