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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. NOT MY CHAIR

    out of one cult and right into another

    July 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @NOT MY CHAIR,

      I have no particular argument with your premise, but it might be the 50th time someone has made that point in this thread.

      There are several more or less identical posts even on this page.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  2. Rainer Braendlein

    666, the number of the pope

    Primary note:

    In order to understand the issue, we must first get to know the difference between the Roman Empire (27 B. C. to 476 a. D.) and the Holy Roman Empire (800 a. D. to 1806 a. D.). Although the names of the two Empires sound very similar, they are two totally different things. The Roman Empire knew no mixture of state and Church. Merely, beginning with emperor Constantine, the Church got gradually protected by the (Eastern) Roman Empire. The (Western) Roman Empire declined in 476 a. D.. Papacy was established 607 a. D.. In the course of time the power of the popes increased and thus 800 a. D. the Frankish king Charles the Great was crowned emperor by the pope. By this coronation the Roman Empire resurrected and was now called Holy Roman Empire. The Center of the Holy Roman Empire was not Italy, but Germany. Hence, the Roman Empire or Holy Roman Empire is the Beast (including it’s head, the Wicked or Arch-Blasphemer) of Revelation, Chapter 17.

    Why do we call the Middle Ages dark age sometimes?

    What made life so unpleasant during the dark age?

    There are two reasons: The impact of the pope and the impact of the Muslims (the Muslim Arabs (Saracens) and the Muslim Turks).

    Here, I will focus on the influence of wicked papacy:

    After Gregory the Great (the last good pope, lifetime 540-604 a. D.) the wicked papacy was established by the criminal emperor Phocas (emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, reign 602-610 a. D.). Phocas made the Roman See the highest on earth, which was a crime, because God refuses a visible head of the whole Church. Jesus Christ shall be the head of the whole Church.

    After wicked (papacy is wicked, because God doesn’t want any See to be the highest one on earth) papacy was established, the papal office corrupted more and more in the course of time. After a while the popes not only presumed to be the bishops of all bishops, but they even claimed to be higher than the emperor or any king. This development peaked in the papal docu-ment Dictatus Papae (by Pope Gregory VII, lifetime 1020-1085), which declared that the pope was higher than the emperor. According to the demands of the docu-ment Dictatus Papae, Gregory VII indeed deposed emperor Henry IV (emperor of the Holy Roman Empire) at a Lenten synod on February 14, 1076 a. D..

    From 1076 onward the Roman-German emperors (emperors of the Holy Roman Empire) were subordinated to the pope.

    Now hang on to your hat: For 666 years the Pope was the Super-Emperor of the whole world up to 1742 a. D., when the Holy Roman Empire (center: Germany) got an secular emperor again (Emperor Karl VII, who got crowned emperor on February 12, 1742 a. D.) One of the darkest periods of history lasted 666 years. Seemingly this number 666 is identic to the Number of the Beast 666, which is mentioned in the Revelation.

    Free Churches should stop to mind about the meaning of 666.

    From 1076 to 1742 a beast ruled the world. 666 years long the world was tortured by a beast.

    God prevent us from a further papal rule. It is yet enough that he rules his club of predators (child abuse).

    July 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Rainer,

      I thought you said the last 'good' papacy ended in 604. So by your reasoning 1742 – 604 = 1138. How does this have anything to do with 666?

      Your own reasoning is inconsistent. You are reaching for dates to come up with the answer you want which eliminates any credibility your arguement would otherwise have.

      To atheists 666 is an arbitrary number anyway. It has no special significance.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • ME II

      insignificant? Not true... 6/6/06 was a rather nice day.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Rainer,

      Atheists of course ignore the Book of Revelations. Catholics don't invest a lot of time on it either.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @ME II,

      I said no 'special significance' not insignificant. I'm sure the 62nd anniversay of D-Day was a lovely day – like most others. 😉

      July 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • ME II

      @I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV,

      Touche sir/madam, I stand corrected : )

      July 12, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  3. HOLY JESUS

    I think the whole of reality can closely be summed up as F=MA
    There's no need for extra stories I think. Consciousness included.

    July 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  4. HOLY JESUS

    All knowledge, even false knowledge such as religion, all that has been written, comes from human minds. Nothing else. We are reality and reality is us. Those who believe in mythologies to explain questions that the mythologies raised to begin with are missing the reality before their eyes. It's simple, yet so complex. Believe in your stories, because it all doesn't ultimately matter, it's all a dance of a whole eternal reality.

    July 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Mike the American

      Ok we get it. You're a nihilist.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • HOLY JESUS

      Not really. You project parts of your mind's pattern onto others. I am you and you are me.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  5. Matty

    Scientology blackmails your wallet, the Catholic Church blackmails your soul.

    July 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Mike the American

      ok, we get it. you hate organized religion and cults.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Mike,

      do you have other observations to offer as well?

      July 12, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      @mike- religion is a cult just more popular and more accepted

      July 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  6. Mike the American

    Huh? This is news? Who cares? Her religion is her business.

