• Germany's news in English
 

Church bans 9-year-old's football gravestone

Published: 13 Nov 2012 09:34 GMT+01:00

Jens Pascal was such a passionate fan of Bundesliga champions Dortmund that he wanted a gravestone featuring the club's logo, his mother Nicole Schmidt told Bild der Frau magazine.

After the boy died, the parents had such a headstone designed and in July applied for permission to put it in the cemetery of the Catholic Visitation of Mary church in the Bodelschwingh district of Dortmund, where Pascal is buried.

But the church board rejected the stone, on the grounds that "the design is not appropriate for a Catholic cemetery." Graveyard rules state that "inscriptions and images that are not associated with the Christian faith are not permitted."

The design features the BVB Dortmund football club logo, next to the club slogan "Real Love," as well as a football.

The family is now fighting for the right to fulfil the boy's final wishes, and have started a Facebook group that has already collected over 100,000 supporters. Some Schalke fans - bitter footballing rivals to Dortmund - have also reportedly joined the campaign.

But so far the church has remained adamant, though spokesman Michael Bodin says they have offered to negotiate with Pascal's parents.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

10:06 November 13, 2012 by the.local.reader
Well, the gravestone is about love. Religion is about hatred. Of course they do not "associate". Forget it, the root of all evil.
11:55 November 13, 2012 by michael4096
For centuries the various European christian churches have provided civil as well as theological services such as marriage and burials. This suited the civil authorities and the church by reducing the burden on the civil side and increasing the moral authority of the church on the religious side. For many, the civil events were the only time they went to church.

The churches are self-destructing by refusing people's civil wishes for theological reasons whether it is not allowing football logos, banning homosexuals or spurning women who choose abortions. All it does undermine the churches' authority in civil affairs and decrease the 'need' people have for religion. As various armies have found out, there is a marketplace for hearts-and-minds and the traditional religions are loosing out to the competition: secular activities and weird religions.
12:10 November 13, 2012 by lordkorner
The family should just go ahead and put the headstone on their sons grave. Then wait and see who is without sin and takes away the first BVB 09 gravestone. My

Thoughts with the family at this time.
15:36 November 13, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
If the cemetery belongs to the church, and the family has no "rights" for burial (not sure if paying the church tax entitles one to burial) then Church wins.

If football is more important than Christianity, the Church, Last Rites, Consecrated ground, etc. why does the family care to bury him in the context of the Church anyhow? Just bury him on secular property and avoid all the noise.

It's like non-religous people getting married in a church because the pictures look better than in the courthouse.
15:45 November 13, 2012 by heathen
Even if the church allowed it, I'm sure that someone else would get their panties in a bunch over copyright issues.
19:33 November 13, 2012 by lordkorner
"Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that". Bill Shankley OBE 1913 -1981
20:08 November 13, 2012 by raandy
Like many things about the Church, change is not an issue.
23:04 November 13, 2012 by dairiesman
Whatever happened to christian values? I am truly speechless. The church is meant to provide comfort and solace at a time of grieving. Shameful.
01:10 November 14, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Most likely the real cause here is that the FC do not pay church tax on their earnings.
12:26 November 14, 2012 by StoutViking
What one wants on their tombstone is a private business, however the cemetary is Christian, belonging to the church so they make the rules and their rule is: Graveyard rules state that "inscriptions and images that are not associated with the Christian faith are not permitted."

It's kind of like reading the little letters in a contract...

What I fail to see is why the church gives a damn?
13:36 November 18, 2012 by roundabout321
Take a vote. Throw the Church out of the cemetary. Simple.
Today's headlines
German kids 'growing up sitting down'
Photo: DPA

German kids 'growing up sitting down'

Too much sitting is bad for you, as we all know. But health experts warned on Monday that half of German children have firmly adopted the sedentary and damaging habits of their parents. READ  

Business makes confident start to 2015
A worker checks compensators in a Baden-Württemberg factory. Photo: DPA

Business makes confident start to 2015

German businesses are confident about the outlook for Europe's biggest economy, a new poll showed on Monday, as a weaker euro and falling oil prices are set to boost the country's exporters. READ  

'Stick to the plan': Germany to Greece
Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras celebrates the party's election victory on Sunday. Photo: DPA

'Stick to the plan': Germany to Greece

UPDATE:German Chancellor Angela Merkel expects the new Greek government to uphold its commitments to international creditors, her spokesman said Monday after the electoral triumph of Greece's anti-austerity leftists Syriza. READ  

Give refugees holiday homes: Berlin official
Monika Herrmann attempts to mediate in a refugee dispute in 2014. Photo: DPA

Give refugees holiday homes: Berlin official

Amid rising tensions around the Pegida movement, a Berlin official stirred alarm on Monday with a proposal to commandeer private holiday apartments to house asylum seekers. READ  

Parties welcome Gabriel's Pegida meeting
Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel in Dresden on Friday. Photo: DPA

Parties welcome Gabriel's Pegida meeting

Politicians welcomed Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel's controversial decision to meet members of anti-Islam movement Pegida on Friday. READ  

Self-driving cars to hit German Autobahn
Hopefully there won't be any roadworks on the test stretch. Photo: DPA

Self-driving cars to hit German Autobahn

A section of the A9 Autobahn in Bavaria will be converted into a test route for self-driving cars, Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said on Monday. READ  

 Deutsche Bahn wins allies in air cartel suit
Deutsche Bahn's HQ in Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. Photo: Volker Emersleben/DB

Deutsche Bahn wins allies in air cartel suit

Rail operator Deutsche Bahn said Sunday it has been joined by several companies in a 2.9 €billion euro lawsuit against Lufthansa and other airlines for fixing air cargo prices. READ  

Merkel phones Putin over Ukraine violence
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: DPA

Merkel phones Putin over Ukraine violence

Chancellor Angela Merkel urged her Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a phone call on Sunday to "put pressure" on Ukraine's pro-Kremlin separatists to end a recent upsurge in violence. READ  

New anti-Islam march draws 17,000  people
The Pegida demonstration in Dresden on Sunday. Photo: Arno Burgi/dpa

New anti-Islam march draws 17,000 people

Thousands of people joined a march by the anti-Islamisation PEGIDA movement on Sunday, the group's first rally since threats surfaced against the group and its leader resigned over "Hitler" photos. READ  

Anti-Muslim rallies 'hurt Germany's image'
Police prepare for the demonstration on Sunday on Dresden's Theaterplatz. Photo: Arno Burgi/dpa

Anti-Muslim rallies 'hurt Germany's image'

Hours before a new rally in Dresden by the anti-Islamisation PEGIDA movement on Sunday, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the group's sentiments were harming the nation's image. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
The rise and spread of Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Photo: DPA
Politics
The Local's report from Pegida's largest ever demonstration.
Sponsored Article
Top-notch tech boosts bilingual schools
National
Six stories that will rock Germany this year
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Photo: DPA
National
What were your favourite news stories of 2014?
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

1,428
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd