Mission improbable for Vatican

As speculation mounted yesterday over where the actor Tom Cruise will marry his fiancee, Katie Holmes, Vatican officials pondered a different conundrum – whether a divorced celebrity and prominent Scientologist could have a Roman Catholic wedding.

The latest reports suggest that the Mission Impossible star, 44, will marry Holmes, 27, at an imposing medieval castle overlooking Lake Bracciano, north of Rome, at the end of next week.

But wherever the nuptials are held, the issue preoccupying Rome is the schedule.

After a pre-wedding party with other Hollywood celebrities on November 16, a Catholic wedding ceremony is planned for November 17.

A “final ritual” is planned for the following day, to be conducted by members of the Church of Scientology, the sect founded by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard.


Some reports in Hollywood have suggested that a wedding ceremony in the heart of Roman Catholicism would help the actor to restore his image. Holmes was born a Roman Catholic and went to Catholic schools in Toledo, Ohio, where she grew up.

One Vatican official who specialises in the study of “New Age” sects said that if the priest conducting the ceremony took the view that Catholic rites would be beneficial, he could overlook the fact that there would be a Scientology ceremony the following day.

Other Vatican sources said Cruise’s divorce and his belief in Scientology could prove an obstacle to a Catholic ceremony.


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