Gwen Stefani & Gavin Rossdale’s mediation issue was about religion & church

Gwen Stefani attends church service

This is interesting! Yesterday, Us Weekly had an exclusive about Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale having a day-long mediation session about custody of their three sons. I remember covering Gwen and Gavin’s divorce – while it took a while for everything to be finalized, neither of them splashed intimate details throughout the divorce process in an attempt to smear the other one. I mean, I guess you could argue that Gwen “outed” Gavin as a serial cheater, but we truly already knew that before she even filed for divorce. Mostly, I thought that they had the right priorities and they were successfully co-parenting. I suggested that the mediation over custody was perhaps something to do Blake Shelton and how much time the boys spend in Oklahoma. Turns out, it wasn’t that at all.

Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale are in mediation over opposing parenting styles, PEOPLE confirms.

“They have very different points of view on how to raise their kids,” a source tells PEOPLE of the exes, who share custody of their three sons: Kingston, 12, Zuma, 10, and Apollo, 4½. The source adds that while Stefani’s religious beliefs are a priority for her, Rossdale “isn’t a Christian and parenting in that way.”

A second insider tells PEOPLE Rossdale “loves his kids,” adding: “They’re the world to him. He’s a great father and wants to spend as much time with them as possible.”

[From People]

Well, that’s interesting, isn’t it? Gwen is a lot like Jennifer Garner in that way – always getting pap’d outside of church, nearly every Sunday. Gwen was raised Catholic and she is clearly committed to raising her sons in the church too. Blake Shelton often comes to church with Gwen too. But Gavin was never really into it, and I can understand – a little bit – why he’s like “slow your roll, maybe the boys shouldn’t go to church EVERY Sunday?” Religious differences are always tough, especially on the kids. Kingston is probably getting to that age where he’s questioning everything and Gavin thinks that’s healthy and Gwen is like “you’re still going to church, buddy.” I don’t know. I don’t have a solution for them. Maybe let the kids have a choice about church when they get to a certain age?

Celebrities at the ITV studios

Gwen Stefani attends church service

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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125 Responses to “Gwen Stefani & Gavin Rossdale’s mediation issue was about religion & church”

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  1. Esmerelda says:

    It’s a serious and “grown up” problem, at least…

    • sa ndra says:

      Maybe Gavin finds it hypocritical for her to flaunt her religion while openly living with a man she is not even engaged to..The Church really frowns on co=habitation without marriage.

  2. Renee2 says:

    Gavin Rosedale is Jewish and he doesn’t seem to be particularly religious so I can see why he would o ject to her taking the kids to church every Sunday. Hope that they can resolve this amicably or without too much rancor.

    • Ctgirl says:

      Shouldn’t they have discussed religion and how to raise their children before they got married?

    • TandemBikeEscapee says:

      Spiritual decision making is super important- right up there w academic and medical. Sounds like Gwen stepped up the “church” thing more recently, otherwise this would NOT have been an issue for Gavin? Also the Catholic church just has a sh*t reputation regarding children- and if Gavin is Jewish it feels like she’s doing this passively? She needs to chill w the children in church. She can go herself, but quietly have an in home Sunday school for the kids or something less impactful, that still has “positive” Christian values? Why make this an issue at all- I like Gwen but this seems like a passive aggressive move on her part that will only negatively impact the kids- not cool.

      • Ctgirl says:

        I remember photos of Gwen taking her oldest boys to church when they were little so I don’t think this is a recent thing. Gavin, being Jewish, should have realized that in Judism the children folllow the mother’s religion.

    • Kate says:

      I’m not religious and I would object to my kids being sent to Catholic church every Sunday. I don’t want my kids learning that abortion is a sin, gay people are evil, and that it’s okay to cover up sexual abuse of children.

      That said I would never have kids with someone I disagree with about religion, so I agree this is really something that should have been settled before marriage.

      • OkieOpie says:

        LOL I was raised Catholic (not religious now) and that is NOT what is taught at a Sunday service. Not even close. I have been to mass 100s of times in my life and I never once was taught or told any of the things you listed above. Being Catholic doesn’t necessarily make someone a bigot or against abortion and every Catholic I know is APPALLED by the sex abuse and speaks out against it.

      • Alyssa Calloway says:

        @OkieOpie, everyone’s experience in the Catholic church is unique. I too grew up in the church, went to CCD and mass at least once a week for 18 years, and it was absolutely taught that being gay was a sin and that abortion was an even worse sin.

        It was also taught that sexuality in general was something to be ashamed of. I definitely experienced the old adage that in the Catholic church you’re taught that “if it feels good, stop.”

