Knights of Columbus Sue Biden Admin For Denying Memorial Day Mass Permit

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The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic service organization, is suing the Biden administration for religious discrimination after they stopped the organization from holding its annual Memorial Day mass at a national cemetery. Fox News reports, officials refused to grant a permit to the Knights of Columbus for a service to be held at the Poplar Grove National Cemetery. The Knights of Columbus has held a Memorial Day mass for 60 years, but now two years in a row, they have been denied by the Biden administration. 

McGuireWoods partner John Moran, who is suing the National Park Service on behalf of the Knights, said in a press release, “the policy and the decision blocking the Knights of Columbus from continuing their long-standing religious tradition is a blatant violation of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).”


Alexa Viets, superintendent of the Petersburg National Battlefield, an official who manages the cemetery, defended the denial, telling The Washington Times, “National Cemeteries are established as national shrines in tribute to those who have died in service to our country, and as such any special activities within the cemetery are reserved for a limited set of official commemorative activities that have a connection to military service or have a historic and commemorative significance for the particular national cemetery.”

Although religious services and vigils are prohibited in national cemeteries, the rules also say, “conducting a special event or demonstration, whether spontaneous or organized, is prohibited except for official commemorative events conducted for Memorial Day, Veterans Day and other dates designated by the superintendent as having special historic and commemorative significance to a particular national cemetery. Committal services are excluded from this restriction.”


A court hearing is set to take place on Wednesday. 

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