Washington D.C., Jun 4, 2021 / 07:58 am
A Catholic organization is suing a Michigan township after it was denied permission to build a chapel and prayer trail dedicated to St. Pio of Pietrelcina on land it already acquired.
The group, Catholic Healthcare International (CHI), is alleging that Genoa Township, located in Livingston County, Michigan, is violating its First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The group had wished to build a 95-seat chapel, along with a Stations of the Cross path and an image of Santa Maria delle Grazie, on land that they acquired from the Diocese of Lansing.
The township board rejected Catholic Healthcare International’s plans by a 5-2 vote on May 3.
The American Freedom Law Center filed the lawsuit on behalf of CHI. Robert Muise, the center’s co-founder and senior counsel, said in a statement that places of worship, “such as CHI’s proposed St. Pio Chapel and prayer campus, hold a special place in America.”