        As for every catholic not being against abortion or disagreeing on LGBTQ rights…this is something that gets me riled up. If you differ with the church on something so fundamental then why are you still supporting it? I understand very well how big of a deal it is to “turn your back” or leave the faith as I have, or even switch to a new church. I had a very close relationship with my grandmother and after I left Catholicism, she never looked at me the same. Religion and religious tradition is often engrained in who we are. That being said…core values that differ so much should trump tradition.

        And most normal people ARE appalled by the sex abuse, but in my experience, largely silent about their displeasure. In my parish, it was not even touched on…never to be spoken of again. Just carry on with business as usual. My deeply religious father left the church for that reason.

        And the fact that it continues to happen again and again after it’s exposed means that they don’t actually care about changing, they just want perception to be good. And by continuing to attend mass, especially if you tithe, is tacit approval of what’s going on in the church at large. It’s not something new.

      • FLORC says:

        My father raised me catholic. My mother greek orthodox. They settled to baptize me orthodox because the Catholics would recognize that, but to be baptized catholic meant the orthodox side wouldnt recognize that. It was a compromise. Not difficult.

        Raised in both and was never taught abortion or gay was a sin.

        Gwen wasn’t huge on sunday mass for years. This being consistent is a recent matter.

      • sa ndra says:

        There may be more here than meets the eye. Gwen might be giving Gavin a hard time about his weekends with his boys, claiming that he should not have them as he doesn’t take them to Church.. Since Gavin isn’t Catholic, this will not fly in court.
        She uses church for photo ops and to build up her good girl image. I suspect Gavin knows this.

      • just can't says:

        @OkieOpie maybe they don’t talk about it on Sundays, but abortion is certainly a sin according to the church. And I would go as far as to say that the church feels that if you’re catholic and feel otherwise you’re condoning sin. I was taught (12 years of Catholic schooling) that even to work in a hospital that performs abortions is mortal sin.

        The gay people being evil is a little overblown… they’re *fine* as long as they never act on their feelings! (that’s said with an eye roll since, ok, Jan).

    • Andrea says:

      I am Catholic and I went to church every Sunday and there is nothing wrong with that. Good for her. She is instilling spirituality in her children from a young age. The kids will obviously question some beliefs and that’s fine. I don’t go to church on Sundays anymore but i’m glad my parents introduced me to spirituality and faith.

      • Heather says:

        I was raised in a very Irish, very Catholic family. Church and Sunday school were mandatory. We had to get the sacraments: baptism, first communion and confirmation. Then, after we received our confirmation, I got mine at age 16, we could choose whether to go to Church or not (though Christmas Eve and Easter were, and still are, non negotiable). This is a discussion that should have been had before they had kids. My mom is Catholic, but more of a lapsed Catholic, she doesn’t really care either way. But she agreed with my dad that we’d get the sacraments and then make our own choice.

      • Still_Sarah says:

        @ Heather : Yes, this IS a discussion they should have had before they had children, not several years after they divorced.

      • ttu says:

        She’s not instilling spirituality in them, she’s indoctrinating them. They should have a choice.

    • Catarina says:

      Actually, Gavin has a Christian mother and a Jewish father, so I think it’s unlikely either of them raised Gavin to be religious. He probably identifies as ethnically Jewish, but it’s unlikely that Judaism is his religion since, under it, the child is the religion of the mother–which would make Gavin actually (religiously) Christian. Obviously his mother may have converted so maybe he is fully Jewish and practiced the religion, but for some reason I doubt it. I think it’s more likely he’s agnostic or atheist or just non religious, and is happy that way, doesn’t want any kind of religion pushed down his young children’s throats. I had an Irish Catholic mother and a Lutheran father, and though I studied religion at university, I was brought up with no religion whatsoever, since both my parents,long before my birth, had deserted their conflicting religions. If Gavin and Gwen did not discuss this before having kids—what religion the kids would be raised as–that was very unwise of them. Things like separate religious convictions in parents actually do pull families irreversibly apart.

      • Andrea says:

        This happens ALL the time. My Italian Catholic father married my Methodist mother and raised me Catholic. My mom regrets to this day marrying in the church and raising me Catholic. When you are gooey in love, you don’t realize the ramifications of religious differences.

  3. Scal says:

    Maybe it’s not a question of religion vs none-but sending kids to the Catholic Church specifically.

    I’m a cradle catholic and with everything that’s come out in the last 5-6 years-I have my doubts about bringing my kids into that church to. With all of the new information coming out about church coverups etc I’m angry. Really angry.

