The Pope repeated one of the totally uninvestigated and oft-repeated assumptions of the last 50 years of Christendom, that the divisions among the Christian churches (and ecclesial bodies*) makes the Gospel less credible.
Does the split between Sunni and Shia do that for Islam? Do Theravada and Mahayana schools of Buddhism put people off the Dharma? Did the splits in Marxism dampen the enthusiasm of their base?
My guess is that people are used to these religious divisions. They'd better be. The Christian Church has been fragmenting itself pretty well since day one. I bet in a lot of ways people take these splits as an indication of passion and seriousness**.
And if you check out Protestant denominations that are formed from amalgamation, United This and Uniting That...what kind of leverage or credibility do they get out of that? Do they thrive or fade? Do people actually see them as a sign of desperation in the face of oncoming extinction?
I think its just pablum.
**More fun over at PrayTell. I clarified that I was not reading Luther's original intentions but his continuing course of action when I wrote that he "set about breaking up the Church." I referenced Gene Robinson and the effect of his ordination on the Anglicans. One of the predictable women said that being in the right was more important than "losing numbers" and even cited Jesus losing disciples over his "eat my flesh" discourse in John. And yet she and others are all googoo about reuniting the churches. So bringing divided Christians together in loving communion makes Jesus happy, but if you have a brief and want to split, it's just a crass matter of right vs numbers. So many of those folks are just, well, stupid.