• Germany edition
 
Church bans 9-year-old's football gravestone
Photo: DPA

Church bans 9-year-old's football gravestone

Published: 13 Nov 2012 09:34 GMT+01:00
Updated: 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
Karstadt closes stores to stay afloat
Photo: DPA

Karstadt closes stores to stay afloat

Germany's biggest department store chain Karstadt will close at least six stores, putting around 2,000 jobs at risk, in a drastic bid by its new boss to return it to profit. READ  

Quiz
How well do you know Germany?
Photos: DPA/Shutterstock

How well do you know Germany?

Do you know your Saxony facts from your Saxony-Anhalt ones? Test your knowledge of Germany's federal states in The Local's quiz. READ  

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal
Pollution from a coal-fired power station in Frimmersdorf, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal

The UN's climate chief hailed a European agreement in Bonn on greenhouse gases on Friday as providing "valuable momentum" for a world pact to be inked in Paris next year. READ  

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth
Photo: DPA

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth

Germany will get an early Christmas present of around €779 million from the EU, thanks to weaker than expected GDP growth. READ  

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told
Photo: DPA

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told

It will take several days to find out what caused a massive explosion on Thursday which rocked a town on the Rhine, killing a builder and injuring 26 others. READ  

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'
An NH90 helicopter. Photo: DPA

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'

Germany's fleet of NH90 helicopters is undergoing engineering checks after one of them suffered a serious engine failure, in the latest blow to the country's military capabilities. READ  

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m
Rainer Schwarz at a court hearing in September into the case. Photo: DPA

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m

The man who was blamed for Berlin's miserable attempt to build a new airport must be paid more than €1 million - after being fired. READ  

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Kurds watching the attack on Kobane. Photo: DPA

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pressed UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon to bring possible poison gas use by Isis in Iraq before the Security Council. READ  

Spring back in German consumers' step?
Photo: DPA

Spring back in German consumers' step?

Update: Consumer confidence in Germany has stopped falling, as households appear to be no longer fazed by concerns about the economic fallout from geopolitical crises, a new poll found on Friday. READ  

Ludwigshafen explosion kills one, injures 26
An eyewitness captured the moment of the explosion on their phone. Photo: DPA

Ludwigshafen explosion kills one, injures 26

UPDATE: One person has died and 26 others are injured after a huge explosion in Ludwigshafen, western Germany on Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: Huge explosion rocks Ludwigshafen
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
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

3,528
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd