The Newark Archdiocese has declined to appeal a ruling by a federal decide who overturned its problem to a New Jersey legislation that bans non secular cemeteries from promoting headstones.

U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp dominated that the archdiocese and two parishioners who joined within the lawsuit failed to indicate a violation of the Constitution.

The case stems from a lawsuit towards the archdiocese from the Monument Builders Association of New Jersey, which claimed that the church had an unfair enterprise benefit due to its tax-exempt standing and its non secular claims on Catholics.

The archdiocese received that case, however New Jersey handed a legislation in 2015 that prohibited non secular cemeteries from promoting headstones. At the time, Archbishop John Myers argued that the legislation “harms consumers and our mission tradition.” Myers was succeeded as archbishop of Newark in 2017 by Cardinal Joseph Tobin.

The archdiocese was supported in its problem to the legislation by the Institute for Justice, an Arlington, Virginia, libertarian group. According to its web site, the institute helps non-public enterprises contesting authorities actions that it says create undue burdens on companies.

Citing the prices concerned in pursuing an appeal, in a March 23 assertion the archdiocese mentioned it’s going to decline pursuing the case, however nonetheless believes its stance is appropriate.

“We continue to believe that the law is unjust. It punishes both the Church for seeking to exercise its ministry to parishioners, and parishioners for seeking to exercise their freedom of choice to select a memorial provider,” the archdiocese mentioned.

[Peter Feuerherd is a correspondent for NCR’s Field Hospital series on parish life and is a professor of journalism at St. John’s University, New York.]


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