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. Rs1201

    Why is it important to tell the world what K.Holmes is doing? Her faith cannot mean much to her if she was willing to abandon it for a totally different belief system. She's just doing it for show....a fraud. She married Cruise for his money and now has a significant number of his millions in hr bank account.

    July 12, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
  2. Pika

    All religions are a cerebral desease that cause mental illness. Think, live and be happy. Don't close your eyes, blindly follow and live in fear.

    July 12, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  3. Barry G.

    Put your trust in Jesus Christ. He and he alone laid down his life and was crucified for us.

    Long before divisions arose in Christendom, the followers of Jesus were called Christians. Let's stay with that.

    July 12, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Pika

      He died for nothing, too bad.

      July 12, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • jwt

      Absolutely not.

      July 12, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • JRYDAF

      Put your faith in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. He will bless us with his noodly appendages.

      July 12, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  4. carm

    The Catholic church, the lesser of 2 evils. She needs to be born again, filled with the holy spirit. Jesus is coming soon!

    July 12, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Kneon Knight


      July 12, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Pika

      Born agains have the weakest minds this planet has ever seen in a human body.

      July 12, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  5. puckles

    From one den of SATAN into another.

    July 12, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  6. Natch

    She ought to find herself a real man. You know, someone who doesn't jump up & down on sofas......someone who's taller than she is......someone who's not part of a CULT.

    July 12, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Dennis

      too bad for you she needs a man who can read and knows what a dictionary is...

      July 12, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  7. frackle

    I guess she does not have a problem with pedophiles.

    July 12, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  8. Rehpot

    I found the Topher thread so amusing today – I thought I would try it in reverse. I don't have all night, so if I drop off and stop answering questions – don't take it personally.

    So for all the believers – I will try to answer any questions that you have about atheism.

    July 12, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Rehpot

      What's wrong – have you really all forgotten how to ask questions? This seems to reinforce our opinions, do you really want that? Ask a question.

      July 12, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  9. Fenian

    I'm happy for her. Oh and for those of you who don't believe in God and The Catholic Church......That's your problem!

    July 12, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Kneon Knight

      You're so right. It is our problem. And we are dealing with it one conversion to atheism at a time.

      July 12, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Too true, KK.

      July 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • jwt

      Not believign in god is not a problem at all/.

      July 12, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  10. This guy

    Seriously, who cares? OH THAT'S RIGHT, Katie Holmes is a very important person. Oh wait, what's that? She isn't?

    Well, this is all very irrelevant to anything going on in the world...

    July 12, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  11. humblepie74

    Why do so many people feel the need to bash on these blogs?

    July 12, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • PrimeNumber

      Hard to understand,isn't it? CNN is no friend of religion, yet they have one of the biggest "faith" blogs going. This attracts an infestation of obsessed religophobes making testy comments all day. Obsession eclipses reason.

      July 12, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  12. UnSub

    Wonder why she thought Catholicism was any better than Scientology...they're both silly stories.

    July 12, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      We are all a product of our ancestors and generally rely on what our parents taught us. Ms. Holmes went back to what she knew instead of what was forced on her by her husband. If your ancestors came from Western Europe I guarantee they were Catholic. Since you are everything they hoped for, I bet they are proud of you (facetious comment).

      July 12, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  13. George

    It's odd that this is actually a move away from crazy.

    July 12, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Lewis Keseberg

      Exactly. Eating human flesh and drinking human blood are prefectly acceptable societal norms

      July 12, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  14. Hoopla12

    From one cult to another... what a silly girl...

    July 12, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Joe Thomas


      July 12, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Me


      July 12, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  15. Damian Escobedo Rana Face

    Eat a fat one Gigidy Gigidy Gigidy Gigidy Gigidy Gigidy

    July 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  16. Publius Novus

    Of course, as a divorced Roman Catholic, Holmes will not be permitted to remarry, on pain of excommunication. Unless of course, she can get the marriage "annulled." But that's not too difficult for people with sufficient money, who are willing to state under oath that they never actually intended a lasting union.

    July 12, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Wra

      Untrue. Since marriage was not blessed by a catholic priest it is not recognized as a the sacrament of marriage and therefore she can remarry, is she chooses, in the Catholic church.

      July 12, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • MJD313

      Isn't it foolish that while she was married and had a child, since it wasn't recognized by the Catholic Church - it isn't real?

      My father wanted to get his second marriage annulled. I think of annulment as only their way to get a "piece of the action" out of a divorce. Pay us $$$ and we'll give you our blessing to remarry.

      So if she wants to go back to the Catholic Church - great for her. But it is foolish not to recognize marriage as marriage. What's next - a dead certificate isn't valid unless a Catholic priest confirms you aren't breathing??

