Thursday, March 21, 2013

Court: Law barring monks from making coffins is unconstitutional

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that monks at St. Joseph Abbey near Covington should be allowed to sell handmade caskets from their monastery, despite opposition from Louisiana's funeral home directors who claimed a sole right to sell caskets in the state. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's decision to strike down a state law limiting casket sales to licensed members of the funeral industry.

The decision marks a victory for the Benedictine monastery, which has struggled for several years for the right to sell simple, wooden caskets built by monks in a woodshop to fund their medical and education needs. In 2007, the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors ordered the abbey to cease sales after a funeral home owner filed a formal complaint.
Read the rest here.


Anonymous said...

This monastery is about an hour's drive south of my parish, and I've seen their coffins. Very nicely done, if a little spartan. This decision is a wonderful vindication of consumer rights.

Love this quote from the article: "Despite a state's right to decide on its own economic regulations, courts are not required 'to accept nonsensical explanations for regulation,' the 5th Circuit said."

The Archer of the Forest said...

When I was living in Chicago, there was a Benedictine abbey that sold caskets. It was very much a blessing to many families at the parish I was at as a Seminarian because most folks couldn't afford to drop 4000+ dollars on something you stick in the ground after about 3 hours.

Matushka Anna said...

Thank goodness someone saw the light and got rid of the monopoly! Outrageous!