    July 12, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • HOLY JESUS

      Ok we get it, you're some guy.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  7. tez07

    intergalactic dictator Xenu is going to be pi $$ ed

    July 12, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Lewis Keseberg

      He should just imbibe with Katie in some Jesus blood. It does wonder for the nerves.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Mike the American

      Ok Lewis we get it. You're an atheist.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Lewis Keseberg

      I'm just someone who enjoys human flesh. Like most Catholics. What's the issue?

      July 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  8. HKer

    What's Manhattan's "Lower West Side?" That neighborhood doesn't exist, even in realtor-lingo. Xavier is located in CHELSEA.

    July 12, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • hilarious

      This is what you pick up from that article? Oy.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Mike the American

      hilarious – ok we get it, you really read deeply and those who don't are bad.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • HKer

      @Hilarious: because this article is worth serious discussion? Go back to smoking your gefilte fish.

      July 12, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  9. Rainer Braendlein

    It is not a very great problem for us Protestants that the Catholics assume the host would be changed into the real body of Jesus and the wine would change into the real blood of Jesus, excepting that the Catholic assume that would take place in a magical way. Even acording to the true Christian doctrine at Holy Eucharist or Supper of the Lord we really consume the body and blood of Jesus Christ, but not in a magical way like the Catholics assume, but sacramental. God's words of insti-tution together with the elements of bread and wine make the sacramament of the body and blood of the Lord.

    The problem is that the Catholics believe that Christ would be sacrificed again at every Eucharist. A Catholic Eucharist is only valid, when it is celebrated by a priest (Christ-mage), which is magical connected with the pope through the sacrament of consecration.

    The great danger of Catholic Eucharist is that it could promote sin instead of reducing it. How? Christ is sacrificed every Sunday again by the priest. The Catholic believer could assume: If Christ dies every Sunday again, I can commit new sins every week.

    The more someone participates in Catholic Eucharist, the more he gets connected with the occult body of the Catholic Church with the pope as its magical head.

    All Catholic priests assume they would be little Christs, that is of course occult.

    July 12, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Mike the American

      ok, ok, we get it. you're holy.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • junior

      You have no reverence for Christ.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  10. shiney

    Why people of one faith gett involved & marry someone of another faith (which should not be as you're not to be unqueally yoked) & then have children on top of that I will never understand.... Not everyone converts over & then it's a source of contention with the couple & ultimately their family with the poor kids stuck in the middle... It's not all roses with questions like "Which church are we going to attend?" "Which faith will we raise our children in'?" Usually you will have one spouse just go with the other spouse to keep the peace OR they will continue going to their separate churches (which by rights isn't right either due to the fact you are to be "one flesh" in marriage) & then the kids go one service with mom to one church & the next service with dad to the other church – it's madness & nothing but confusion for the poor children. Sad, very sad....

    July 12, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  11. markusp

    What's the difference between a "religion" and a "cult'? In a cult, man exploits the emotional weaknesses of man. In a religion, it's the other way around.

    July 12, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Mike the American

      ok we get it. you hate organized religion.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • HOLY JESUS

      Poetic. I like it despite the despairing thought that this is going on to so many people.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  12. bob

    Out of the frying pan into the fire

    July 12, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • ljs2178

      No, the frying pan is on the west side highway near 23rd street.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  13. Sra. Julia

    Really this is newsworthy ? Really? This is NOYB ! This is not news, this is at best gossip. Is this be best CNN a supposedly world class news organization can present? You should hang your heads in shame!

    July 12, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Jesus Christ Superstar

      Calm down, it's a blog. Not part of the actual "news", but a specialty section devoted to things in the public eye about religion. Don't need to get your panties in a bunch

      July 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  14. nightsun2k7

    “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

    ~Mahatma Gandhi

    July 12, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • just sayin

      Amazing that he was speaking to HeavenSent

      July 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Mike the American

      ok we get it. Like anyone else on the planet, Christians are hypocrites.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  15. ddd7936

    To non-believers/atheists, etc: it's odd how the defense of atheism relies on intellectual rebuttals of organized religion. There is a difference between atheists and people who DON'T WANT ANYONE to believe in religion in general. As a Catholic I question much of the church and how it's administered; lots of things I don't agree with. But it answers a lot of spiritual questions in ways that can't be completely defined intellectually. I know one thing for sure; every dictatorship, banana republic, communist state etc has started out removing religion from society. Removing religion takes the indefinable soul out of a person and society. There is a need for spirituality in most people. Can't explain it, it just exists. Relying on historical fact, if religion was not a crucial part of the human condition, why is it such a target?

    July 12, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out".
      – The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, Oxford University Press, 1942

      Beware of blanket statements, my friend.

      July 12, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Lewis Keseberg

      "communist state"

      When did Cuba suddenly not become Catholic?

      July 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • ME II

      @ddd7936,
      "if religion was not a crucial part of the human condition, why is it such a target?"
      Inquisition. Divine right. Persecution of other religions. Claims of moral authority while morally corrupt, i.e. hypocrisy.
      Just to name a few. Take your pick.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  16. parvo00

    Whew!

