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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. Cait's Pace

    It simply amazes me how people trash another person for going to church, and yet if I say trashed someone for being a pagan I'd get shouted at 10 fold. Give it a rest people. If Katie Holmes wants to go to the church of her youth it's HER CHOICE. She was smart in divorcing Tom.

    July 12, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      So it's okay for her to put her child at risk? It's child abuse!

      July 12, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Hez316

      Well put

      July 12, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
  2. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    @Really-O?,

    thanks, perhaps I will sometime.

    July 12, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Ooops – forgot to hit reply.

      July 12, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  3. nolimits3333

    From one cult to another...

    The Catholic Church is more interested in preventing contraception than preventing pedophillia.

    July 12, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Boris Bingo

      Bingo. Couldn't have said it better.

      July 12, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...or HIV/AIDS.

      July 12, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  4. booboot0805

    Bet those catholic priests who are not gay are already wringing their hands.

    July 12, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
  5. RichardSRussell

    Trading a new, squiirrely form of dementia for an archaic, repressive form of dementia. Some would call this progress.

    July 12, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Mark

      Forcing a child into ANY RELIGION IS CHILD ABUSE

      July 12, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
  6. markus

    Good planning Katie. Convert to his religion, get married, have a child and then decide it is not for you. Selfish, selfish behavior. Now Suri gets to grow up going back and forth for holidays. How to screw up your kid and a family 101.

    July 12, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Bugmenot

      COST are ya?

      July 12, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Bugmenot

      That's church of sucksville tool

      July 12, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
  7. Cheryl

    The Catholic church is thrilled that a divorced woman is joining the church?? My parents can't even have communion in a Catholic church because my mom made a mistake at 18 and was divorced by 20. Really Catholic church- open arms? They need the money.

    July 12, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • heehaww39191

      From the Catholic Church's perspective, TomKat's marriage is ultimately invalid because the wedding was not a Christian ceremony, performed by a priest, or blessed by any other acceptable Christian clergyman. Thus, the divorce "problem" is easy to get around in this case.

      July 12, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • JKR

      That's not true about the communion. That was true about 30 years ago.

      July 12, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • JKR

      Divorce, of itself, is not an obstacle to receiving the Eucharist—but mortal sin is. If a person’s divorce is an occasion of mortal sin, then he must at least be reconciled with God and the Church, ordinarily through the sacrament of confession, prior to receiving the Eucharist.

      July 12, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • junior

      You are only telling us some of the story. Your Father may receive the Holy Eucharist but there are some things that your pastor must have explained the conditions. Your parents I am sure have been given the explanation for reconciling or if your mother's previous marriage was determined to be sacramental. Have they undergone an annulment process?

      July 12, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
  8. Lola

    Ha-ha ! She definitely need to change one powerful club for another, probably for protection.

    July 12, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
  9. blake

    Who cares if Holmes becomes a nominal Roman Catholic again. It would be great if she became a follower of Jesus.

    July 12, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • Jay Stevens

      Why would that be great? or even good?

      July 12, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Gracie

      So true! Accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior, is the first step to become a follower and believer in Christ. Whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. –
      John 3:16

      July 12, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  10. back

    I find it refreshing that when we come to forums as these,, most now realize how silly religion and the catholic church are. No doubt, there are still Cathaholics out there. Then again, we all understand how using fear when brainwashing children destroys later adult logical thinking.

    July 12, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  11. Angela

    God is calling Katie back to her faith. I think it's awesome!!

    July 12, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • back

      that would make Katie delusional. Why do that to her? She is likely just immature yet.

      July 12, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Mister Jones

      Really? Wow. Can you, please please please, explain to me what you think a "soul" is? You know, that part of you that is eternal and all that.

      July 12, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Frank

      So she leaves one cult and goes back to the cult of her birth where she will indoctrinate her child. Too bad. I guess embracing reason is just too much to expect.

      July 12, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • back

      Well, Frank, that's why I treat religion as p-o–r-n and keep it away from children. When they are 18, they can decide to join one. The religious don't like that, brainwashing sticks better when you begin it in early life.

