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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. PPJr

    Out of frying pan, and into a fire.

    July 11, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
  2. Angela

    In my opinion, the Catholic church is just another cult...but with far more money than most other organized religious organizations (which are also cults).

    July 11, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
  3. Colin

    Catholics are weird. They actually believe that grocery store bread and wine becomes the flesh and blood of Jesus becuase a priest does some hocus-pocus over it in church. Now, there is obviously no change in the bread and wine, it is simple bread and wine before and after the priest does his voodoo, but the simpletons believe it is magically transformed.

    Go figure...

    July 11, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • ajk68

      Colin, you should learn a little about what you criticize before writing.

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

      ajk68 – and what did I get wrong?

      July 11, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • junior

      The fact that you cannot discern the difference between Christianity and magic is a testament to the depth of your reason or lack thereof. You are upset because Jesus is not a lucky rabbit's foot. You didn't get your way sometime in the past and that traumatized you.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
  4. crappygovernment

    If you walked into an Atheist meeting by accident instead of an ACLU meeting would you be able to tell the difference?

    July 11, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • vulpecula

      Yes. Why, do you not know the difference? Must be that us against the world syndrome.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Patrick

      Atheists have meetings? That's news to me. Where am I supposed to meet with other atheists?

      July 12, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • RealityCheck

      @Patrick – You'll meet them (and me) in hell, of course! That's where all of us who don't believe in Santa go.

      July 12, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  5. Freethinker Seeking Reason

    Out of one cult and back to another, much bigger one. Subtle improvement at best. Still, good luck to her. Maybe one day she'll finally take a course in comparative religion and figure it out for real.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • crappygovernment

      you sound pretentious, comrade!

      July 11, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Chad

      What is your definition of "cult"?

      July 11, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Veritas

      It takes only Faith and intelligence to choose the worship of God. It takes arrogance, pride and lack of intellect to choose the worship of self.

      Worship of God gives the promise of a chance of eternal happines. The worship of self leads to selfishness, cruelty, sin and the relegation of man to animal status.

      You choose your way and allow us to choose ours. Your comments are unimportant, and have no effect whatsoever on our decision to love the God who made us.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • John

      my definition of a cult is any group of people telling you lies, making you believe those lies, and then spreading those lies to other people... all while not having a single shred of proof. To top it all off those lies will control my government and dictate how people will vote

      July 11, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • Chad

      @John "my definition of a cult is any group of people telling you lies, making you believe those lies, and then spreading those lies to other people... all while not having a single shred of proof. To top it all off those lies will control my government and dictate how people will vote"

      =>agreed: I dont like atheism either, worshiping themselves, willfully ignoring the evidence of God, spreading lies...

      July 11, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • John

      Oh brother... please provide me your evidence of God? And I hope it's not some story about how you almost died in a car accident when you were 12 and the doctor said it's a miracle you're still alive.

      As an atheist I dont have any news to spread or lectures to dole out. Everything I would like other people to know is already covered in high school level science classes... at least north of the Mason Dixon line anyways. I dont have to worship myself, I already feel pretty good just knowing I'm intellectually superior to most people out there

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

      – how was the universe created?
      – why is the universe fine tuned for life's building blocks?
      – how was life first created on earth?
      – why do species "wobble about the genetic mean" (remaining in stasis) for millions and millions of years then in a suddenly produced; flurry of complex and wonderful co-adaptations, produce a new species. Every single time?? (see punctuated equilibrium)?
      – Why was Jesus tomb empty?
      – why did so many of his followers and enemies report meeting a resurrected Jesus, a belief they held so strongly that they would all go to their death proclaiming it's truth?

      "we dont know" is a poor answer, don't you think?