    And to think she nearly ended up in the clutches of a brainwashing cult based on an ideology that has no basis in reality, logic or science. Close call!

    July 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Mike the American

      I know right?!

      July 12, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  17. Scott

    WOW......... I've heard of using other guy's to get even, and even other women, but I've never heard of using a church to get even with your ex. Someone here has some real issues somewhere.

    July 12, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • MarileeBob

      What? She was raised Catholic and now that she's getting divorced she is going back to her religion. How is that 'getting back' at him?

      July 12, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Henry VIII

      ...ummm?

      July 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Scott

      Yeah bob you quit smokin that stuff you might not be dumb as a door nail.

      July 12, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Me

      Ummmm Scott....I think you're the one dumb as door nails!!! LOL

      July 12, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
  18. deeceeuci

    Ahh so going from one ideology that doesn't make much logical sense to another is news. Will she be the voice of the iPad app for the church.

    July 12, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Mike the American

      Ok we get it. You hate organized religion. That's so alternative.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • The Truth

      Actually you can logically prove the Catholic Church and its history including its Jewish roots using accounts from other sources (Egyptians, Romans, etc), were as scientology has no outside sources lending credibility to their claims. You can not logically prove there is no God, to try to without irrefutable evidence is illogical.

      Best part for us who believe in God its a win/win situation. If God exists we go to heaven and watch the nonbelievers squirm and plead for God's forgiveness. If God does not exist then we would not know it anyway and there will be no chance for nonbelievers to prove it or cash in. So win/win for me.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • ME II

      @The Truth (in your opinion),
      Scientology, the "church", actually has more evidence for the begining of its existence than the Catholic "church".

      The evidence for either's beliefs being true, however, is approximately equal, i.e. none.

      Also, do you think your god would appreciate your 'playing the odds' on the after life? What you are describing is Pascal's Wager and there are many criticisms of it.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  19. IslandAtheist

    Church, LOL

    July 12, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • TC

      no god and magical universe, LOL

      July 12, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • BRC

      @TC,
      Natural processes that we do not undertand yet do not equal magic

      Impossible actions happening because of the influence of supernatural beings DOES equal magic.

      Hope that helps.

      July 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Scott

      I see where you're going and I don't disagree, but it was also the only thing that kept us together as communities and not killing each other, at one time. So really, It's not like you have it all figured out or anything.

      July 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • TC

      @BRC – it must be magic to the atheist because the universe just appeared (magically). How could it appear scientifically? Matter and mass must be created – God. How was god created? We don't know and that's OK – that's where the faith part comes in. Nothing magical for believers; it's faithful.

      July 12, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • BRC

      @TC,
      Actually, there are several fields of physics that posit how energy could actually change into a form that has mass. The Higgs-Bosson is a big part of that discussion. Originally it was thought that it was something that humans would never be able to find see or understand... till last week. Science doesn't have the answer yet, but it's working on it. That's not magic, that's hard work and human intellect.

      Religion believes that a supernatural being cause the universe to exist. That is by definition magic. The supernatural, or elements not observing the natural laws of physics, exerting influence on the physical world = magic. You can call it "God", fait, the power of prayer, the holy spirit, te will of Allah, belssing of the earth mother, doesn't matter they are all different groups terms for the same thing- magic. It's a simple definition.

      July 12, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • HOLY JESUS

      @TC

      Skeptics have the courage to be in suspended animation when it comes to questions that are unanswered or unanswerable. Faith, proclaimed by the religious is a crutch to inquiry. You are the weak minded who has satisfied yourself in simplistic explanations of reality. Not knowing bothers you, so you stick to your unreal stories.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @TC – we don't know how, exactly, it happened != magic.

      Unlike many believers, some of us skeptics don't actually need an answer to everything, much less purport to know the answers to everything.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Magic is science that is not yet understood.
      "Supernatural" is a null word.
      One man's miracle is another man's engineering.

      July 12, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  20. You know who

    God bless you all. It's about the artical not the church. If you hate God then you know he exists. I never understood this. If you think he is real and you hate him then he is real. Get a clue.

    July 12, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • MarileeBob

      I haven't seen one person say anything about hating God in the comments for this article, are you projecting your own thoughts or just making stuff up?

      Just because you don't believe in an imaginary person living in the sky doesn't mean you hate imaginary people who live in the sky.

      July 12, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • HOLY JESUS

      wow you are dumb. Seriously, so dumb that it would take paragraphs to explain how wrong you are in every part of your statement. I won't waste the time on you.

      July 12, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • citizenUSA

      Yeah, it's pretty funny to see how comments stray off the article's topic. Why is there any reason to hate? If there is a god I think it's not doing a good enough job to convince me to believe, although I understand that's supposedly not the way it works. If you think god is real then it doesn't matter whether you hate it or not. Crap, now I'm getting confused...

      July 12, 2012 at 4:04 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.