The Boston Globe’s, Austen Ivereigh is calling the friendship between the late, Protestant ‘bishop’ Tony Palmer and Pope Francis a, “catalyst of an extraordinary historic breakthrough in relations between the Catholic Church and the evangelical world.”
Palmer was a member of an Anglican offshoot based in Florida. Ivereigh writes,
Its leaders see themselves as part of a “convergence” movement, seeking to combine evangelical Christianity with the liturgy and sacraments typical of Catholicism. That convergence, Palmer told me, “is a precursor to full unity between the Protestant and Catholic Churches.”
Cardinal Bergoglio and Palmer met in 2006 and worked together closely finding ways to build unity between their faiths. Astoundingly,
At one point, when Palmer was tired of living on the frontier and wanted to become Catholic, Bergoglio advised him against conversion for the sake of the mission.
“We need to have bridge-builders”, the cardinal told him.
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The now well-known Mary’s Gourmet Diner in Winston Salem has quickly been forced to end the discount the owners were happy to provide to customers who said their prayers before meals. That is of course, a flagrant violation of the rights of non-prayers and the owners were so instructed by some entities from out of town, who then threatened them with a lawsuit.
Mary’s was compelled to place a handwritten note encouraging patrons to ‘protect your freedom from religion on a public space,’ as well as make an apology for “any offense this discount has incurred.”
Mary’s Manager says that nevertheless, “We have things to be thankful for and we like to give thanks regardless of a discount or not.”
In the small township of New Waterford, Nova Scotia six Catholic parishes have consolidated into one.
“The process is extremely difficult, as you might expect,” said Antigonish Bishop Brian Dunn. “It is extremely difficult because people are connected to their own buildings and their parishes.”
At least two of the town’s five other parishes have closed. St. Joseph’s and St. Alphonsus, affectionately referred to as the Stone Church by locals, are slotted for demolition.
Donald McGillivary, Director of Pastoral Planning for the diocese, says parishioners have been fighting to save their local churches:
“It is like a perfect storm,” added McGillivary. “We have less clergy to do the work, we have less of an ability to finance the infrastructure that we have, so that is what we have to deal with and that is what we are responding to. What we are trying to do is to keep or develop or maintain viable parish communities where there are enough resources to be able to do what a parish needs to do.”