      July 11, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Still using the argument from ignorance I see. I was wondering when you'd be back tooling around with this fallacious idiocy.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Colin

      Chad

      – how was your god created?
      – why did it bother to create the universe?
      – how did it first create life on earth?
      – why do species "wobble about the genetic mean" (remaining in stasis) for millions and millions of years then in a suddenly produced; flurry of complex and wonderful co-adaptations, produce a new species. Every single time?? (see punctuated equilibrium)?
      – Why did Mohammed ascend into heaven on a horse?
      – why did so many of Mohammed's followers and enemies report seeing visions of Mohammed, a belief they held so strongly that they would all go to their death proclaiming it's truth?

      "we dont know" is a poor answer, don't you think?

      July 11, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Chad

      I could power my house with the amount of groaning I do when I read your posts. Why is it that whenever someone asks for proof of god, you fail to give proof but ask questions hoping that people will make he same inference as you do. Let's also not forget, that not being able to sufficiently answers these questions at this moment on this blog in no way "proves" of your specific gods existence.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Chad

      @Colin "how was your god created?
      =>He wasnt, He always existed

      @Colin "why did [God] bother to create the universe?
      => to provide a place for us to live

      @Colin "how did [God] first create life on earth?
      =>supernaturally.. didnt take Him long..

      @Colin "why do species "wobble about the genetic mean" (remaining in stasis) for millions and millions of years then in a suddenly produced; flurry of complex and wonderful co-adaptations, produce a new species. Every single time?? (see punctuated equilibrium)?"
      =>excellent question, I pose it myself to atheists all the time and have never gotten an answer.. Only reasonable explanation is theistic evolution.

      @Colin "Why did Mohammed ascend into heaven on a horse?
      =>hmm.. that's Islam, not Judeo-Christianity..

      @Colin "why did so many of Mohammed's followers and enemies report seeing visions of Mohammed, a belief they held so strongly that they would all go to their death proclaiming it's truth?"
      =>Source?
      I know you would never make something up without having done some research.. so just provide a link..
      and.... "I'm sure it must have happened" doesnt really count I'm sure you'll agree 😉

      @Colin ""we dont know" is a poor answer, don't you think?
      =>agreed
      why are you so comfortable with it?

      July 11, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • haha Chad got pwnteded haha

      stupid motherfucker

      July 11, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  6. SC

    I just made a comment not long ago as soon as I saw the news of she and Tom Cruise's divorce. The comment was she is going back to her old religion. I wish I could include a snapshot that comment I made earlier. A very typical clueless American.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • Clued In

      You so smart...

      July 11, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
  7. John

    So she leaves one cult to join another... nice one

    July 11, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Azr43l

      LOL!! Well said.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • crappygovernment

      Don't forget the foul, soul-less cult that runs Hollywood and CNN, either...That's why Americans have turned on the Media. They have discovered the wackos who run it.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • mydogbill

      God is going to raise up great saints in His Catholic church so all the world will know where Christs church truly is.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • John

      Pretty sure CNN and Hollywood arent run by a cult. Besides, if you want an example of people turning because of wacko leaders wouldnt you naturally look to the Church first?

      July 11, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • crappygovernment

      sure it is, John...it's a different religious cult pulling the strings behind the scenes of all Media...

      July 11, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  8. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    "Huffington Post reporter Naughty But Nice Rob", really, this is what journalism has come to in this society?

    And all CNN can do is retread the Huff Post?

    July 11, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
  9. grace

    Good for you Kate! I'm sure it was a hard decision for you, but you made the right one. God always brings his children back when they have gotten off track. God bless you and your family.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Veritas

      Great post grace. It's sad that so many people close their minds to a God who loves them.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
  10. Ben

    That's not really a win, Katie. Give intellectual autonomy a try.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • crappygovernment

      Do you have those dead, soul-less eastern european eyes, Ben?

