A NASCAR inspired headstone has been banned by a Catholic Church in Indiana, prompting legal action by the widow who commissioned the memorial in honor of her late husband.
The black granite stone, which cost nearly $10,000 and is shaped like a couch, features images of animals alongside the color logos of NASCAR and the Indianapolis Colts. According to his widow, each represent things that James Carr loved throughout his life.
Sharon Carr purchased the headstone for her husband’s burial plot following his death in 2009. When she recently tried to have the NASCAR headstone installed, it was banned from the cemetery by Reverend Jonathan Meyer, a priest at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Indianapolis.
Meyer reportedly denied the NASCAR headstone because its appearance violates the historic cemetery’s aesthetic guidelines. The priest also claims that Carr was made aware of the standards prior to her husband’s burial.
In a statement, Meyer claims that the church “told her not to move forward with the purchasing of the monument, but she went ahead anyway.”
“We have consistently communicated the same message prior to the purchase and after the purchase,” Meyer reportedly insists. “We did not think a granite couch was an appropriate monument in our historic cemetery.”
Once the NASCAR headstone was banned from her husband’s grave, Sharon Carr decided to bring legal action against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis. She denies that anyone informed her of specific rules or regulations regarding headstones until she attempted to install the piece in 2010.
The sensitive nature of the issue has reportedly caused dissent in the church community. Questions have allegedly been raised regarding the church’s lack of compassion toward the Carr family.
According to the archdiocese, guidelines of this nature have been in place since the cemetery’s establishment in 1907. While Reverend Meyer allegedly concedes that the specific rules that caused the NASCAR headstone to be banned were formalized after Carr’s purchase, he maintains that she was well aware of the guidelines beforehand.
“We provided the family funeral rites, prepared a funeral meal and offered family members individual counseling after the services,” Meyer reportedly explained. “We were with them the entire way until this matter came up.”
Do you think Sharon Carr should continue her fight to install the NASCAR headstone banned by Reverend Jonathan Meyer and St. Joseph Catholic Church?