      July 12, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      Not exactly true. The Annulment process requires a sacramental defect at the time of marriage. If it was a non-Catholic marriage this is relatively easy to do, if it was a Catholic Marriage, it is almost impossible to meet the requirement.

      July 12, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  17. WachetAuf

    From one dysfunctional relationship to another.

    July 12, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  18. Reality

    For Katie's eyes only,

    Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

    The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.


    For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

    Current RCC problems:

    Too many pedophiliac priests, an all-male, aging hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

    Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

    Current problems:

    Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

    July 12, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Thomas

      How did you get such vast knowledge of an individual who probably never existed?

      July 12, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • ME II

      "For Katie's eyes only,"


      July 12, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      Not to mention pseudo-intellectual Atheists. The Church survived the ancient Romans, it will survive you.

      July 12, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Steve

      ...and the gates of hell shall not prvail against it. It is only by God's unfathomable divine mercy that He has allowed mankind to stuble along through the wilderness this long. But, rest assured, the time is coming (quickly) that His patience will wear out, the Lamb will sit down, and the Lion will arise.

      July 12, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Reality

      From Professors Crossan and Watts' book, Who is Jesus.

      "That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states, is as certain as anything historical can ever be.

      “ The Jewish historian, Josephus and the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very hard to imagine that Jesus' followers would have invented such a story unless it indeed happened.

      “While the brute fact that of Jesus' death by crucifixion is historically certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much more problematic. "

      “My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety.

      I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those "last week" details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered."

      See also Professor Crossan's reviews of the existence of Jesus in his other books especially, The Historical Jesus and also Excavating Jesus (with Professor Jonathan Reed doing the archeology discussion) .

      Other NT exegetes to include members of the Jesus Seminar have published similar books with appropriate supporting references.

      Part of Crossan's The Historical Jesus has been published online at books.google.com/books.

      There is also a search engine for this book on the left hand side of the opening page. e.g. Search Josephus

      See also Wikipedia's review on the historical Jesus to include the Tacitus' reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.

      From ask.com,

      "One of the greatest historians of ancient Rome, Cornelius Tacitus is a primary source for much of what is known about life the first and second centuries after the life of Jesus. His most famous works, Histories and Annals, exist in fragmentary form, though many of his earlier writings were lost to time. Tacitus is known for being generally reliable (if somewhat biased toward what he saw as Roman immorality) and for having a uniquely direct (if not blunt) writing style.

      Then there are these scriptural references:

      Crucifixion of Jesus:(1) 1 Cor 15:3b; (2a) Gos. Pet. 4:10-5:16,18-20; 6:22; (2b) Mark 15:22-38 = Matt 27:33-51a = Luke 23:32-46; (2c) John 19:17b-25a,28-36; (3) Barn. 7:3-5; (4a) 1 Clem. 16:3-4 (=Isaiah 53:1-12); (4b) 1 Clem. 16.15-16 (=Psalm 22:6-8); (5a) Ign. Mag. 11; (5b) Ign. Trall. 9:1b; (5c) Ign. Smyrn. 1.2.- (read them all at wiki.faithfutures. Crucifixion org/index.php/005_Crucifixion_Of_Jesus )

      Added suggested readings:

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.
      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter

      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"
      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html
      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
      10.The Gnostic Jesus
      (Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern Gnosticism)
      by Douglas Groothuis: equip.org/free/DG040-1.htm

      July 12, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Reality

      – Matt 16:18, as per many contemporary NT scholars was not uttered by the historical Jesus. e.g. http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb073.html and Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 198: "Matt 16: 18 is inauthentic.

      July 12, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
  19. cdgfla

    Poor girl. She goes from one secret cult of lunatics to an open cult of pedophile protectors and worshippers. Come on over to the side of reason Katie, I'll show you the light.

    July 12, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Thomas

      Are there any untarnished organizations within our society you can be a part of?

      July 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm |

      i bet you want to show herr something gigidy gigidy

      July 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  20. Thomas

    Good for Katie! Not that I believe in god (or don't), at least the girl is away from scientology.

    July 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm |

      like i said before out of one cult and into a more socially accepted cult.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Thomas

      Hmmm, let me read back and see if you have made a compelling enough argument to state the Catholicism is a cult or not...

      July 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm |

      umm so then whats the difference between a cult and religion then?

      July 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • derp

      You might want to invest in a dictionary.

      Cult: noun

      1.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.

      The RCC is by definition a cult.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Thomas

      Acceptance is the difference. And the Catholic Church is accepted as a mainstream religion world wide; even if it is not agreed upon.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • ME II

      Are there any untarnished organizations within our society you can be a part of?

      July 12, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Apatheist

      In general, christian churches, regardless of denomination, would not fulfill the requirements of being a 'cult'. Complete BS, but not cults. Scientology however.....

      July 12, 2012 at 6:28 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.