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Biden Administration Reverses Decision, Permits Knights of Columbus to Hold Mass at National Cemetery Following Lawsuit

Articles | May 24, 2024 | by Catholics for Catholics

The Biden administration’s National Park Service (NPS) initially denied the Knights of Columbus a permit to hold a Memorial Day Mass at a national cemetery in Petersburg, Virginia, citing a policy update that categorized “religious services” as “demonstrations” prohibited at national cemeteries. However, after the Knights filed a lawsuit, the NPS granted them the permit, and the lawsuit has been dropped. The Knights’ tradition of holding a Memorial Day Mass at the Poplar Grove National Cemetery dates back to the 1960s.

The First Liberty Institute and McGuireWoods LLP represented the Knights in filing a motion for a temporary restraining order against the NPS, asserting that the permit’s denial violated the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The NPS website states that “religious services,” along with demonstrations, are considered First Amendment activities requiring special use permits for events involving over 25 participants.

The NPS had initially offered the Knights an alternative location near the cemetery for the Mass, but the Knights pursued legal action to uphold their tradition. The NPS claimed that the authorization of special events in national cemeteries is limited to those connected to military service or historic significance and that such events must maintain the solemn and contemplative nature of the cemetery.

In light of the lawsuit, the NPS ultimately granted the Knights permission to hold the Memorial Day Mass at the national cemetery. Another Knights council planned to hold a similar Mass at the Andersonville National Cemetery in Georgia.

In response to the Biden regime’s attempt to cancel the traditional Memorial Day Mass at Poplar Grove National Cemetery, Catholics for Catholics is proud to announce that we will be hosting an online Memorial Day Mass. This sacred tradition has been a cherished part of our nation’s observance of Memorial Day for decades, and we cannot let it fade away without a fight. Our online Mass will be a powerful reminder of the sacrifices made by our brave men and women in uniform, and a testament to the enduring faith and values that have always defined our nation. Join us as we come together as one community to honor the fallen and pray for peace.

             

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