High Profile Apostasy

Thomas J. Euteneuer
April 21, 2006
Reproduced with Permission

The announcement of a brand new baby girl for Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes reached the ears of the fawning media last Tuesday, but I just can't celebrate with them. It was not the baby who made me feel out of sorts - you know that a pro-life priest loves all babies! It's her parents' wretched example that irks me. While so many others will be congratulating the happy couple on their new (out of wedlock) baby, I will be praying for their souls.

For those who don't know, both Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are former Catholics who have totally abandoned their Catholic faith, upbringing and education by joining Scientology which is hardly more than a weird New Age cult. Katie's departure from Catholicism is, well, shocking and repugnant given that she was allotted the best Catholic education money can buy. She is also on record as saying that she intended to remain a virgin until marriage, but Cruise blew that one out of the water like the good top gunner that he is. Doctrinal aberrations and moral degeneration usually go together. And needless to say, the Cruises do not plan to baptize their baby.

Although the term apostasy is not used much these days, Catholics who "convert" to Scientology are prime candidates for the label. Case in point, the Cruises shed their Christian faith and replaced it with Dianetics, and as Tom's pseudo-evangelistic interviews with Parade magazine, The Today Show, Oprah and others has made clear, not a vestige of the old time religion remains. The Catholic Catechism defines apostasy as "the total repudiation of the Christian faith" and with it heresy as "the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith" (n. 2089). Yes, the Cruises fit the bill.

However, Cruise and Holmes are not unique in their repudiation of the Catholic Faith. They fit a disturbing genre that faithful Catholics should not just gloss over as typical of Hollywood sell-outs. So many "Catholics" in public life have either completely rejected the faith or are living in irreconcilable, scandalous conflict with it, and we shouldn't be silent about this lest our silence be interpreted as consent.

Political apostates like Ted Kennedy and John Kerry repudiate the faith daily while pretending to embrace it. Pop star anti-role-models like Bruce Springsteen hardly make an effort to justify their irregular marriages while Brooke Shields evangelizes the culture about in vitro fertilization apparently without the slightest notion that her Church condemns the practice utterly. Media compromisers like Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and Chris Matthews take only those doses of the faith that leave their politics or their bloated opinions undisturbed. And Madonna - well, she just blasphemes the faith. What more is there to say?

When I was growing up my dad never hesitated to point out such "Catholics" and make it abundantly clear to his family that people like the Cruises and their ilk were reprehensible examples of Catholics in public life. He always let me know that the faith deserved better. In other words, I regularly heard the witness of a good Catholic man defining for me what "Catholic" really means and of course what it manifestly does not mean.

Faithful Catholics have to relentlessly expose apostasy, heresy and any other compromises of our faith to the younger generations so that the inordinate influence of the high profile apostates doesn't hasten the death of faith in kids - or worse - the death of their souls.

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