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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.

CNN's Belief Blog: the faith angles behind the big stories

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. The Electric Chair Was Invented By A Christian Dentist

    From Catholic to Scientologist to Catholic. I guess she is having trouble deciding which intellectual trailer park to stay at.

    July 11, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
  2. No religion thank you

    From the frying pan into the fire Katie...

    July 11, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
  3. Miku Hatsune

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3m0W98UP0&w=640&h=360]

    July 11, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
  4. junior

    The degree of filth being thrown at the Catholic Church brings a quote to mind from Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
    "There are not a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions of people who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church"

    If you want to know what Catholics believe or rather should believe I invite you to Catholic.com

    July 11, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Edna Pimples

      No True Scotsman Fallacy

      July 11, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • simple simon

      No thanks! I'd rather hate what I believe to be the Catholic Church.

      Oh yeah, and what I read of court convictions of their priests for child molestation
      and high-ranking priests who protect the molesters. How can you say Catholicism
      is good when it's failed the very ones who've been most committed to it?

      July 11, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • junior

      Apparently Catholicism is that which inhabits your minds. The problem is you arent 2,000 yrs old.
      Lord have mercy.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • Johnny Blammo

      Jack Lord is indeed merciful

      July 11, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
  5. servantofTHEWORD

    Jesus Christ is the answer...for all...He loves us all.

    July 11, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Jesus Christ

      I love you all that I am going to torture most of you forever in my eternal Auschwitz!

      July 11, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      sorry but i think Hastune's love will save us all shes the answer

      July 11, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Miku Hatsune

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3m0W98UP0w4&w=640&h=360]

      $0rr7

      July 11, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      oh come on Hatsune why wont you be our saver

      July 11, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Miku Hatsune

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwcOHa6exKc&w=640&h=360]

      ♪-Nyan-♫

      July 11, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      way to put your self before others, Hatsune!.. that's the true savior every one,... and yet shes still better then Jesus of Nazareth .... and more real

      July 11, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • servantofTHEWORD

      Reply to (anti)Jesus Christ...turn or burn...He hates wickedness.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Yup, nothing shows love like eternal torture.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • servantofTHEWORD

      Reply to Hawaiiquest...Choose love...Jesus...and receive your reward...eternal bliss...or deny our Savior Christ...and receive your reward...eternal torment.Today, if you will come to Christ...He will receive you with open arms.

      July 11, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Yay more prosletyzing cr.ap.

      July 12, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      Repent and come to Hatsune or suffer eternal boredom
      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKj7CGU6FX&w=640&h=360]

      for all those who come to Hatsune will live for ever in the land of Leaks

      July 12, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      lets try the video once more
      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKj7CGU6FX8&w=640&h=360]

      July 12, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  6. crappygovernment

    Atheism = a religion for pretentious or inherently soulless types

    July 11, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • Arthur Smegma

      Appropriate definition for religion (Webster): "the service and worship of God or the supernatural."

      Atheism cannot be a religion. Same is true with "faith" and "cult.". Religious people attempt to use the Fallacy of Equivocation to say that other definitions of those words make it so, but that is just dishonest argumentation.

      I do wonder why they always want to drag us into their cesspool by playing that game? Is it perhaps that then subconsciously recognize the superiority of our position, and want to kick us down to their level?

      July 11, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • JoJo

      They may be souless, like everyone is, but they're not mindless like you.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @JoJo,

      well said.

      @Mr. crappy,

      feel better now?

      (And here was me thinking that Christians believe that all humans had an eternal soul. There's some new theology I have to catch up on.)

      July 11, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
  7. ob

    As a Catolic, I would never support a cult that believed in ridiculous nonsense like levetation, mindreading, immortality and demonic possessions.

    However, I have no problem believing in the Ascension, prayers being heard, eternal life in Jesus and exorcisms......

    July 11, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • major tom

      Aren't you a tampon?

      July 11, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Johnny Turnaround

      At least he is not a douche like you!