    • Missy says:

      I grew up Catholic, my brothers and I were christened by different priests and all those priests ended up being perverts. It’s a disturbing part of the Catholic Church. I stopped going when i was ten, don’t practice any religion now, and I’m raising my daughter without it too

      • Lea says:

        I grew up Catholic too. I was an altar girl, spent a lot of time alone with the priest at the presbytery because I loved reading and we would talk about the Bible. Nothing inappropriate ever happened. That being said, little girls are less targeted in general than little boys.
        My son goes to Catholic school, but it’s actually quite modern and loosely supervised by two ancient nuns who have been living on the grounds all their life. All the teachers are female. It’s the only way I was able to send my son to school without worrying too much.
        I think it’s sad that we have to worry so much about the safety of children. I think it’s the main reason why people go to church less and less.

      • Carey says:

        Same here. I didn’t baptize my son and he isn’t being raised in a church. I can’t support an institution that systematically protected priests who sexually abused thousands of children and then tried to hide financial assets when they were sued.

      • TandemBikeEscapee says:

        My brother had an intense radar against the Catholic priests when we were little- he acted out to get us kicked out, and I went along w him. We teamed up to dodge a bullet, as we embarrassed our single mom. She took us as a way to meet people as she’d grown up Catholic. Proud to say we ruined it for everyone!! As a single mom in adulthood, I took my kid to a Christian church for “community” and my son said, “never ever take me there again” after Sunday school whilst adults worshipped in another room. I listened to him, he was about 5, but maybe he had a radar as well?

      • TaniaOG says:

        My family is your typical Italian Catholic family. I actually worked in church for a long time and what I saw (nothing criminal) left me with the impression that the church was a business and an ego trip for priests. My husband and I are atheist and are raising our two girls as such. But what I wanted to say was, Gwen’s right to her religion is just as important as Gavin’s right to no religion. Both are choices. The kids should be exposed to both and allowed to choose what they believe. If my daughters grew up and decided they wanted to be Christian, that would be their choice, but not because I indoctrinated them. And while I wouldn’t agree with it, I would respect that choice.

      • aenflex says:

        There’s nothing wrong with a grown adult making the choice to attend church, or not to. But I don’t think there’s anything ok with forcing children to follow blindly with a parent’s belief systetm, whether it be Catholic, Christian, agnostic, or any other religion or set of spiritual ideals. Why should a child be steered into any single system? Why shouldn’t they be able to choose for themselves when they’re mature enough to do so?

    • ByTheSea says:

      I’m a lapsed Catholic (lol) and have absolutely decided not to raise my kid as one. I’m even paying more for secular private school in order not to send him to Catholic school. When we were doing our parent interviews of various schools, a big no for me was when the administrator said that the sometimes the priests took interest in particular kids and were allowed to offer “one-on-one” instruction. No, thank you.

    • Erinn says:

      I also wonder if she started going MORE after they split. Maybe she was only going occasionally before so it wasn’t a big issue. But I don’t doubt for a minute church going would be part of Blake’s country bro brand.

      That said – unless they agreed to something different while married – I don’t think her want for religion should automatically overpower his choice. If it’s something he’s not into, his influence should be equal when it comes to the kids.

      I mean – it’s not even just what’s come out in the last 5-6 years. There were CONSTANTLY references to the catholic church being filled with molestation cover-ups when I was a kid, and I’m almost 30 now. There’s information out there suggesting that the evangelical church is just as bad for it too – supposedly they’re better at covering it up in some ways.

      I was baptized in the catholic church, but never attended. I went to bible school or whatever it’s called that the kids go to during the adults service at a baptist church. There was a great pastor there – ex-navy, grandpa type guy. He’s about the only religious leader type that I’d be 100% surprised over allegations of any kind that I’ve ever encountered. He started questioning where the funds were going, and they ran him out. We didn’t go nearly that often after that. We tried another church, but mom was like “SCREW THAT” once we told her that they told us we should be donating our allowance to the church. I used to go to a christian summer camp, as well. Somewhere around 12 or 13 I started to really question the crap I was being told, and the kind of people who felt pious enough to tell me despite being huge hypocrites, and I cut ties. The creep who I always hated at my husbands’ family church (evangelical) would preach about how you shouldn’t go get an education, or better yourself in any other way than spiritually. During funerals. The guy was a scum, and from the first time I met him I said “I don’t trust that guy. He’s shady as f—“. And here we are, years later and apparently he’d been running around on his wife and sleeping with women from the church who were his daughters’ age. Women who’d befriended his wife.

      The thing is – it’s really not the catholic church that’s SO much worse than the others. The catholic church is the one that you’re hearing about the most, though. There’s so much rampant abuse of power in almost any religion that it’s frightening. For a lot of people, it’s a route to power and money, and that’s it. The want to be adored, they want to be able to do whatever they want. And it’s honestly sickening. I can’t imagine raising any children in pretty much any church at this point. MAYBE one that was pretty progressive, but I just don’t trust the people who are running the show.

