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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. major tom

    I can only imagine how upset Cruise is that his image has taken such a hit. Of course he's wanted to project "ultimate success" and be the living embodiment of the Scientology schtick.

    His prior divorces "didn't count" because there were no kids, but now he's failed with a family. He's gotta be kicking his shins raw with humiliation.

    The next Mission Impossible: be a human being!

    July 11, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
  2. YBP

    Is Katie also gay, or just Tom?

    July 11, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
  3. albert

    So basically she left one cult to join the worlds biggest apostate cult. Not as smart as she looks unfortunately.

    July 11, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • YBP

      The world's biggest version of Penn State, no?

      July 11, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • simple simon

      But, damn, does she look smart!

      July 11, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
  4. from beyond the arc

    JoJo, but you see, if right and wrong are left up to the individual, then a lot of those individuals will act selfishly rather than compassionately. Not all are as sweet and caring as you!

    Religion is a poor (needing desperately to be improved) but valuable system whereby community cultivates moral character.

    God is another matter, but I do believe in God and religion separately. Religion can't tell us any more about God than a fish can tell us about onomatopeia, but when practiced in a healthy way (that would involve shared leadership) it can help to formulate social values. God remains completely personal. If you're not on the bus, so be it.

    July 11, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  5. Kathleen

    i think holmes will be praying over her bank and investment accounts for some time to come. she got her payday, all she was after.

    July 11, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
  6. achepotlex

    In other news, Katie no longer believes in Santa, but has switched to the Easter Bunny.

    July 11, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • thislittlepiggywentweeweewee

      ROFL

      July 11, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Bob Limbob

      That is just the libtard press lying again. Katie converted from Easter Bunny to Thetan (which is how people with lisps say Satan") back to Easter Bunny. She has come to her senses and embraced the totally-true-because-we-say-it-is truthy truth of Easter Bunny.

      God damn atheist libtards!

      July 11, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
  7. Joe

    cmon no religion is best religion

    seriously though the absence of religion would truly be the right way to go

    July 11, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
  8. John

    But the Catholic Church? They lost the teachings of Christ a long time ago.

    July 11, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • YBP

      Historically, Christ is a figment of Paul's cruel and twisted imagination, derivative of numerous pagan mystery cults of his day.

      July 11, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
  9. Mona

    How bout' we just say good luck Katie whichever religion you choose & let it go at that! No more
    snarkin'!!!

    July 11, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • YBP

      How about science and reason instead? No more magic spells...bells and smells.

      July 11, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
  10. loriey

    Okay so...Because Tom has been twice-divorced, the Catholic church would not perform their wedding ceremony. Katie and Tom decided on a Scientology wedding ceremony, in Italy but it was not recognized in Italy.
    So since Katie did not marry in the Catholic Church, her marriage to Tom is not recognized even when she divorces him, so she can marry again in the Catholic faith. I would imagine she would now bring Suri up a Catholic.
    More than likely Scientology coerced Tom to agree to a quick divorce settlement so that Tom didn't spend millions on legal & court fees which would mean Tom would have less money to "donate" to Scientology.
    Anyway....Katie receives 3 Million for each year she stayed married to nut case...I mean Tom Cruise....so after 5 years of being under "Cruise Control" & the "auditing" of Scientology...Katie will receive $15 Million plus the house in Montecito, VA....Not too shabby a deal along with child support etc.

    July 11, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @loriey,

      "cruise control" too funny.

      July 11, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • from beyond the arc

      No, no, no. You're missing the bigger picture. The Church of Scientology isn't as worried about Cruise's ability to make donations as it is about a long, drawn-out, even more highly publicized divorce that will further tarnish the Scientology brand.

      July 11, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
  11. What?!?!?!

    WHO CARES!!!!!!!!

    July 11, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
  12. Mark

    Good for her...get back on the path with God.

    July 11, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
  13. Steve the Goat

    Ah, trading one mindless cult for another. This one is just more acceptable, which is a little bit amusing since so many of the purveyors of the lies of this one diddle little kids.

    July 11, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • bellenoitr

      At least it's not a controlling cult. It's a real religion with real beliefs. I'm not a member, but it's much more humane than the 'business' of scientology.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      "At least it's not a controlling cult."
      are you kidding? they want to control who gets married, women's birth control rights, whether their cult members can mas.turbate, have s.ex before marriage, and tons more. only someone in a cult would say "my cult doesn't try to control me." the catholic church sticks it's nose in everything. p.ornography, strip clubs, adult toy stores, dry counties making alcohol illegal, etc. the list goes on and on. catholic church not controlling? that's hilarious!