      July 12, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Angela

      I'm a recently confirmed adult Catholic. I'm a smart person and absolutely have a mind of my own (and don't buy into BS that most people do). When God wants you to be Catholic, he calls you and you KNOW IT. It's very undeniable. Faith is a gift from God and those who don't have it have either not been receptive to it, or it hasn't been given to them. That's all I can say. Sure, the Church has had some struggles, and sure, "cradle Catholics" really stuggling to come to terms with the responsibilities of their faith, but the church is still around and has been for over 2000 years.

      July 12, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Angela

      *really struggle

      July 12, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      It's a cult of pedophiles and they don't deserve the support they get. What damn part of innocent children being harmed by priests who are protected from criminal prosecution happens to be right in the minds of anyone? The cult needs to be disbanded and taxed and all supporting it brought to justice so innocent children can finally be safe! What a bunch of immoral sickos!

      July 12, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • OTOH

      Angela: "but the church is still around and has been for over 2000 years."

      Hinduism has been around for something like 7000 years and is still around. So what?

      July 12, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
  12. sportreform

    Forgive me Father for I have sinned. It has been 5 years since my last confession. I have used strap-on devices to please my husband. 10 Hail Marys? Bless you, Father.

    July 12, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
  13. Wow

    Are we really continuing an argument about the Catholic Church? What about the fact that CNN is once again quoting the Huffington Post who got it's information from "their reporter named Naughty But Nice Rob", really, this is what journalism has come to in this society?

    Upon reading this article, I was 100% sure that many comments would be "from one cult to another". It's old and think of something else.

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

      however it's accurate, all cults.

      July 12, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  14. rabs

    Lol, she moved from one fairy tale to another

    July 12, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
  15. Me

    If you don't know about the Catholic faith why talk!!!!!!!!!!

    July 12, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • back

      I know it too well. It's run by a bunch of juvenile delinquents that never grew up, pope on down. In fact their rules are no different than kids tree house rules including; 1. No women allowed 2. and what's said in the church, stays in the church. <pedo scandal.

      July 12, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
  16. Cando

    The church has been flooded with calls.............. Get a life, people!!!

    July 12, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • back

      church has not been flooded with calls,, well, maybe to call them a pedo organization.

      July 12, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  17. back

    she is obviously still immature. Going back to the pedo catholic church? Even worse than Scientology.

    July 12, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • just sayin

      Catholic Church is probably worse than the Scientology wackos.

      July 12, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • just sayin

      If you were to stack up the religions, the Catholic S c u m Pedo Church would be at the bottom. The leaders are disgusting and the followers for supporting them. Example on this board Gerald sits right along with the child r a p ists

      July 12, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  18. Bookenz

    Nothing like trading one cult for another.

    July 12, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  19. Elliot

    Everyday I'm completely astounded about the number of people that actually believe these fairy tales, it's scary and humerous at the same time.

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

      It can bring comfort to some people – which makes it good to them. There is nothing really wrong with religion until the religous get the psychotic belief that their particular brand of religion applies to other people.

      July 12, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Mister Jones

      @jwt – really? Well, it's comforting for kids to believe in Santa Claus, but at some point they are expect to grow up. It is not good to believe in fairy tales and base your entire existence on a contradictory book written by goat-herders and farmers thousands of years ago in the desert. These people, who believe that a guy rounded up 2 of every species on the planet and put them on a boat for a year (a year. do you have any clue how much food a hippo, an elephant, and a rhino would consume in a year?) get elected to office and they make rules. I would rather have intelligent people doing that, than just the faithful.

      July 12, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Nah

      mister: "Well, it's comforting for kids to believe in Santa Claus, but at some point they are expect to grow up. It is not good to believe in fairy tales and base your entire existence on a contradictory book written by goat-herders and farmers thousands of years ago in the desert"

      First, you do realize that ad hominems and strawmen are illogical and useless, right?

