Cruise, Holmes divorce announcement shines light on Scientology

Carlos Alvarez GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO: According to reports, actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes after five years of marriage … Continued

Carlos Alvarez


FILE PHOTO: According to reports, actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes after five years of marriage are divorcing. MADRID, SPAIN – JUNE 21: Actors Tom Cruise and fiancee Katie Holmes arrive at the Spanish Premiere for “War of the Worlds” at the Palacio de la Musica cinema on June 21, 2005 in Madrid, Spain.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are ending their marriage, Holmes’ attorney said Friday.

And a brighter spotlight now shines on their spirituality and its take on divorce.

People magazine first reported the couple’s plan to divorce. Cruise, who turns 50 next week, is currently starring in “Rock of Ages” movie.

“Kate has filed for divorce and Tom is deeply saddened and concentrating on his three children,” Amanda Lundberg, his publicist, said in an e-mail Celebritology blogger Jen Chaney reported Friday. “Please allow them their privacy to work this out.”

From Cruise’s public proclamation of his love for her in 2005 to the birth their daughter, Suri, and seemingly every move in between and since, this celebrity couple (sometimes called TomKat) has captivated many. And now the end of their union is fueling more speculation.What role, if any, did parenting styles play in the young actress’s decision to file for divorce? Will it be a messy separation? What will happen to Suri?

And, as Scientologists, how are divorce proceedings different? The pair married in a Scientology ceremony in 2006.

“I think there’s going to be speculation about, ‘Does Katie want custody because she doesn’t want [Suri] to be raised as a Scientologist?’” said Bonnie Fuller, editor-in-chief of, in a USA Today report Friday. “But he’s always been seen as a good and devoted dad, so he cannot sacrifice having a relationship with his daughter, either.”

There are more than 10,000 Scientology churches in 167 nations, according to the Church of Scientology Web site. There isn’t doctrine against divorce and founder L. Ron Hubbard was married three times.

“Church members believe that tension in a marriage comes from ‘overts’ and ‘withholds,’ unstated, undiscussed issues or problems,” said Stephen Kent, a religion professor at the University of Alberta, Russell Goldman wrote for ABC News.. “Communication is therefore a good way to rebuild a marriage that’s crumbling. Couples can take a course called How to ‘Improve Your Marriage’ and in dire situations auditors, or counselors, can lead couples through exercises.”

View Photo Gallery: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are calling it quits after five years of marriage.

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