      July 11, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Johnny Blammo

      A real religion with real beliefs.

      What makes one religion real and another not?

      What makes a religious belief real and another not?

      July 11, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • thislittlepiggywentweeweewee

      Bellenoitr, LOL

      What defines a "real belief"? Who decides this?

      And the Roman Catholic Church isn't a business? Are you blind, deaf and dumb? And the other dumb too?

      July 11, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Bootyfunk,

      since when does the Catholic church try to ban alcohol and make counties dry? I think you've got them mixed up with the fundies.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
  14. bumble

    The girl is an actress, not a rocket scientist!

    July 11, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Ummmm, yes?

      July 11, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • bumble

      Neither one of you is too bright, no?

      July 11, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • hate on hater

      I would speculate that your not too bright either, bumble. Do to your horrible retort, you should keep your fingers away from all keyboards.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @bumble,

      you made a self-evidently accurate statement with no context.

      What's your point?

      July 11, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @bumble,

      neither one of whom, by the way?

      July 11, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
  15. UK Dave & my fellow scientists

    Sing your way in & sing your way out!
    I just taught Katie Holmes & Tom Cruise a valuable lesson!
    Sing your way in & sing your way out!

    July 11, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • mafia don

      You just caught us hook, line & sinker UK Dave! 🙂
      Sing little fishies! Sing little fishies! 🙂

      July 11, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • hate on hater

      You should both hang yourselves in your parents bedroom closets.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
  16. JoJo

    There are a million religions. They all contradict each other at least to some degree or they'd be the same religion. This means ONLY ONE can be true, AT MOST. The other possibility is that they are ALL wrong. Of course, each religionist thinks it is the particular sect popular in their particular culture probably that they were indoctrinated in which luckily happens to be the true one. And since they've subordinated reason to "faith" they all have to ultimately use the only other method of resolving conflicts - violence. In fairness though I should add that ideologies like extreme communism are virtually religions, as Bertrand Russel said, which is why they espouse violence too.

    July 11, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • bumble

      Any dogma (a doctrine or code of beliefs accepted as authoritative), be it Communism, Nazism, religion, Roman or U.S. Imperialism etc. will do it. And that includes Christianity (how many people were murdered in the name of Christianity?).

      July 11, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • from beyond the arc

      Of course they're all stabs in the dark. Much like science, some of what they believe might be true, and some false.

      But one thing, among many others, that they do ALL share is the concept of a soul. No one religion has all the answers, and some quite thoroughly miss the mark, but throwing out the baby with the bathwater leaves us...soulless.

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

      Scientology is not a religion. It's a controlling cult/business.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • hate on hater

      Sounds like bellenoitr just described Catholicism...and its been doing the same sh•t for thousands of years. I guess the older your delusion is the more "real" it becomes? Nope still not real.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
  17. from beyond the arc

    JoJo, soulless? Now you've gone too far!

    July 11, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • JoJo

      Well, I admit the African American singers of the 1960s had soul, but I'm not sure about anyone else.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
  18. Glance

    I never see reported that Tom Cruise was himself raised in the RCC and even attended a Franciscan minor seminary ...

    Perhaps he doesn't remember either...

    July 11, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Edna Pimples

      Maybe he got inseminayied too many times.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  19. Tim

    Look at all the ****s I give!!!

    July 11, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
  20. Kane

    Nice Katie. She was probably so annoyed at Cruise for enforcing scientology everywhere, one can only hope he'll see the light as well one day.

    July 11, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Edna Pimples

      Scientology has exactly as much supporting evidence and supporting evidence as Catholicism.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Edna Pimples

      Oooops. That was a bit of a redundant redundancy.

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

      Nice attempt at being scholarly Edna, but you Fail again, just like in high school, college, and life.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • hate on hater

      The same way all religion fails at having any proof or evidence to back up any of their outlandish claims. Pwnd.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Edna Pimples

      Go ahead, Totenkopf (lwhy did you choose a Nazi SS name, by the way?), prove me wrong. Your superiorintellect should easily be able to provide evidence that one reiligion has more evidence than others. Go for it. Provide evidence to support your assertion.

      Let's see, will our boy respond with ad hominem, diversions and other wild assertions, or will he just vanish. I'm kind of hoping for the wild assertions and abuse, but thye usually vanish.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • Edna Pimples

      Just vanished. Bravely ran off. Skittered away most heroically. Fled with great courage. When logic reared its ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled.

      Not a surprise.

      July 11, 2012 at 11:41 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.