• 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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
Russia 'severed' from Europe: President Gauck
President Gauck stands shoulder to shoulder with President Komorowski of Poland in Gdansk on Monday. Photo: DPA

Russia 'severed' from Europe: President Gauck

Russia has "effectively severed its partnership" with Europe and wants to establish a new order, German President Joachim Gauck said on Monday. READ  

National Uber ban is revenge of the taxis
Taxis are a powerful trade lobby in Germany. Photo: DPA

National Uber ban is revenge of the taxis

The Frankfurt regional court has imposed a temporary nationwide ban on chauffeur car service Uber, saying that it must pay a €250,000 fine if passengers continue to book rides through its app. READ  

Sex party 'desecrates' Bavarian royal spa
The facade of the Bad Reichenhall Royal Spa Hotel.

Sex party 'desecrates' Bavarian royal spa

The Bavarian finance ministry has demanded a report from the company running a publicly-owned spa in the town of Bad Reichenhall after they rented the property out for a fetish party. READ  

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs
Angela Merkel addressing the Bundestag on Monday as her ministers look on. Photo: DPA

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs

UPDATE: Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the Bundestag on Monday to explain her government's decision to send weapons to Iraqi Kurds fighting terrorist group Isis. READ  

Town in shock as tax worker shot dead
DPA

Town in shock as tax worker shot dead

A tax office worker in the Schleswig-Holstein town of Rendsburg died in hospital after being shot on Monday morning. READ  

Olympic visions compete in Berlin and Hamburg
Berlin and Hamburg mayors Klaus Wowereit and Olaf Scholz on Monday. Photos: DPA

Olympic visions compete in Berlin and Hamburg

Germany's capital and its gateway to the North Sea each released details of their Olympic bids on Monday as the race for the 2024 or 2028 summer games nominations picks up momentum. READ  

Vacationer killed by Baltic Sea bacteria
Photo: DPA

Vacationer killed by Baltic Sea bacteria

Six people were infected with a bacteria from the Caribbean which has made itself at home in the popular German vacation destination. One of them is now in a coma. READ  

UN applauds Germany's help to refugees
DPA

UN applauds Germany's help to refugees

UNHCR Commissioner Antonio Guterres is lauding Germany's role in accommodating the influx of refugees in Europe, while pointing at the imbalance of effort within the EU. The federal government has pledged to do more. READ  

Energy-sucking vacuums no longer welcome
Photo: DPA

Energy-sucking vacuums no longer welcome

Starting on Monday, vacuum cleaners drawing more than 1600 watts can no longer be brought into Germany. The ban is part of a an EU-wide environmental protection measure. READ  

Coalition horsetrading starts after Saxony vote
CDU leader Stanislav Tillich with SPD Martig Dulig. Photo: DPA

Coalition horsetrading starts after Saxony vote

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic (CDU) party is in search of a new partner after the expulsion of its former allies the Free Democrats (FDP) from the Saxon state parliament. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
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

3,416
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd