Unpacking report that Katie Holmes has rejoined Catholic Church
Actress Katie Holmes recently filed for divorce from actor Tom Cruise.
July 11th, 2012
06:27 PM ET

Unpacking report that Katie Holmes has rejoined Catholic Church

By Eric Marrapodi, Co-Editor, CNN's Belief Blog

(CNN) - In the blizzard of reports surrounding Tom Cruise's recent split with Katie Holmes, this one stands out: After her years married to Scientologist Cruise, Holmes is said to be rejoining the Roman Catholic Church of her youth.

A report from the Huffington Post with the decisive headline "Katie Holmes Returns to Catholic Church" has been rattling around the Internet since Monday. But the Internet newspaper cites a lone unnamed member of the church choir, who claims Holmes has registered as a parishioner of the Church of St. Francis Xavier in New York.

“Everyone is thrilled to have Katie join us,” the church member told Huffington Post reporter Naughty But Nice Rob. “She has not yet attended a service, but when she does she will be welcomed with open arms.”

“We have no comment regarding Katie Holmes in the context of reports of her becoming a parishioner of the Church St. Francis Xavier,” said Patrick Brewis, the church’s director of stewardship.

Brewis said the church has been flooded with calls and e-mails about the prospect of Holmes’ possible registration. He noted that regardless of who a parishioner or potential parishioner might be, the church doesn’t disclose that information.

“If Jane Smith or John Doe or Katie Holmes was a parishioner, we would not be sharing that information,” he said.

Holmes has likewise been mum since the recent news of her divorce, save a joint statement issued by representatives of the star couple.

"We want to keep matters affecting our family private and express our respect for each other's commitment to each of our respective beliefs and support each other's roles as parents," the statement read. It's unclear whether Holmes ever formally joined the Church of Scientology.

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The pastor of Church of St. Francis Xavier, Father Joe Costantino, told the Daily Beast he was caught off-guard when reporters started calling about Holmes' alleged membership.

“I didn’t even know who she was,” Costantino told the site. He added that if she had registered or taken Communion there recently, “It’s news to me.”

Joseph Zwilling, the spokesman for the Catholic Archdiocese of New York, couldn't confirm or deny that Holmes had joined the Church of St. Francis Xavier or any other Catholic church, saying that "if a person joined the parish, it’s done on the parish level.” Zwilling said he had not heard one way or the other from St. Francis Xavier's administrative offices.

Celebrities have bemoaned their lack of privacy when it comes to matters religious. "Next time I'm in church, please no photos," raps Kanye West in "Run this Town," a hit song he recorded with Rihanna and Jay-Z.

The Archdiocese of New York is no stranger to celebrity guests at its services, particularly at the famed St. Patrick's Cathedral, Zwilling said, but "we have not had any incidents with paparazzi or other people approaching (celebrities) at Mass. If they did they’d be asked to leave."

"Anyone who comes to Mass would be expected to follow the proper protocols," he said. "I think people understand and respect when you're in church, you don’t disturb them when they’re in a house of worship.”

Tod Tamberg, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, was born in Hollywood and grew up going to St. Charles Catholic Church in North Hollywood. He remembered going to services with "Farrah Fawcett on one side of me, John Wayne's family on the other side of me and the Bob Hope family behind me."

Tamberg said he has had few, if any, incidents surrounding celebrities attending worship services.

"When they come through the doors of the church, people know who people are, but people are doing their own thing," he said. “I’ve never seen anyone ask for autographs over the years ... and I’ve been in position to see it a lot.”

Should Holmes decide to return to the Catholic Church, she could follow a similar script as Nicole Kidman, who was also once married to Cruise and was also raised Catholic.

Tamberg said Kidman has returned to the church since her divorce.

“Usually, what happens is, there’s still some ties to the church through your family,” he said. "My understanding with the Kidman story is, she was close to a priest her family had known their whole lives. That was helpful to her in picking up the pieces after the divorce."

Should Holmes decide to return to Catholicism, Tamberg said, it's a fairly easy process.

“You basically can pick it up where you left off,” he said, pointing to Jesus talking often in the Bible of rejoicing over wandering adherents returning to the fold.

"There’s no test you have to take. Once you’ve received the sacraments, those are a permanent mark," he said, citing the sacraments of Communion, baptism and confirmation.

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Even if a person has publicly renounced his or her faith, Tamberg said, returning would only be a matter of private counseling with a priest, though even that process is not formalized.

As the unnamed member of the Church of St. Francis Xavier and hordes of reporters wait for Holmes to attend a service in New York, they may want to consider that the parish has an online registration form that anyone can fill out.

In most parishes,  Zwilling noted, that's a form you have to fill out in person.

Brewis welcomed the attention paid to the Church of St. Francis Xavier, saying it is “striving to be a vibrant parishioner-driven community.” He added, “On the plus side, many people who hadn't heard about us and the extraordinary work we do have heard about us now.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church

soundoff (1,139 Responses)
  1. u just jealous

    U just jealous cause you neva get any.

    July 11, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • PantyRaid

      chicken tonight?

      July 11, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • don

      me get plenty

      July 11, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Tom

      I'm not joining the Catholic cult to get some. That's for sure.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
  2. crappygovernment

    What are Atheists so ugly and un-charismatic? If they could ever get a charismatic spokesperson maybe they might win some lemming converts? The Media has always pushed this glorified animal existence for pretentious types.

    July 11, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • Horst Nordfink

      You're a teenage boy who thinks he has all the answers, oblivious to the fact that he is saying insane things that have no relationship to reality. What a surprise.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      Have you followed the link in his username to the blog? Funniest thing I've seen in a while.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Aristophanes

      Spokesman? We really don't have an organization. Aside from trying to keep the darkness of religion from stripping the Constitution of crucial rights, we don't have anything much in common.

      You may as well ask why the people who don't like cricket doesn't have a charismatic spokeman.

      Oh, you consider Keira Knightley and George Clooney ugly?

      July 11, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • crappygovernment

      Hollywood actors are soulless tools of another group of inbred religious fanatics...

      July 11, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • Horst Nordfink

      Oh my! It's not the 18-year-old! It's the NASA conspiracy nutter!

      July 11, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • Tom

      @crappygovernment Nasa really is going through a lot of trouble making it look like they went to the moon. Should have spent that money actually going to the moon eh?

      July 11, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • derp

      I wonder how it was that they got those pictures of earth from.....the moon.

      Maybe they just threw a camera up in the air.

      July 12, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • Jesus Christ Superstar


      Yeah, they really went to the moon. I've personally seen tons of pictures and videos from moon landings, not to mention journals. The only NASA/moon conspiracies are about the artifacts we left there. Who did we leave them for, if not for human beings?

      July 12, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Tom

      @Jesus Christ Superstar Please read my comment as sarcasm.

      July 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  3. PantyRaid

    I wonder if her panties have alien spooge on them?

    July 11, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  4. May God's Love Shine On You!

    Good for Katie! I believe Nicole Kidman was also Catholic. If they are embracing Christ again, then more power to them. May God's love shine on them and their children.

    July 11, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • PantyRaid

      Yes and she will wh ore her as s out to another man then repent again for forgiveness.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Sooo Nicki and Keith attend Mass regularly in Nashville do they?

      The worst part of this is that with the paparazzi stalking Katie, they'll be measuring whether or not she's a 'good Catholic' by how many Sundays she attends Mass.

      The celebrity fixation in this culture is absurd. She's had a rough enough road. Let her be.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Tom

      @May God's Love Shine On You! Hail Jesus! and may all of his enemies be damned!

      July 11, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Shine, Amen.

      Welcome home Katie.

      July 12, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • derp

      On a scale of one to completely batzhit fvcking crazy, christianity is an 8 and scientology is a 10.

      Islam is the 9 between them.

      July 12, 2012 at 9:31 am |
  5. citizen

    Yes, indeed Al--Catholicism has been around for over 2000 years.

    Know your history!!!!

    July 11, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      LOL Whooooo
      I do so love reading some of the nutty things on here from theists.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • PantyRaid

      2000 years of misery. We still haven't learned yet...

      July 11, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Horst Nordfink

      Catholicism has been here since Jesus was 12?

      July 11, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
  6. Mr Chihuahua

    Katie's on the market! I will pick her up for a magical evening of romance in my 20 year old honda civic lol!

    July 11, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Al

      And now she can wear that catholic school girl outfit for you...

      July 11, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • PantyRaid

      If you want to see her nak3d, watch a movie called The Saint. You get to see her 18 yo b0obies and sn atch!

      July 11, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  7. citizen

    Catholicism has been around for OVER 2000 years!!
    Scientology founded in 1954 and Hubbard declared that he was making it up!
    The true authentic faith is Catholicism. It is NOT a cult.

    Love your neighbor
    Serve your neighbor
    Treat your neighbor well!

    July 11, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Al

      FYI, Catholicism has not been around 2,000 years. It's more like 1600 years. Still, the age of a cult really means nothing.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • just sayin

      Sorry but you are a cult

      July 11, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • just sayin

      Just as Protestants are a cult and Mormons are a cult

      July 11, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • PantyRaid

      You are obviously a nut. Why else are you still posting?

      July 11, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • buckcameron

      Once a cult gets adopted by an empire it's pretty hard to get rid of it.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • shalom2U

      FYI, Catholicism has not been around 2,000 years. It's more like 1600 years. Still, the age of a cult really means nothing.

      Who founded the Catholic Church 1600 years ago? What specific event was it the you say was its founding? Be specific as possible.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • derp

      "Serve your neighbor"

      Provided your neighbor is a young boy.

      July 12, 2012 at 9:32 am |
  8. just sayin

    One cult to another..NO BIGGIE

    July 11, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Al

      My thought exactly. People need cults to assuage their egos over the fact that they will one day not be here – even though the fact that they were not here for eons does not cross their minds.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Horst Nordfink

      Al, just sayin is a Christian troll who is so crazy that she thinks atheism is a cult. She also goes by the namse "HeavenSent" "Atheism Is Not Healthyblah blah blah" and other troll names.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
  9. st

    Most people find their way back to the one true religion eventually.

    July 11, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Ting

      She's rediscovering the fantasy from her youth.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • just sayin

      its cute, she is returning to her first cult

      July 11, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • PantyRaid

      You mean the religion mommy and daddy raised her with?

      Typical no matter what religion you are.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
  10. Sam Yaza

    this is what happens when you lie to your self about what you believe,... note to the one atheist to catholic conversion so she could marry the man she thinks she loves

    July 11, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  11. Tom

    Do we really need to keep score? It’s like some huge world contest to see who can have the most members. Does it really matter? Are beliefs of an actress & actor so important that they need to make headlines like this? It makes me wonder if feeling the need to have more people & popular people joint your faith groups, how much faith do you have in just believing in it yourself? I thought that’s what mattered about faith it gives you strength without having to have others share the same belief. It’s a personal and internal thing; can’t we just keep that way?

    July 11, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  12. just sayin

    One cult to another

    July 11, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Brendan

      Dear atheists who repeatedly call any form of Christianity a cult,

      Learn the definition of the term 'cult.'

      Everyone with an IQ of 35 or above

      July 11, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • cc

      Sorry but it is a cult. Get over it.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • cc

      Doesn't your cult say that you should love everyone regardless of their IQ or anything else? You really need to pay more attention at your cult meetings. Oh sorry, church.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • derp

      Cult: noun

      . a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.

      2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers.

      Yes, christianity is a cult.

      You dipzhit christards should really invest in a dictionary.

      Anyone with an IQ over 120

      July 12, 2012 at 9:37 am |
  13. Your Religion Might Be Bullshіt If...


    July 11, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Trollman

      stop posting this...

      July 11, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      don't encourage him!

      July 11, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • Tom

      @Trollman. I actually kind of liked it. Actually i hit "like" on that video.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
  14. Dr. Pat

    In Scientology, a gay midget wields special powers. I am glad that she was able to escape his razor claws.

    July 11, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
  15. wowzerz

    bout time she got out of cruises basement. im surprised she survived the scientology brainwash

    July 11, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
  16. Smako

    If any scientologawackos try to hassle her, she has every right to shoot them. Plead not guilty, demand a jury trial, and let them know you are going to drag their belief through the media trough.

    July 11, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Dr. Pat

      That's right. She should stand her ground.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • cc

      Make then wear a hoodie and give them skittles and Iced T.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  17. R M L

    Good girl – do not stray away from your true faith – good or bad.

    July 11, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • PantyRaid

      Why do you need reassurance in your faith?

      July 11, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
  18. BillyD1953

    I guess she has a real thing for cults, huh? From the frying pan back into the fire.

    July 11, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
  19. Trollman

    atheists will make fun of her in..3...2...1.

    July 11, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • GAW

      Why not? Mom hasn't called them down to dinner yet.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Brandonious

      Christians will make fun of scientologists and anyone else who doesn't believe exactly as they do in 3....2....1....

      July 11, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Is "Trollman" the new face of "L"?

      I wonder?

      July 11, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • Trollman



      July 11, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • You got it

      Yep... It's our 18 year old L/TheCapitalist/ClownQuestion/Unknown and many other names, doing his Christian troll gig.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • Tom

      Sorry did someone call for an Atheist? I'm here.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
  20. Mr Chihuahua

    fist lol!

    July 11, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.