• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Church bans 9-year-old's football gravestone

The Local · 13 Nov 2012, 09:34

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.

Story continues below…

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
Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
File photo: DPA

When a man swimming naked in a Bavarian lake felt a strange pain in his nether regions, he looked up to see a fisherman on the shore. "Don’t pull!" he shouted.

Study finds rival Rhineland beers 'actually taste the same'
Left: Altbier. Right: Kölsch. Or can you even tell? Photos: DPA.

Cologne and Düsseldorf have a long established rivalry, not least over who has the better home brew. So the results of a new study might be more than they can swallow.

Eastern Europe pushes Germany for joint EU army
Angela Merkel (l), Beata Szydlo and Victor Orban. Photo: DPA

Eastern EU countries on Friday pushed for the bloc to create a joint army as they met with Germany for talks on sketching Europe's post-Brexit future.

Merkel’s party mate wants to get rid of all Karl Marx streets
Karl Marx and one of the roadways in Berlin named for him. Photos: Wikimedia Commons, Nicor

Hundreds of streets are named after the founder of communism, but this conservative politician wants to give Marx the boot.

State elections
6 reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Photo: DPA

With state elections around the corner, The Local looks at the poor side of Germany's "poor but sexy" capital city.

Upstarts RB Leipzig plan to go right to top of Bundesliga
RB Leipzig players celebrate scoring against Dynamo Dresden. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig make their Bundesliga debut on Sunday, but the East German outfit, sponsored by energy drinks manufacturer Red Bull, are already far from popular in Germany's top-flight.

Poland criticizes Germany’s 'self-serving' foreign policy
Witold Waszczykowski. Photo: DPA

The Polish foreign minister has said that Germany all too often follows its own interests at the expense of its partners, as Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares to visit Warsaw.

Vast majority of Germans in favour of burqa ban: poll
Women wearing niqab veils in Saudi Arabia. Photo: DPA.

A survey found that the vast majority of respondents were in favour of Germany passing a ban on the full-body veil sometimes worn by Muslim women.

Czech police detain driver for harassing Merkel's motorcade
Angela Merkel. File photo: DPA

Czech police arrested a man on Thursday for attempting to drive into the motorcade of visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Prague, they said.

Teacher convicted for holding kids back after class
Photo: DPA

A music teacher from North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) has been found guilty of "holding people against their will" after he made some naughty stay kids back after class.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
8,614
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd