Aug 12, 2010 11:15 AM by Melissa Canone
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - An order of Benedictine monks sued Louisiana
regulators Thursday for blocking them from selling handmade caskets
because the monks are not licensed funeral directors.
The monks of the 121-year-old St. Joseph Abbey, in St. Tammany
Parish north of New Orleans, charge the state Board of Embalmers
and Funeral Directors is attempting to maintain a casket cartel,
and that board members are mostly engaged in industry they
They claim the regulations are unconstitutional.
The monks planned to sell their wooden caskets for $1,500 or
$2,000 to support the abbey.
They tried to get an exemption from the regulations in 2008 and
2010, but legislators rejected the requests.
A lawyer for the embalmers board could not immediately be
reached for comment.