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

      I'm sure your idea of intellectual autonomy includes the arrogance of thinking you know everything and that anyone who has a spiriitual understanding is stupid. Yeah – that's intellectual autonomy – wrong! Embracing what you know to be real and true and practive a belief is real autonomy.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And yet, promoting these things as true without evidence is intellectually dishonest.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • Larry Bob

      @TC, would you please prove that "what you know to be real and true" is actually real and true, for there are a lot of us who ask for any evidence at all on this, and we get nothing but lies, insanity or abuse. If you have something of substance to prove that your religious beliefs are real and true, and that the religious beliefs of all other faiths are therefore false, please do share it.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • Larry Bob

      TC? TC? You were asked for evidence, and you vanished.

      Religious people always vanish when they are asked for evidence. Not a surprise, really.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
  11. Katie Holmes

    I am leaving a crazy religious organization and returning to one that believes in transubstantiation, the inferiority of women, exorcism, and Papal infallibility.

    Good thing I am free from religious insanity now!

    July 11, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • TC

      I doubt you remotely could theologically discuss transubstantiation and women are not inferior in the RCC. Do more reading before you try and post something of value.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Katie Holmes

      Not inferior? You might want to find a female priest or bishop of Pope and ask them about that.

      Let's hear your lofty theological insight on transubstantiation. I would love to hear someone prove that it is not bizarre. Go for it. I'll read what you have to say.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @TC,

      sure as laity, the RCC treats men and women the same. You're on pretty thin ice regarding the clerical distinctions.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • ajk68

      The problem here is imposing notions of inferiority and superiority that are not relevant.
      Priests are not seen as superior. If anything, priesthood is actually a role of service. Priests are called to a specific vocation to administer the sacraments and preach the Gospel.

      Superiority in the Church is by way of holiness.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
  12. TC

    Welcome back and I imagine so nice to shake off the crazies.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  13. crappygovernment

    The Catholic Church was emasculated long ago. Shouldn't they be speaking out about un-necessary wars and not encouraging illegal aliens to steal benefits and services from law abiding citizens? Vatican 2 watered down the religion.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • ajk68

      The Church has spoken out against wars.

      It also encourages people to immigrate legally. At the same time, it encourages countries to allow people in to find work and live in freedom.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
  14. Portland tony

    Why does anyone care? She could become a Druid, if that's what she wants!

    July 11, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
  15. Your Religion Might Be Bullshіt If...

    Funny video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-z4iaUFSkME

    July 11, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • adamdocherty

      How did you embedd the vid?

      July 11, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • eatmybird

      Welcome back to Catholicism ,Katie. Now, can you help out with a donation please? The Philadelphia Archdiocese is planning an appeal for their convicted child-molesting priests.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
  16. Mello

    Welcome back Katie!

    July 11, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
  17. anonononononon

    Honestly, the only basic difference between Scientology and the Catholic Church is that the Catholic Church managed to start playing the racket about 1600 years ahead of the Scientologists. Though, to the Scientologists' credit, you don't hear many stories about them collecting large numbers of child molesting priests.

    In the end, there is plenty of money out there for all the organized religions to make out like the bandits they are.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • Mello

      Ummm.... yeah.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • TC

      Thanks for the indepth research and the historical accuracy of your post – stick to just reading, you might learn something.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
  18. QS

    "Tell people there's an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority will believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."

    – George Carlin

    July 11, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • Larry Bob

      Good one!

      July 11, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Chad

      "Tell people that the universe just spontaneously sprang into existence out of nothing, and they'll believe it.
      Tell people that life on earth spontaneously occurred by a random collision of molecules and they'll believe it.

      Tell people that it is indeed possible that all of the oxygen molecules in a room could spontaneously move to one side of the room leaving you dead on the couch at the other, and they'll laugh in your face..

      go figure..

      July 11, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
  19. crappygovernment

    I wish more of Hollywood had souls....

    July 11, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      crappy.. i see many African catholics have no soles either..

      July 11, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  20. Tom

    Is the Catholic Mass anything like the "mass" that the Higgs boson is responsible for? ( Note: This question should bewilder the morons in here.)

    July 11, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Sad to say, but you're about a week too late for that pun.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Ken from FL

      Says the moron.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:07 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.