      July 11, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Brian

      uh you do know that "levitation" was one of the more popular "miracles" performed by your early saints...

      July 11, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
  8. simple simon

    There's no relation between God and religion. Religion is like a blind person describing the moon.

    July 11, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • huskiemom

      That makes absolutely no sense.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • simple simon

      Hi, Ms. Palin!

      July 11, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Edna Pimples

      Religion is like a blind man describing the unicorn in the next room that all the other blind people told him about, even though they were never in the room either.

      God is the unicorn.

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

    I wouldn't consider the Catholic Church a step up from the Church of Scientology.

    July 11, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • from beyond the arc

      LOL

      July 11, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
  10. thislittlepiggywentweeweewee

    They don't want you, Katie. They want your cute, helpless child.

    July 11, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The Scientologists? Or the Catholics?

      Perhaps this is relevant:

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJBoHa3GArA&w=640&h=360]

      July 11, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
  11. Chucky Upchuck

    Catholicism? Scientology? Aren't the just two different sides of the same coin?

    July 11, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Arthur Smegma

      Yeah, and the coin's a wooden nickel at that – bogus, phony, a fraud.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
  12. JoJo

    Switching from Scientology to Catholicism is like switching from believing in ouija boards to vodoo beads. Katie, when you're ready, how about joining us human beings and facing the truth that no one has any ultimate answers, and the only thing we know for sure is this earth and this life we live, and that we should try to make the world as good as possible for each other using our reason and compassion.

    July 11, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • from beyond the arc

      Wow! You should start a religion!

      July 11, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • crappygovernment

      Isn't that what the Bolsheviks said before they slaughtered tens of millions of Russians Christians?

      July 11, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • JoJo

      "You should start a religion."
      It was started thousands of years ago, arguably by Socrates. It's called Humanism.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • JoJo

      CrappyGovernment.
      No, the Bolsheviks didn't say that. You must be thinking of the gazillions of people tortured and slaughtered by all the religions of the world, including Christianity (or it's modern variant neo-Chistianist militarism) over the millenia.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      i agree

      July 11, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • from beyond the arc

      Thanks, JoJo! I'm a Humanist!

      Now who'll tell me right from wrong? Don't say "yourself," because that'll put us back in a world of hurt.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • JoJo

      Beyond the Arc, YOU and your reason will tell you right from wrong, and your natural feeling of compassion for yourself and others. That's better than using a Quija board, my friend.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
  13. Colin

    I think my favorite of all Catholic superst.itions is the "Confession". It is sheer idiocy. The idea is you tell a priest your sins. He then somehow communicates with a being that supposedly created the Universe. This being is, according to this belief, mad at you because you did something that displeased it, like lied, cheated or stole.

    Because the priest has magic powers and can so communicate, he asks this creator to no longer be mad at you and this creator-being then forgives you.

    Can you believe they swallow this completely fvcking absurd nonsense?

    July 11, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • junior

      You should not ridicule that which you do not understand COLIN. Jesus commissioned his apostles, the first priests, the first bishops actually "Receive the Holy Spirit". "If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any they have been retained." John 20:23

      July 11, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Dennis

      You seem to be pretty much obsessed. Not only are your 'interpretations' completely wrong and big oted, you obviously have some self-esteem issues that you have to denegrate everyone else to make yourself feel better. recommend you see someone about that. living with that much self loathing is destructive. And yes, its self loathing when you are so obsessed with being so ignora nt and big-oted that you hunt down every chance you can to make long irrelevant, ignor ant and misinformed posts about something that obviously has nothing to do with you IF you were a true atheist.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
  14. wilkommen

    Welcome back to catholicism. Leave your brains at the door as you enter.

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

      If you have ever read someone named St. Thomas Aquinas, you wouldn't be saying that.

