Poll: Should the Newark Archdiocese be allowed to sell headstones and mausoleums?

By The Jersey Journal
on March 31, 2014

John Burns Jr., the owner of Burns Brothers Memorials on Tonnelle Avenue in Jersey City, has filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Newark, in his capacity as president of the monument builders trade association.

At issue is the archdiocese’s decision to get into the lucrative headstone and mausoleum business, according a story in yesterday’s Star-Ledger.

A New Jersey law prohibits cemeteries from selling the objects. The Garden State is one of few states in the nation with such a ban.

The archdiocese claims however that it is not selling the objects, but rather leasing to families the right to use the space and the objects, and selling “inscription rights” to allow buyers to personalize them.

“Here’s what’s going to happen,” Burns told The Ledger. “As time goes on, they’re going to perfect this. Their sales force is going to be better educated. They will monopolize the industry. And we will cease to exist.”

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.