      • WTW says:

        I do think the Catholic Church is worse than Protestant churches when it comes to pedophilia. At Protestant churches, pastors don’t typically have the same unfettered access to kids. I’m not saying that no abuse happens, but we don’t have altar boys and the like, so the opportunities are lacking. Some churches have youth pastors, and those pastors have access to kids, but even those pastors are typically dealing with older kids, not small children.
        The Catholic Church is a well-oiled machine and the institution has served to sweep child abuse under the rug. Protestant churches just don’t have the sort of institutional power that the Catholic Church has as a whole. There’s not the same kind of hierarchy in place to cover up abuse, especially at “low church” denominations. A pastor’s individual church may shield him, but he wouldn’t necessarily be able to count on the protection of higher-ups from that denomination nationally or internationally. That said, child abusers come from all religions, races, genders, and class backgrounds. I’m not arguing that they don’t. I’m saying the Catholic Church has a system that allows abuse to flourish.

      • Cee says:

        Also – celibacy is not normal for all human beings. These men made vows to God to serve Him and to be celibate. The fact their sexual hunger in repressed is not normal nor healthy. I would like to see sexual assault statistics in the Protestant Church. I believe that being able to marry and reproduce is healthier and more realistic than what the Church expects. Of course, this does not excuse assaulting children. If they wanted to break their vows and have sex I am sure they can do so, consensually, with adult women.

        I would also like to add that the world is not learning of the abuse made by priests. I wonder when Nuns’ will get their turn in the spotlight…

      • EOA says:

        @wtw, you only think that the Catholic Church is worse because it’s a highly centralized institution that documents everything. The truth is that it is impossible to compare to other denominations because they are more decentralized. That is not to downplay the scale of the crisis in the Church, which is large and horrific. But we don’t know the scale of abuse in other denominations. Fact is that abuse is not specific to Catholicism but to society.

      • EOA says:

        @cee, celibacy does not “cause” men to abuse children. There are reasons for the church to discuss the wisdom of celibacy but healthy men do not suddenly become predators because they choose to be celibate.

        As I said elsewhere, we don’t have as good a handle on statistics in other denominations but abuse takes place in denominations without celibacy requirements. Ask the girls who are forced into polygamy in fundamentalist Mormon sects if the lack of celibacy prevents abuse. And they are just one example. (Caveat: I know that most Mormons don’t practice that form of their religion).

      • Veronica S. says:

        Celibacy isn’t “normal,” but it’s not impossible, either, and it’s not a precursor to rape. Moreover, sexual assault, particularly of children, has nothing to do with sex. It’s about power and abuse. My suspicion is that it’s a combination of factors, with certain individuals actively pursuing the profession specifically because of the access and authority it grants them over their victims.

      • Cee says:

        I stated, clearly, that celibacy does not excuse assault, be that against adults or children. There are many priests/archbishops maintaining sexual relationships with women. This is a clear violation of their celibacy vows. The abuse and rape of children is, to me, even worse, because apart from shitting on their vows, they’re using their power of influence to cause harm.
        The Church has been protection them for a long time, I suspect spanning not form decades, but centuries. That’s why they do it (besides being perverted) – they know the church will simply relocate them. The Vatican is a State, with all the power than entails.

      • TandemBikeEscapee says:

        @Erinn. I so agree- is this a new thing, weekly catholic church? I know Gavin was difficult for her, to say the least. But religion is a passive aggressive way to get back at a co-parent, but it’s so very damaging to the kids. Thought control is what religion really is, and so hard to undo. If one parent is against it, just don’t do it- it will plant conflict in the children’s minds, and that’s terribly unfair.

      • TandemBikeEscapee says:

        @Erinn. I agree, my family “tried” to connect us kids w any church, but my siblings and I rebelled. My own kids told me “no” under no uncertain terms after one sunday school. I read” Indian Horse” recently, @ Canadian clergy abuse to First Nation children in Canada that lasted until 1994- documented, real and heinous. I CAN’T now w any organized “Christian” religion, there is so much history of control, abuse & hypocrisy. Only Indigenous spirituality honors the person and the planet, but we’ve all lost our way. I’m in a bit of a quandary, because church ain’t it, and I don’t know really what “IS”. Sigh. I would love our family to have ritual positive spirituality, but again, where/what IS that??

    • Esmom says:

      I think it depends on how involved they are. If the kids are altar boys or in Catholic school, then I could see the concern. But if they just attend church and leave then I’d say the risks are minimal. I can’t believe I’m even typing that, ugh.

      I also grew up Catholic and tried for a couple years to do CCD at our neighborhood parish when my kids were young. We ended up leaving because their school rules were rigid and unrealistic, their leadership was cold and unwelcoming and I felt like it wasn’t doing anything to help advance my kids’ development and understanding of generosity or social justice. When we left, they could not have cared less.

    • EOA says:

      I am Catholic. I have also been involved with reform movements since 2002 because I felt so strongly about holding the Church accountable re clergy sexual abuse. So l understand both the pull of the Church as well as why people have legitimate concerns about it.

      For the most part, parishes have put safeguards into place that are working. Even the Pennsylvania grand jury report was primarily highlighting cases that took place prior to 2002 and prior to the implementation of those safeguards.

      So if the dispute about the children’s safety, that seems a little overblown as a concern. If the dispute is more philosophical, I can understand it.

      • Esmom says:

        I’m glad to hear that. I don’t think that’s happening in Chicago, from what I can gather. In fact the only thing I’ve read about them doing in response to the PA revelations is having a series of special masses.

      • EOA says:

        @esmom, the reforms implemented in 2002 were across all dioceses in the U.S., including Chicago. But they were purely focused on child safety (no small thing, to be sure). And they seem to be working, which is greatly. But the other part of this – the part that involves holding bishops accountable for their part in the cover ups – has been slow-going.

      • Jennifer says:

        Right. My son is an altar server and there is never a time when any adult is alone with him at the church, or in any capacity, tbh. I think that’s the first thing they taught us in the safe environment classes.

      • TheHufflepuffLizLemon says:

        Thank you so much for sharing this. I am not Catholic (raised Southern Baptist), but this whole situation has turned my stomach. I have followed the new Pope pretty closely as I couldn’t stand Benedict, and I really hope some of the things going on with accusations around him turning a blind eye aren’t just a conservative political movement aimed at ousting a leader viewed by some as “too liberal.”

      • Esmom says:

        EOA, that’s good to hear. Clearly I’m not up on what the diocese has been doing, I should not be commenting when I’m not informed.

      • Kitten says:

        The PA Supreme Court had a big part in the cover-up though. I know that doesn’t contradict your larger point–but felt like I should point that out.

    • mk says:

      Yeah that’s what I was thinking – maybe the latest sexual assault reports were the last straw for Gavin. It’s understandable – I don’t know if I would want my children to be in any way part of that environment right now. But obviously it’s a tough situation.

    • Cee says:

      I left the church years ago due to their coverups and mob-like behaviour. My children will not grow up catholic at all. In fact, I will not bring them up in any religion; they can choose when they’re old enough to think for themselves.

    • Lea says:

      I can understand that anger because I felt it too, strongly. Still I think that generalizations are never fair, I would never conflate Islam with terrorists or selected Imams who preach about violence. Most of the Catholics (priests and churchgoers) I know are decent and incredibly charitable, often the only people who care about and help the marginalized people in my community.
      I believe strongly that we need to condemn the people who institutionally covered up these monstrosities and insist on accountability from the Church. But painting every Catholic under that brush is not the solution imo.

      • Still_Sarah says:

        I was raised catholic (by an anglican mother who married a catholic) and I still attend a baptist church when I’m able. I think that priests who used their position to abuse children or adults should go to trial and go to jail. This gives the victims a public forum for their story and puts the priest in a public forum as a pedophile and/or sex offender. I think the people in the church who covered it up should go to trial and go to jail. Simple as that. The cover up is/was still ongoing until recently, so that should deal with the statutory limitation argument (I used to be a lawyer and practiced criminal defence law). The crime may have been committed years ago but the conspiracy to cover it up has stretched over the years. I would still attend a Catholic Church occasionally but these bastards need to go to jail.

    • Millenial says:

      We are (still) Catholic and I am also (still) angry about the decades of coverups and the lack of engagement with the issue on a leadership level — I’ve still not heard it brought up at mass, for example, and it absolutely should be.

      That being said, – when the kids are at each parent’s house, that parent gets to decide. If Gavin doesn’t like church, he doesn’t have to take them when it’s his time. But he can’t tell Gwen what to do on her time, unless she’s specifically putting the boys in danger. I doubt she’s leaving them alone with a priest (as others have mentioned, our church has made it virtually impossible for an adult to be alone with a child). The only think he can really argue is if she’s trying to put them in Catholic School.

    • Julie says:

      If it helps at all I’m a Psychology student and my professor who is a Forensics Psychologist (with a PhD and a lot of experience) has stated that the incidence of sex abuse in the Catholic church is the same that exists in our society, that it is a reflection of that. He also disclosed that he was raised Baptist and “has no horse in the race”. I thought that was very interesting. I’m Catholic but non-practicing as of this time, even though I do miss church…I do agree that the rampant abuse is problematic but it is probably as much a reflection of this type of criminology that exist in our society as well. Very tough and scary either way.

