Those issues notwithstanding, "no formal objections have been filed of record to the archdiocese's petition despite extensive notice" to potentially interested parties, wrote Herron, who is also administrative judge for the trial division in Philadelphia.
The fact that the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General, which is responsible for protecting charitable assets, did not object to the lease was "highly persuasive," the judge wrote.
"The archdiocese was very pleased to learn of the court's decree regarding the cemeteries transaction earlier today," said Ken Gavin, spokesman for the archdiocese.
"We remain committed to completing the lease and management arrangement with StoneMor in a smooth and orderly fashion, and will work toward that end," he said.
Gavin said the archdiocese and StoneMor will meet soon to identify a projected closing date.
StoneMor's president and chief executive, Larry Miller, said the Levittown company looked forward to "continuing operations at the properties in a manner consistent with the Catholic Church ministries."
The deal is a key component of archdiocesan efforts to deal with more than $300 million in long-term financial obligations.
Specifically, archdiocesan officials have said that $30 million of the initial payment would be used to reduce the $80 million shortfall in the church's trust and loan fund.
Money in that parish savings fund was used to pay for deficit spending under Archbishop Charles J. Chaput's predecessor, Cardinal Justin Rigali, starting in fiscal 2004.
The remaining $23 million of the initial $53 million payment will be split between the priests' pension fund and the archdiocese's self-insurance fund.