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Bishop Luis ZaramaDiocese of Raleigh

ROCKY MOUNT, North Carolina (LifeSiteNews) — A North Carolina bishop has restricted the Traditional Latin Mass in his diocese, leaving only one parish to offer the traditional liturgy every Sunday.

Bishop Luis Zarama, JCL, of the Diocese of Raleigh has moved two priests who offered the TLM and canceled its celebration at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, according to a letter to parishioners dated May 1, 2023. The parish offered multiple TLMs weekly, including one every Sunday that consistently drew around 150 to 175 people.

The two priests currently at the parish, Fathers Clyde Meares and Paul Parkerson, will be moved out in late June. Meares will be going on “a well-deserved sabbatical,” according to Bishop Zarama. Parkerson, the bishop’s liaison for the TLM in the diocese, will be moving to St. Mary, Mother of the Church parish in Garner, North Carolina. Parkerson was the first priest in the diocese to regularly offer the TLM following the indult of Pope John Paul II.

READ: Catholics in the Diocese of Savannah prepare for an end to the Latin Mass after 25 years

The only parish in the diocese that will host the TLM every Sunday in future is Sacred Heart Church in Dunn, North Carolina, at 1:00 p.m.

Multiple LifeSiteNews requests for clarification from the Diocese of Raleigh went unanswered over several days.

Noting that the new pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Father Nicholas Cottrill, VF, has neither the knowledge nor the faculty to offer the TLM, Bishop Zarama said in his letter, “Like all change, this transition will bring both challenges and blessings. Thank you in advance for your understanding and support for Father Cottrill and for this development in the life of the parish.”

Bishop Zarama also explained that there were no other priests in the diocese who can offer the TLM to replace the current two priests.

“I will continue to work with Father Parkerson in his role as my Delegate for the Extraordinary Form to meet the needs of the faithful devoted to the usus antiquior according to the resources we have available and within the direction of our Holy Father, Pope Francis,” said Bishop Zarama.

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The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV) has described assisted suicide as sometimes being the “greatest common good concretely possible” contrary to the Catholic Church's strenuous condemnation of the practice.

This betrayal of the Catholic faith by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia is not for the first time, with the PAV repeatedly causing scandal under his watch by:

  • recently appointing a notorious pro-abortion atheist to the organization
  • claiming contraception and artificial insemination are sometimes acceptable
  • insisting that priests could accompany people through assisted-suicide, and
  • that Italy's pro-abortion law is a “pillar” of the country's social life.

SIGN: Pope Francis must remove Abp. Paglia from the Pontifical Academy for Life

“Personally, I would not practice suicide assistance,” Archbishop Paglia told an Italian journalism conference last week, “but I understand that legal mediation may be the greatest common good concretely possible under the conditions we find ourselves in.”

Accepting an anti-life Italian court ruling that specified when assisted-suicide is permitted, the archbishop claimed “it is not to be ruled out that in our society a legal mediation is feasible that would allow assistance to suicide under the conditions specified by Constitutional Court Sentence 242/2019...”

From the outset of his presentation in Perugia, Paglia also undermined the authority of the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals, stating: “First of all, I would like to clarify that the Catholic Church is not that it has a ready-made, prepackaged package of truths, as if it were a dispenser of truth pills.” 

SIGN: Abp. Paglia must be removed from the Pontifical Academy for Life

The PAV issued a statement on Monday trying to clarify the archbishop's remarks, insisting that Paglia “reiterates his ‘no’ towards euthanasia and assisted suicide, in full adherence to the Magisterium”.

However, far from denouncing Paglia’s words, the PAV unsurprisingly supported its president. Referencing the Italian court ruling which partially decriminalized euthanasia by outlining exceptions to its illegality, the PAV stated it was in the context of this ruling that Paglia had made his comments.

In this precise and specific context, Msgr. Paglia explained that in his opinion a ‘legal mediation’ (certainly not a moral one) in the direction indicated by the Sentence is possible, maintaining the crime and the conditions under which it is decriminalized, as the same Constitutional Court has asked Parliament to legislate. 

The PAV’s fudging of the issue was met with consternation from several Catholic commentators, with liturgist Matthew Hazell, who had highlighted Paglia’s original comments, asking “How hard is it for the @PontAcadLife to just say ‘sorry’ for scandalising the faithful? Indeed, how hard is it to actually adhere to the teaching of the Church on life issues? Are you so incapable of reading the signs of the times & interpreting them in the light of the Gospel?”

SIGN: Abp. Paglia's presidency of the Pontifical Academy for Life is untenable

It's vital that the Church and PAV push back against the culture of death, rather than trying to accommodate it and accept a world that where the vulnerable are helped to kill themselves.

Be part of pushing back against the tide and making it clear that there is no room for confusion or betrayal when it comes to the sanctity of human life and the infallibilty of Catholic teaching on the matter. 



Abp. Paglia defends assisted-suicide as 'greatest common good possible' for dying people - LifeSiteNews

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Dr. Edward Kryn, a local Catholic, took issue with the characterizations outlined by the bishop in his letter. Kryn said there is “no evidence” that Meares requested a sabbatical. Kryn also said, “There are other priests who have offered the TLM in the past, and … there is one priest who is sitting at home who has offered it previously at St. Ann’s in Clayton and at St. Catherine of Siena, and his services are not being utilized.”

“Father Ian Van Heusen and Fr. T. Sparrow are not allowed to offer the TLM it and are assigned to other parishes,” Kryn added. “Father Don Maloney was sent home and was permitted to offer the TLM only for his parents.”

According to Kryn, Bishop Zarama allowed traditional rite funerals for the past year, and some parishioners went to the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) chapel for the other sacraments using the pre-1970 books.

In addition to a weekly Sunday TLM at 1:00 p.m., the Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish bulletin shows a weekly 7:00 p.m. TLM every Wednesday. Other sources show that the parish may have previously offered an additional Latin Mass during the week.

Another diocesan communique on its website, which appears to be out-of-date, shows 11 regularly-scheduled TLMs at five locations in the diocese.

READ: Corpus Christi bishop’s reason for suspending Latin Mass ‘100% not true’: parishioners

A diocesan spokesperson provided a list of parishes reportedly listing the TLM in the Raleigh diocese. Among those listed, there are only two other locations with the TLM in their bulletins. Those were St. Catherine of Siena in Wake Forest on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., and Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral in Raleigh one Sunday per month at 4:30 p.m. — hardly what Pope John Paul II would have called “a wide and generous application” of his approval of the TLM for those who desired it.

“The Traditional Latin Mass has been, and continues to be, pivotal to my faith life,” said Dominic Dattolo, 20, a parishioner at Sacred Heart in Dunn. “I would be beyond heartbroken to lose the Mass that means so much to me.” 

“The Traditional Latin Mass has encouraged me to learn more about the teachings of the Catholic Church,” said Madelyn Janelle, also a parishioner at Sacred Heart, who educates her eight children at home. “It has expanded my education and increased the practice of my faith and has also helped my children learn how to trust God while upholding tradition.” 

For those Catholics seeking to attend regularly scheduled Latin Masses, the SSPX has two chapels in the diocese. The Traditional Latin Mass is offered at Old St. Mary’s Church in Goldsboro on the first and third Sundays at 5:00 p.m. The SSPX also offers the Mass on the second, fourth, and fifth Sundays at Holy Redeemer Church in Youngstown. 

Respectfully contact Diocese of Raleigh spokesperson John Dornan at (984) 900-3418 to politely express your views and ask why the bishop, like some bishops in other dioceses, has not invited one of the traditional priestly societies to provide for his flock’s spiritual needs.