  4. Clare says:

    IMO depends entirely on how/what they practiced when they were still together, and how they agreed to raise their children at the time.

    As far as religion is concerned, I feel like both parents ought to respect the arrangement/agreement they had when they were together as far as church going etc is concerned. I mean, one can change how they practice themselves, but to impose (indoctrinate?) that on the children is out of order.

    Obviously I don’t know whether she was a church goer during their marriage, but given this is a ‘thing’ I’m assuming she wasn’t including the kids in her practice previously? It’s fine for you to find god or faith or whatever, but not cool to impose the same on your kids, who are shared with someone with a different belief system. Stick with what you did when you were TOGETHER – until the kids are old enough to make their own choices.

    This one particularly irks me beause I can’t stand Blake Shelton’s brand of down home country boy with a side order of racist twat. I wouldn’t want my kids exposed to that 🤷🏼‍♀️ Whereas Gwen seems quite intent on it (And I realise the two (religion and blake) aren’t necessarily mutually inclusive, obviously)

    • Marie says:

      Gwen has always been very religious and a churchgoer, but she’s definitely been a much more active churchgoer since splitting up with Gavin. She seems to spend hours and hours at church every Sunday now, plus sometimes more on weekdays, when before it seemed more like a once a month thing if that.

      I can definitely see why it would be an issue for Gavin. There’s a big difference between taking the kids to church now and then and making it one of their main weekend activities.

      • TandemBikeEscapee says:

        I can see why Gwen wants a solid faith at this time in her life, but if she doesn’t have the right to involve the kids in the church unless she has “spiritual” decision making for the kids (it’s a category of DM just as important as academic & medical)

    • JAC says:

      Wouldn’t being Catholic be a hindrance to Blake’s country boy image? A lot of southern protestants don’t even think of Catholics as Christians.

      • LT says:

        Exactly – I don’t think California Catholics are buying a lot of Blake Shelton records. If she was attending church to support Blake’s brand, there are better choices.

        I think she goes to church because she legitimately enjoys it.

      • Jennifer says:

        Yeah I’d bet most country fans would not like knowing Blake is going to a Catholic church. Might as well be voodoo to them.

      • Relli80 says:

        Yikes, are you serious?!?!?

      • Rapunzel says:

        CA Catholic here: Blake Shelton and country music are big for my fellow parishioners.

      • Memurs says:

        I grew up in a southern evangelical church. I was under the impression Catholics may as well have been devil worshipers. Many evangelicals don’t consider Catholics to be *real* Christians.

      • Tig says:

        My SIL was Southern Baptist and her relationship with my Catholic mother was ICY for years due to the belief that Catholics were evil.

    • geekychick says:

      I agree. my mom is atheist, my dad carholic.
      from the day one, they let us decide what we wanted. all of us choose rekigion at some point, and all of us abandoned it at some point.
      also, no matter if the sexual abuse was adressed, it still isn’t dealt with how it should be, and even if it were, I don’t feel comfirtable sending my kid to anyone who claims homosexuality and abortion are mortal sins. don’t get me started about stance of priests in my country on refugees, women rights or racism. godawful.
      so I understand anyone who doesn’t want their kids to be immesed, unconditionally, in religion.
      why can’t kids decide for themselves these days? It’s not a medical procedure, a question of life of death-nothing will happen to them if they decide they don’t want to go to church.

      • Julie says:

        I think what the Vatican states on abortion and homosexuality is quite different from American Bishops, to be fair but have everyone has a right to their opinion.

      • geekychick says:

        In Catholic religion, what Vatican says is the LAW. That’s one of the postulates of Catholicism: Vatican/Pope is never wrong and the highest authority there is. American bishops can have their stance, but they have to follow Pope’s opinion. That’s the hierarchy. So, one of the basic postulates of Catholicism: homosexuality is a mortal sin, the same with abortion.
        I won’t indoctrinate my kid with that.

  5. LT says:

    This was hopefully discussed before they had kids. Gwen is so religious that I imagine she was pretty open about her desire to raise the kids in the church, so it’s not like she’s doing a bait and switch,

    I’m a church goer and my ex is not. When the kids are with me, they attend church (though admittedly, not as often as I’d like). When they are with their dad, they do not unless they have a responsibility at church that day and then he drops them off. I don’t think Gwen should have to stop taking them to church to appease Gavin – if he doesn’t want them to go to church, they don’t have to go when he has custody. I think a better solution would be for Gavin to do his part to expose the kids to other viewpoints. Take them to a temple or use the time with them to talk about different forms of spirituality.