      Second, you do realize that religion is not coextensive with the existence of a god, right?

      Wait, what am I saying. You're a dogmatic atheist. Logic and sense are foreign to you.

      July 12, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • LittleHero

      I myself have always been amazed.

      You go to Sunday school and they tell you the bible stories in exactly the same way they read other fairies tales, including Santa and the Easter Bunny. When I figured out that Santa wasn't real, it all fell apart for me – it was obvious that no matter how many times they told me "But, God is real", that it was all a lie. It was only later that I found out that they really believed what they were saying. By then I knew better than to open my mouth, they had no better answers for me than they did when I was 6.

      July 12, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • jwt

      It may not be real in that sense but it real to them and for the vast majority does no harm whatsoever. We all have irrational beliefs and for the most all of us they are totally harmless.

      July 12, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • LittleHero

      Agreed – for most people I would agree that it can be positive. But, there is a huge segment that would dictate their beliefs on others. This same segment would also ask me about my beliefs in social settings and if I were to admit I was an atheist, they would exhibit bigotry.

      July 12, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Nah,

      I missed the ad hominem attack you refer to in your reply to Mr. Jones. I agree, they are inappropriate and there is way too much of them in Belief Blog comments.

      Nice use of coextensive by the way, but there are very few religions that don't have a God. (From what I can tell Scientology appears to be one.) Before you reply, atheism is not a religion.

      July 12, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
  20. Journey

    RCC, Protestantism, Scientology, Atheism...they are all cults.

    July 12, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I don't know how atheism could be a "cult" since it's a denial of a position. Is non-stamp collecting a cult? Is being asymptomatic a medical problem?

      And then there's the issue of size. Typically, a world renown religion is not considered a "cult," but a cult has a smaller and more local following.

      July 12, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • back

      Monies were an international cult as the catholic church is.

      July 12, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • back

      or was that Moonies..

      July 12, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • back

      atheism wouldn't be a cult, it's a non-belief. Correct. Otherwise it would be like saying, not having a disease is a disease.

      July 12, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Journey

      Atheists worship Christopher Hitches the same way RCC's worhsip JPII.

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

      @Journey

      You have a pretty stupid assertion there. Preachers are a pretty bad source of information on what others believe.

      July 12, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Journey,

      who is Christopher Hitches?

      Oh, did you mean Christopher Hitchens? I've never read anything he or Richard Dawkins has ever written. You don't need a messiah or a preacher to not believe in God.

      July 12, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV – "I've never read anything he or Richard Dawkins has ever written."

      Please do – brilliance on both fronts.

      Cheers

      July 12, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Nah

      moby: "I don't know how atheism could be a "cult" since it's a denial of a position. Is non-stamp collecting a cult? Is being asymptomatic a medical problem?"

      At a general level a cult is simply some group that has the same beliefs.

      Much less, "non-stamp collecting" isn't analogous. Why? Because atheists don't live in the mere "absence" of a belief because they put forward - quite positively - that they "believe" that there "is no" god.

      July 12, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Nah,

      this is precisely the mistake that many religionists make about atheists. There are three answers:

      1. I believe in God
      2. I believe in the non-existence of God
      3. I don't believe in God.

      Alternatives two and three are different. You might find the distinction subtle, but it is an important distinction. Atheism is the third alternative. Atheists can believe in many other things, they just don't believe in God.

      July 12, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Really-O?,

      thanks, perhaps I will sometime.

      (reposted from above)

      July 12, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Nah,

      Religionists are keen to determine that atheists believe in the non-existence of God.

      That way they get to say atheists in their delusion have merely transferred a system of beliefs from one thing (God) to another thing (no God). They then like to say "show me the proof that God does not exist" (which is of course logically impossible).

      Thesists truly have a hard time understanding the literal definition of atheism – a disbelief in God.

      July 12, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      The religious love to use a false dichotomy. It's what Pascal's Wager hinges on, and it's how they justify using equivocation to ignore the third option of simple non-belief.

      July 12, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
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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.