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

      Aquinas. Wasn't it Aquinas who justified the murder of Jews? A real intellectual heavyweight that one.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • wilkommen

      Jr... If you ever read Christopher Hitchens you wouldn't mention Thomas Aquinas

      July 11, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • crappygovernment

      Colin, Christianity and Judaism are incompatible. They are 180 degrees apart ideolgically. Check out Rev 2:9, Mt 27:25 or Jn 8:44-48 for a few Biblical hints.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Mr. crappy,

      Oh if that were only true. If Judaism is so far removed from Christianity, why do so many Evangelical Protestants cleave to Leviticus and Genesis so?

      Not to mention their obsession wiht the idea that our laws are somehow based on the Ten Commandments. I can't think of more than three that match up with any law.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • crappygovernment

      Take it up with the Biblical authors, Mr. Pretentious Apostate!

      July 11, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Dennis

      "Im no Goper" well since you obviously know d*** about the Bible, since you think there are only 10 Commandments, its pretty obvious you WOULDNT be able to count higher than three that match up.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Ah, our old friend abuse, the first refuge of the inarticulate.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
  15. junior

    Beautiful. The church welcomes all with open arms. Welcome back Katie

    July 11, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
  16. Leslie

    Katie returning to Catholicism... Let's see... how much it's going to cost ($$$) for 1) child born out of wedlock to be legitimized, and 2) to have the subsequent divorce reclassified as an annulment??? In any event – I wish her well – I just am always amused by the celebrities who cling to their religion, but don't follow it's teachings.

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

      Therein is the beauty of Christianity. The sacrament of reconciliation. Hope.

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

      AMEN...no pun intended

      July 11, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • JRinATL

      Actually, having the baby baptized as a Catholic is relatively easy though we don't really know whether that is something that Tom and Kate would jointly agree upon. The Catholic Church treats other marriages as valid and thus need to be nullified so that's more of a problem, as I understand, to clear with Scientology than with the Catholic Church. And that would be a process that would need to be done should Katie get married in the Catholic Church, a process which I hope Katie starts now.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Dennis

      It costs exactly nothing. But good try in attempting to talk about something you obviously know nothing about.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  17. Colin

    Actually Chad, you’ll find that most (ex-Christian) atheists don’t believe for one or more of the following reasons:

    The concept of an immortal being makes no sense to us.

    The concept of an all-powerful being makes no sense to us.

    The concept of an all-knowing being makes no sense to us.

    We tend to have a good working knowledge of the age, size and history of the Universe and the idea that a being would create the entire thing – with 400,000,000,000 galaxies, EACH with 100, 000,000,000 starts and even more planets, then sit back and wait 13,720,000,000 years for human beings to evolve on one planet so he could “love them” and send his son to talk about sheep and goats in Iron Age Palestine makes no sense to us.

    The answers usually proffered for what we see as basic logical flaws in Christianity – “you have been blinded by your lack of faith” “God moves in mysterious ways” “God is outside the Universe” or “our minds are too small to understand the greatness of God” are never satisfying to us. We see a retreat to mysticism as the first refuge of the cornered fool.

    The common argument, “well, what caused the Big Bang?” with the implication that, because we have only theories and no iron clad explanation for the Big Bang yet, [the Christian] god must have caused it – does not make sense to us. “I don’t know” does not equal “god” to us, much less the Judeo-Christian god. We feel the answers to such a question are much more likely to be found in Einstein’s equations, quantum physics, large particle accelerators and radio telescopes than in Genesis Chapters 1 through 20. We’re crazy aren’t we?

    We do not see miracles in things like tornadoes missing a certain trailer in a trailer park, cancer going into remission or Tim Tebow winning a football game.

    We understand that Christianity is one of many, many religions in the World, and we don’t think that we were lucky enough to have been born in the one part of the World that “got it right”.

    We tend to have a basic knowledge of history and know that there is nothing magical or special about the supposed history of the Jews, gospels, letters, apocalyptic story (Revelations) and other materials that found their way into the Bible, in that they are largely indistinguishable from the other mythology and religious writings of the time and region.

    Human beings are terrified of their own deaths and we see the various religious beliefs that try to “wish it away” such as reincarnation, living happily ever after in Heaven with Jesus, having your own Mormon planet etc. as nothing more than childish stories for the more naive, timid minds among us.

    We do not see morality as predicated upon a belief in the supernatural. We accept that one can be moral without believing in the supernatural and that doing so is no guaranty that one will conform to the norms of society that people call “morality”.

    “You can’t prove God doesn’t exist” is not a convincing argument to us, as in inability to disprove something is a far cry from it being true. We cannot prove that the Hindu gods Shiva or Vishnu do not exist either, nor Santa Claus for that matter, but that is hardly a reason to believe in them. It is almost always impossible to prove a negative in this sense.

    When one looks at the various Christian beliefs that were once firmly believed – Adam and Eve, Noah’s flood, people living to be 700 or 900 years old, the Red Sea splitting, water turning into wine, talking snakes, a man living in a whale’s belly, people rising from the dead, Jesus driving demons out of people and into pigs – but which are now acknowledged by most thinking people to be mere mythology, it is pretty hard to give a lot of credibility to what’s left.

    It is hard not to consider Christianity as based on circular reasoning. Most Christians believe in God because the Bible says so, then turn around and say they believe the Bible because it is the word of God. To draw an analogy, “I believe Obama is a great man because his biography says so, and the reason I believe his biography is that it is about Obama, who is a great man.”

    In short, one has to swallow so much BS to be a Christian that whatever angle one pokes the belief from, it collapses in a heap.

    July 11, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • janimare

      So?

      July 11, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I'm not so sure Colin. I think it is pretty miraculous when Tim Tebow wins a football game.

      The more so when he's a Jet!

      July 11, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • Chad

      @Colin “The concept of an immortal being, all-powerful being, all-knowing being makes no sense to us.”
      @Chad “Things are only real if they “make sense” to you? Are you defining reality by that? A nonsense answer, ask any scientist, there are thousands of observable unexplained phenomena that don’t make sense to anyone currently, that doesn’t make them unreal”

      ===========
      @Colin “We tend to have a good working knowledge of the age, size and history of the Universe and the idea that a being would create the entire thing – with 400,000,000,000 galaxies, EACH with 100, 000,000,000 starts and even more planets, then sit back and wait 13,720,000,000 years for human beings to evolve on one planet so he could “love them” and send his son to talk about sheep and goats in Iron Age Palestine makes no sense to us.”
      @Chad “you don’t understand what I do and why I do it, does that make me unreal? Another nonsense answer. Your view on acceptable behavior defining reality is absurd, obviously.”

      ===========
      @Colin “We do not see miracles in things like tornadoes missing a certain trailer in a trailer park, cancer going into remission or Tim Tebow winning a football game.”
      @Chad “neither do I”

      ===========
      @Colin “We understand that Christianity is one of many, many religions in the World, and we don’t think that we were lucky enough to have been born in the one part of the World that “got it right”.”
      @Chad “so, the existence of alternate viewpoints means none can be correct? Interesting thought pattern... lol…”

      ===========
      @Colin “We tend to have a basic knowledge of history and know that there is nothing magical or special about the supposed history of the Jews, gospels, letters, apocalyptic story (Revelations) “
      @Chad “really? Wow. .ok, let me know when you are going to impregnate a virgin and resurrect a person from being dead three days.. I thought that had only been done once, had no idea you could do it as well..”

      ===========
      @Colin “and other materials that found their way into the Bible, in that they are largely indistinguishable from the other mythology and religious writings of the time and region.”
      @Chad “”similarities? Examples please 😉
      Be advised that the first thing I’ll do is put the entire two “similarities” side by side to show how it’s only by cherry picking that the illusion of a similarity can be created..

      ===========
      @Colin “Human beings are terrified of their own deaths and we see the various religious beliefs that try to “wish it away” such as reincarnation, living happily ever after in Heaven with Jesus.
      @Chad “God meeting a fundamental need of His creation, means that God isn’t real.. exactly.. how? LOL”

      Rest is similar nonsense…

      July 11, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • from beyond the arc

      What a mouthful. Ain't nobody gonna read it.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Colin

      Chad – all your posts can be boiled down to two things

      First, if you read something in the Bible, you believe it – such as the supposed "empty tomb." Factual assertions written about 1900 years ago by people committed to a religious cause are about as dubious as it gets.

      Second, you never ever answer the question "offer evidence of your god". All you ever do is repeat what you see as limits in our scientific knowledge. You never offer evidence.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • JRinATL

      A good run down, Colin (and thank you); you helpfully set down the atheist understanding. But you seem to be pointing mainly to more fundamentalist Protestants than the Catholic Church which Katie is rejoining, a Church that came up with the scientific method, the laws of evidence and began to explore, and approve of, evolution decades before other faiths and non-believers. Miracles also, as examined by the Congregations for the Causes of Saints, are subject to rigorous scientific, philosophical and theological scrutiny, something you may want to read up on. It might surprise you.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • wj

      Everyone in hell wished that they hadn't dismissed the Bible just because it "didn't make sense to them." You believe what God says in the Bible by faith. Faith is believing that God did and will do all of the things He said He would do. You can take it or leave it, but for those who do believe in God, know it is for real, because He confirms it supernaturally to them. For unbelievers it can never be real, for he who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Better safe than eternally (and painfully)sorry.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @JRinATL,

      certainly Catholics are able to combine faith with reason much more smoothly than Evangelical Protestants. Faith in fundamental doctrines, original sin, virgin birth and assumption, resurrection and ascension, transubstantiation, an eternal soul that incorporates at conception, etc require just that – faith in the absence of reason.

      Where are the eternal souls before conception? Please remind me, I've forgotten.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Chad

      1) Define "evidence"
      and
      2) Show how your definition of "evidence" could be used to demonstrate that Aristotle (or any other ancient person/event) was a real person/actually occurred.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @wj,

      Soooo... "I behave as if there is a hell, just in case there really is one."

      That is Pascal's Wager – not faith.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • JustJudy

      @Colin That's an awful lot of effort and collection of information to justify believing in athisim when the article is about a celebrity who made a choice about what church to attend. Or is it really something that hits home for you on a deeper level?

      July 11, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Whooo, oh yea Chad just keep shifting the actual issue, how fun. I'm keeping a tally of the logical fallacies you commit. Maybe I'll post a count at the end of the year.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Just.Judy,

      no nothing deeper. It's a cut and paste job. He does it regularly.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Chad

      @hawaiiguest "Whooo, oh yea Chad just keep shifting the actual issue, how fun"

      🙂

      The reason I want a definition, is due to the "atheist dance of reasoning" I always see:
      @atheist "Christians never provide evidence of God"

      @Christian "The origin of the universe, that we know it had a beginning and was created ex-nihilo, the fine tuning of th universe for life's building blocks, the creation of life on earth, 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), the empty tomb and the fact that 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?"

      @atheist "that's not evidence, evidence has to be measurable, testable"

      @Christian "well, using that definition of "evidence" how do you provide any evidence of ANY historical event or person??"

      @atheist "please go to step 1"

      July 11, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Chalk up another number to the "argument from ignorance" column.
      Not every claim is created equally, and every claim requires a different amount and kind of evidence to determine its accuracy.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • Chad

      @hawaiiguest "Not every claim is created equally, and every claim requires a different amount and kind of evidence to determine its accuracy."

      I cant believe I forgot to include that argument!!... jeeze
      ok, updated, and thanks

      The reason I want a definition, is due to the "atheist dance of reasoning" I always see:
      @atheist "Christians never provide evidence of God"

      @Christian "The origin of the universe, that we know it had a beginning and was created ex-nihilo, the fine tuning of th universe for life's building blocks, the creation of life on earth, 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), the empty tomb and the fact that 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?"

      @atheist "that's not evidence, evidence has to be measurable, testable"

      @Christian "well, using that definition of "evidence" how do you provide any evidence of ANY historical event or person??"

      @atheist "Look, it's simple, this one claim is so special, that we alone get to define what evidence is acceptable, and since you can't meet it, then God doesnt exist, simple really"

      @Christian "What? you dont think that is a gigantic double standard? You arent willing to define a criteria that can be used for all persons/events regardless of the implications of those persons/events??"

      @atheist "please go to step 1"

      July 11, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      @I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV and @Just.Judy,

      Colin wrote that piece himself, and I, for one, am glad that he reposts it (and some of his other work) here and there for new posters to see. At least @Chad has the nads to discuss and to try to refute it. You are just moaning.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      So are you saying that the claim "I have a dog" and the claim "this specific god exists" are the same and require the same amount and kind of evidence? If so, that's probably the stupidest argument that you've come up with yet.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Chad

      thanks for two things:
      1. acknowledging the double standard that atheists have regarding establishing the historicity of ANY event/person associated with Judeo/Christianity
      2. once again not actually defining what "evidence" can be used to establish the historicity of an event/person.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      And thank you for once again refusing to answer a simple question. Your dishonesty has gotten worse recently Chad. I gave the answer for your evidence question, and all that's left is for you to ask for the type of evidence needed for a specific claim.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @A Frayed Knot,

      'Guilty as charged M'Lud' I am indeed just 'moaning', in this instance.

      Nevertheless, I do find long copy/pasted tracts rehashing the same tired ground to be tedious, (though not quite as tedious as the name-calling) even if they are well written. I'll paste mine for you if you like.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Edna Pimples

      Oh Chad, you keep reposting the same discredited arguments as if repeating them makes them somehow true.

      "The origin of the universe, that we know it had a beginning and was created ex-nihilo" – No, we do not at all know that the universe was created ex nihilo. You fail right at your starting point.

      "The fine tuning of the universe for life's building blocks" You are falsely animating nature by using the phrase "fine-tuning", then stating that the phrase proves animation.

      "The creation of life on earth" Nicely explained by science, and your "magic man did it" version is childishly ridiculous.

      "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??" That rejects the Bible on so many levels, and absolutely nothing about it either implies (much less proves) a deity nor undermines atheism. And you are animating physics again with such deceptive phrases as "suddenly produced". And your discussion of evolution is very faulty and reveals that you have no science degree of any kind. And the fossil record of the human race, amongst others, disproves your "millions of years/every single time" assertion – the progress or mankind does not fit that model at all.

      "The empty tomb and the fact that 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." This is a total lie. There are no independant reports of any "enemies" seeing a resurrected Jesus. The Bible itself claims that only disciples saw him, and each gospel tells VERY different tales of who saw him and what was happening. All of the "empty tomb" accounts, as well as what follows, contradict aeach other account. And this is a MASSIVE and lame leap from your attempts at science.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Chad

      @Edna Pimples "The origin of the universe, that we know it had a beginning and was created ex-nihilo" – No, we do not at all know that the universe was created ex nihilo. You fail right at your starting point."
      @Chad "actually, we do, right? Big bang.. you know, you've heard of it.."

      ========
      @Edna Pimples "The fine tuning of the universe for life's building blocks" You are falsely animating nature by using the phrase "fine-tuning", then stating that the phrase proves animation."
      @Chad "hunh? Fine tuning is accepted, what isnt accepted is how it came to be fine tuned"

      ========
      @Edna Pimples ""The creation of life on earth" Nicely explained by science"
      @Chad "REALLY? I must have somehow missed that.. source?"

      ========
      @Edna Pimples ""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??" That rejects the Bible on so many levels"
      @Chad "really? How? I'm pretty sure that the bible says that God created each species.. see theistic evolution.
      ========
      @Edna Pimples ""The empty tomb and the fact that 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." This is a total lie. There are no independant reports of any "enemies" seeing a resurrected Jesus:
      @Chad "see Sauls (Pauls) conversion, he was a persecutor of the Church before he met Jesus on the road to Damascus.
      Not to familiar with the bible I see...

      July 11, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • Edna Pimples

      I am not aware of any Big Bang theory that precludes the possibility that something happened/existed before. You cannot just say "Big Bang" and pretend that somehow supports your assertion.

      "Fine tuning is accepted" – not by scientists. That is a ridiculous statement, and you are using your deceptive wording again. You know, "Since I call it 'fine-tuned', there must be a tuner." Nothing about the development of the universe even hints at a deity.

      "I must have somehow missed that.. source?" It's called Abiogenesis. Feel free to google and learn. There are a number of theories, none of which involve magic men. And again, nothing about it even hints at a deity.

      "I'm pretty sure that the bible says that God created each species" – not over millions of years. Genesis clearly refers to God creating "livestock" before he created man, but the various forms of livestock only came into being after man had domesticated wild animals over centuries. And you are deviating from the point, which is that none of what you said in any way supports the existence of a deity.

      Paul did not see a physical resurrected Jesus. He had a vision (a dream), as well as saying he heard his voice (of a guy he had never met nor heard). You are the one who does not know his own Bible. And you claimed enemies, plural. Name them. You have one guy, who usurped control of a religion for his own power and gain. Like Joseph Smith, he had a lot to gain by lying, and thus is not credible.

      You have totally failed to provide even the slightest hint that a deity exists,much less evidence. You provided pure sophistry, and bad sophistry at that.

      July 11, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
    • Chad

      @Edna Pimples "I am not aware of any Big Bang theory that precludes the possibility that something happened/existed before."
      @Chad "all time and space was created at that point, time 0, (the "bang" refers to the rapid expansion following the singularity).
      Since all time and space came into being, we know the universe had a beginning. Right? no escaping that, it's the prevailing view.
      There really is no "before" the singularity, as time came into being at that point, however if you are positing a multi-verse theory, then you have an infinite regression problem.
      So, either way you look at it, all of the matter in the universe, time and space itself was created out of nothing, either with our universe, or since we can not have an infinite number of "former" universes, the "first" universe.

      It is impossible to escape an ex-nihilo creation. Everything out of nothing. It happened, and the atheist has -0- explanation.

      ========
      @Edna Pimples ""Fine tuning is accepted" – not by scientists. That is a ridiculous statement, and you are using your deceptive wording again. You know, "Since I call it 'fine-tuned', there must be a tuner." Nothing about the development of the universe even hints at a deity."
      @Chad "wrong on both counts, fine tuning IS accepted by scientists AND non-theistic explanations have been put forth to explain it.
      Physicist Paul Davies has asserted that "There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the Universe is in several respects ‘fine-tuned' for life".[2] However he continues "...the conclusion is not so much that the Universe is fine-tuned for life; rather it is fine-tuned for the building blocks and environments that life requires".[2] He also states that "... 'anthropic' reasoning fails to distinguish between minimally biophilic universes, in which life is permitted, but only marginally possible, and optimally biophilic universes, in which life flourishes because biogenesis occurs frequently ..."[2] Among scientists who find the evidence persuasive, a variety of natural explanations have been proposed, e.g., the anthropic principle along with multiple universes

