While I am not pro-ecumenism and I am happy he didn't make a pro-ecumenist statement, I think this statement also shows that the Pope is very confused because just last November he was praying with the Orthodox as if the two were sister Churches.
I think that when comparing RCs and EOs in terms of how "ecumenical" they are, we almost always end up comparing apples and oranges.
On the one hand, Orthodox see RCs praying with Orthodox and Protestants
; receiving converts from Orthodoxy without re-chrismation and recognizing Protestant baptisms; admitting Orthodox (and PNCC and Assyrians) to communion, and allowing Catholics to request communion from those groups under some circumstances, etc., and conclude that Catholics are liberally ecumenical. Or
they sees RCs counting several councils as ecumenical which had little or no Eastern participation; counting as dogmas several teachings which weren't agree upon by the East; celebrating the anniversary (1996) of the Union of Brest, etc., and conclude that Catholics are fanatically un-ecumenical.
On the other hand, Catholics might thinks EOs are liberally ecumenical since, for example, in Orthodoxy A
can be in full communion with both B
, without B
being in full communion with each other (as was the case, until recently, with the ROCOR situation); or because of Orthodox participation in the WCC. Or
Catholics might think EOs fanatically un-ecumenical with re-chrismating (or even re-baptizing) Catholic converts; calling Catholics "heretics"; denying Catholics communion; the fairly harsh statements against Eastern Catholics, etc.