A church in Western Germany has finally surrendered to public pressure and allowed the parents of nine-year-old boy to fulfill their child’s deathbed wish. Jean Pascal who died from a brain tumor wanted his parents to erect a gravestone with a ball logo of his favorite football club Borussia Dortmund.
When the church initially denied the request on the grounds that non-Christian elements are not allowed on the gravestone, the story was quickly picked by the German news media. The media attention caused a stir among soccer fans on Facebook, where nearly 150,000 people flocked to the group The Last Wish of Jens Pascal and protested the church’s denial.
‘It is outrageous,’ read one. ‘I ask the Church not to be led by regulations, show us your heart!’ said another.
Influenced by the outrage and momentum gained by the campaign, the church issued a statement on Monday saying that it had agreed to a compromise. The church said that the club’s logo will be placed on the ground, and not on top of the gravestone. ‘It was never the intention of the church to stand in the way of the little boy's last wish,’ it said.
‘It was about reconciling the interests of the Church community, the cemetery rules and the interests of the parents of the child who died.’