      ===========
      @Edna Pimples "I It's called Abiogenesis. Feel free to google and learn.
      @Chad "it's been debunked...
      Today, research in the RNA world is a medium-sized industry. Scientists in this field are able to demonstrate that random sequences of RNA sometimes exhibit useful properties. For example, in 1995, a trio at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research reported "Structurally Complex and Highly Active RNA Ligases Derived from Random RNA Sequences" (4). (Ligases are enzymes that splice together other molecules such as DNA or RNA.) The results are interesting—they suggest that randomness can produce functionality. The authors interpret the results to mean that "the number of distinct complex functional RNA structures is very large indeed." There is a lot to learn about RNA, and research like this is how we learn it. But these and other similar findings arrived at in highly orchestrated experiments that start with biologically produced RNA are very far from proving that the RNA world is the pathway between nonlife and life. In nature, far from the sterilized laboratory, uncontaminated RNA strands of any size would be unlikely to form in the first place. "... The direct synthesis of ... nucleotides from prebiotic precursors in reasonable yield and unaccompanied by larger amounts of unrelated molecules could not be achieved by presently known chemical reactions" (5). Francis Crick himself has become much less enthusiastic about the RNA world than Watson. In 1973, he and another eminent researcher into the origin of life, Leslie E. Orgel, published a paper advocating the theory called "Directed Panspermia" (6). In 1981, Crick published Life Itself, a whole book about that theory (7). And by 1993 he says, "It may turn out that we will eventually be able to see how this RNA world got started. At present, the gap from the primal 'soup' to the first RNA system capable of natural selection looks forbiddingly wide" (8). At the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, in 1994, Leslie Orgel observes, "Because synthesizing nucleotides and achieving replication of RNA under plausible prebiotic conditions have proved so challenging, chemists are increasingly considering the possibility that RNA was not the first self replicating molecule..." (9). Apparently NASA has lost enthusiasm for the RNA world as well. In the Final Report issued after the "Astrobiology Workshop" held September 9-11, 1996 at Ames Research Center, California, we read (10),
      It has been postulated that there was a time in protobiological evolution when RNA played a dual role as both genetic material and a catalytic molecule ("the RNA world"). However, this appealing concept encounters significant difficulties. RNA is chemically fragile and difficult to synthesize abiotically. The known range of its catalytic activities is rather narrow, and the origin of an RNA synthetic apparatus is unclear.

      ===========
      @Edna Pimples ""I'm pretty sure that the bible says that God created each species" – not over millions of years. Genesis clearly refers to God creating "livestock" before he created man"
      @Chad "really? so the bible says that every living creature was materialized out of thin air into it's final form and no further speciation occurred? Could you provide chapter/verse on that? I somehow missed it..
      I thought that it said that man was formed from the dust of the earth? Where does it say how long that process took, what intermediate forms may have existed?"

      ===========
      @Edna Pimples ""Paul did not see a physical resurrected Jesus. He had a vision (a dream)"
      @Chad "er.no.. . he was walking on a road.. wasnt asleep.. other people heard the voice not just him.. it wasnt just something that occured in his mind.
      Paul also states in 1 Cornthians that he saw Jesus.

      July 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  18. crappygovernment

    Catholics are fools to waste their votes on pro-life crap when there are bigger issues out there, though...What did old time pre-Roe Vs. Wade Catholics waste their votes on? Try to join us in bettering the world of the already living, instead of the not yet part of this world, eh!

    July 11, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • janimare

      Methinks "Crappy" 😀 doth protest too much.....

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

      What can possibly be greater than LIFE? money? things? earthly possessions?

      July 11, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  19. SheilaKA

    You can't "re-join" the Catholic Church. You're either Catholic, not Catholic, or a non-practicing Catholic. You can register at a different parish, but that's just changing parishes.

    July 11, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • junior

      We are all sinners, that is why we have the sacrament of reconciliation to get back on the path to righteousness.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @junior

      Sin is a concept created by religion, and has no bearing on anyone outside that religion.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Junior,

      doesn't it seem more uplifting to believe in humanity's desire to do good, rather obsess over the concept that humanity is inherently evil.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  20. Colin

    One person believes they talk to a god, we call them a lunatic, a dozen do, we call them a cult, a billion do, we call them Christians.

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

      Colin, get up from the computer and do something good for the world. I know its very easy to sit back anonymously, and take pot shots. change the world dude.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:19 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.