Report: Katie Holmes returns to Catholic Church
Katie Holmes is reportedly returning to the Catholic Church.
She has registered as a parishioner at the Church of St. Francis Xavier in New York City, reports Huffington Post.
"Everyone is thrilled to have Katie join us," a member of the church's choir told the Huffington Post. "She has not yet attended a service, but when she does she will be welcomed with open arms."
The church, located on 16th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, is known for inclusive thinking and its welcoming of many gay and lesbian Catholics.
Cruise, Holmes settle divorce
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes "amicably settled" their divorce just two weeks after Holmes filed for divorce.
While no details of their agreement are public, the former couple said they are "working together" in the "best interests" of their young daughter.
In the June 28 divorce filing, Holmes sought sole custody of 6-year-old Suri. Holmes and Cruise have been married for five years.
Cruise and Holmes just issued a joint statement saying, "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."
Did Scientology play a role in the split?
News of Tom Cruise's split with Katie Holmes and questions about any role that Cruise's status as a Scientologist may be playing in the divorce have a lot of people wondering: What is Scientology, anyway?
What is Scientology?
Scientology describes itself as a religion that was founded in the 1950s by L. Ron Hubbard.
At the core of Scientology is a belief that each human has a reactive mind that responds to life's traumas, clouding the analytic mind and keeping us from experiencing reality. Members of the religion submit to a process called auditing to find the sources of this trauma, reliving those experiences in an attempt to neutralize them and reassert the primacy of the analytic mind, working toward a spiritual state called "clear."
The process involves a device called E-meter, which Scientologists say measures the body's electric flow as an auditor asks a series of questions they say reveals sources of trauma.
"Auditing uses processes - exact sets of questions asked or directions given by an auditor to help a person locate areas of spiritual distress, find out things about himself and improve his condition," according to the Church of Scientology's website.
The church goes on to to say, "Science is something one does, not something one believes in."
Auditing purports to identify spiritual distress from a person's current life and from past lives. Scientologists believe each person is an immortal being, a force that believers call a thetan. "You move up the bridge to freedom by working toward being an 'Operating Thetan,' which at the highest level transcends material law," says David Bromley, a professor of religious studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. "You occasionally come across people in Scientology who say they can change the material world with their mind."
Bromley and other scholars say the church promotes the idea of an ancient intergalactic civilization in which millions of beings were destroyed and became what are known as "body thetans," which continue to latch onto humans and cause more trauma. Advanced Scientologists confront body thetans through more auditing.
Bromley says the church discloses that cosmic history only to more advanced Scientologists. The church's media affairs department did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.
In a 2008 CNN interview, church spokesman Tommy Davis was asked whether the basic tenet of the Church of Scientology was to rid the body of space alien parasites. "Does that sound silly to you?" laughed Davis. "I mean, it's unrecognizable to me. ... People should really come to the church and find out for themselves what it is."
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