    • LadyT says:

      That’s pretty much what my husband and I did. We had different faiths and different levels of involvement. I took the children to church every week and we went out of our way to expose them to all sorts of other different spiritual activities, from very formal to nature walks. For us it was all about exposure, not a particular choice. They could make their own informed decision someday.

    • Clare says:

      Again, it depends on what they were doing before splitting up and how they agreed to raise their kids when they were together. If she is taking the kids to church more than she did when they were together, then IMO that IS problematic.

      Church isn’t a Spanish class or a dance class that you can go to and then turn off. It is straight up indoctrination, and if he isn’t religious, or of a different faith, then her increasing their time spent in church is a legitimate concern. Maybe he isn’t comfortable with his kids being exposed to the kind of rhetoric espoused in churches, or is wary of organised religion in general – I don’t know. My point is, she can do whatever she likes, but anything impacting the children (especially their belief system and spirituality- which again, can be hugely impacted by attending organised religious activity) should be a joint decision. If he isn’t comfortable with the exposure to religion she is insisting on – that’s his right.

      • Veronica S. says:

        I’d say raising somebody with religion is not inherently indoctrination. Everybody raises their children with a specific set of morals and ethical standards that they expect them to follow, regardless if it’s grounded in religious traditions or not. The real issue is whether you raise them with critical intelligence and empathy. You can be an atheist and still capable of raising a child with no logical or compassionate understanding of the world.

      • Millenial says:

        I agree Veronica, I think it totally depends on how you approach the religion. I’m sending my kids to Catholic school, but I have zero expectations about how religious they will turn out. They will also grow up knowing that being gay is totally fine and that the church has a lot of its priorities backwards regarding women’s rights and social justice issues. We tend to have a more Jesuit mindset.

        If anything, I just want them to have grown up with something to compare other religious experiences to, and even something relatively “healthy” to rebel against. Want to spend down your internal teen angst on leaving the Catholic church? Fine by me. At least you aren’t doing heroin.

    • TandemBikeEscapee says:

      I don’t think it’s that simple for a child to switch dogma every weekend depending on custody schedule. A thought process doesn’t turn on or off!

    • blablabla says:

      But Gavin DOES teach them right..heck!!! Involving them in charity activities,like he did 2 years ago for Christmas.. God appreciates this as much as going to!!!! What the heck does she want from him now?? She wants to force Gavin to go to church with the boys , instead of letting him enjoy a good deserved Sunday morning sleep?? She does NOT want to kids to learn about Jewish faith too?? I see nothing wrong with that, with having an open mind and learning about different cultures,with 2 parents from different continents and different religions..Besides.. is she a Catholic woman,just because she calls paps when she goes to church, just to parade her outfits and give the illusion of being a good Mom?? And where was her strong Catholic spirit when she cheated on her husband with another married man,taking him away from another lady? Did she forget about Commandments?? lmao….

      • sa ndra says:

        So agree, she is so ‘invested’ in her holier than thou image lately, it is disgusting..
        “Oh I’ve only had three boyfriends in my whole life” while batting her eyelashes.
        Yet on the first night of her Vegas show, she came out and called the audience
        m=f’ers very loudly with her kids in the audience..
        What a phony …..
        I don’t blame Gavin, he also complained that the boys are put to bed without baths, when in Okla.. The poor middle kid has a very obvious weight problem also
        There are aways nannies around, there is no excuse for this. I hope Gavin prevails, it’s about time..

  6. Missy says:

    My mom brought me to church every Sunday when I was growing up. It wasn’t so much about her as it was my grandmother, I think mom just didn’t want to argue with her about it so she just took us anyway. When I was ten I told her I didn’t want to go anymore and she didn’t make me. I think a kid should be able to choose for theirselves whether they want to be involved or not

    • LT says:

      I agree that once kids turns 18, they have a choice, but not when they are kids. As a parent, it’s my job to provide them with a moral and spiritual foundation – which they are later free to accept or reject. My kids don’t get a choice whether to attend church or not. I’ve told my least enthusiastic adolescent that there are worse things in life than to learn how to be still for an hour. But they can decide whether they want to be involved in church activities or not. My eldest is very spiritual and he has a role in some of the church services (like an altar boy, but we aren’t catholic). My younger teen isn’t interested at all, so he just attends. I did give them the choice whether to be “confirmed” in the church or not (that’s when they officially join as 8th graders) and they both said yes. I have also “made” them do volunteer work with the church since middle school (cleaning up parks, helping the elderly, flood relief, etc) because that is a big component of our faith and I think it’s important for them to learn philanthropy and how to give back to their community. They are of course welcome to reject all of this when they are older, but as a parent, it’s my job to teach them values so they have a starting point.

