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New Jersey court upholds Newark archdiocese in sales of cemetery headstones

April 30, 2014

A New Jersey court has upheld the right of the Newark archdiocese to market headstones in archdiocesan cemeteries. The court rejected a complaint that the archdiocesan cemeteries were engaged in unfair business practices.

Last year the Newark archdiocese began selling headstones. Other leading dealers in cemetery memorials challenged that practice, saying that it should be forbidden under the terms of a law that forbids nonsectarian cemeteries from selling headstones. The Superior Court of New Jersey rejected that argument. The headstone dealers fear that the archdiocese, and other religious cemeteries, will put them out of business.

The Newark archdiocese, which anticipates revenues of $500,000 this year from the sale of headstones, has acknowledged that it should pay delinquent taxes on the sales.


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