Monks these days are so ambitious. No longer content just to pray and swish about the abbey in long robes, some have branched out into casket sales. And according to the 5th Circuit, Louisiana doesn’t have the right to stop them.
After Hurricane Katrina, 38 Benedictine monks of St. Joseph Abbey in St. Benedict, La., tried to supplement their income by selling plain wooden caskets. However, Louisiana law states that only state-licensed funeral directors at state-licensed funeral homes can sell caskets. The requirements for getting a license are very specific—you have to have embalming facilities and a full-time funeral director, among other things.