      My ex doesn’t really do this, but it was how we raised the kids when we were married, so he hadn’t raised any issues or concerns.

      • Missy says:

        Whatever works for you and your family is what’s important.

        I am very grateful to my mother for respecting my choice when I was a kid, she knew I didn’t like church, and didn’t share their beliefs. I am raising my child without religion, but I still teach her the same values you are talking about, you don’t need religion to teach your children about being good person.

      • Esmom says:

        I get where you’re coming from but you can provide a moral and spiritual foundation without organized religion. Just saying.

      • LT says:

        Missy – no, of course you don’t need religion to teach your kids to be a good person. But the values I’m trying to teach my kids also include faith. *I* think faith is important and it’s what I’m teaching my kids. But, like I said, I am fine if they reject it or decide later to follow a different spiritual path. As a parent, I want to teach them to ask the hard questions and then hope they find a path that leads them to their answers.

      • Annika says:

        That’s how I grew up, too. Until we left home at 18 we were required to attend church services with our parents & any other things they required like volunteer work, visiting the elderly & sick members of the congregation, music lessons, working at our aunt’s daycare in the summer, etc. We also grew up on a farm so we did a lot of manual labor.
        They told us that they required these things because they viewed them as a foundation for our upbringing. They said we when became adults we could choose for ourselves what we wanted to do.
        I found it perfectly reasonable & looking back I respect my parents for wanting us to have a well-rounded upbringing.
        I also respect them for sticking to their word about recognizing that as adults we will choose our own paths & they never comment negatively on any of the choices that my siblings & I have made.

      • WTW says:

        I have mixed feelings about forcing children to attend church. Obviously when they are very little, it would be hard for them to stay at home if they had parents who attended. But as a teen my mother forced me to go to a church against my will. Ironically, I decided to go to this church on my own initially. I had cousins who went. But it was far away, services lasted for hours, and I didn’t feel spiritually fed by it. As a teenager, I believe I was old enough to make this decision. But my narcissistic abusive mother took pleasure in forcing me to continue going to this church. I feel this constituted a form of spiritual abuse. I do think a teen is old enough to make such decisions. Someone else I know was forced to participate in Judaism, even though she knew she was a witch. She’s now a practicing witch. Children are people too and their religious and spiritual beliefs should be respected. Moreover, I wonder how forcing them to go the church is supposed to give them positive associations with religion? And I say this as someone who is a believer.

      • LT says:


        That’s a great question – I suppose it’s all in the execution. I “force” my kids to do a lot of stuff: their homework, extracurricular activities, exercise, volunteer work, cultural activities, eating together. For church, it’s along the lines of “this is just what we do as a family.” Although it’s mkde than cultural, there is a big aspect of culture and tradition that goes along with being a member of the church. I think it’s healthy – and they will understand where they came from if they decide they want to find something new.

        We also talk about religion a fair bit at home, so they have very much grown up with an understanding that faith and religion are a big component of life. I don’t tell them what to believe, but I make sure they understand the components of the faith.

  7. Queenb says:

    Weird that they didnt resolve that during their marriage or is it something that came up only because they seperated? Best to clear that up before you have kids.

    • Clare says:

      Agree – but from what I’ve read she now spends more time in church than she did when they were together, so it may be the case that they did agree on something, and she has changed her mind? Or perhaps he has become more reticent? 🤷🏼‍♀️

  8. Peanutbuttr says:

    Raised as a Catholic. Went to church every Sunday. Zoned out completely for an hour the entire time, unless the sermon was entertaining. Once I reached 18, stopped going.

    • mickey says:

      Same here. Raised Baptist and was forced to go to church every Sunday–sometimes on Sunday evening and Wednesday evening too. Every Sunday morning was a battle with my parents because I hated going to church. I haven’t set foot in a church in 30 years, except for funerals or weddings. I currently live in the bible belt and it makes my stomach turn to see the control that religion has over people. It’s gross.

  9. someone says:

    Maybe the argument isn’t over them going to church every Sunday. Perhaps Gwen wants the kids to be confirmed, which involves a series of classes etc. Kingston would be getting close to the age for that. Gavin may not want that level of religious commitment to the Catholic Church for their kids.

    • JAC says:

      Yeah, that’s what I thought. They are at the age when you usually get confirmed if you’re Catholic.

      But that’s something that should have been discussed before they had kids.

      As a practising Catholic, if I will have kids one day I would want them to be raised Catholic and I don’t think that’s something I will ever be willing to compromise on ( of course when they’re older they can choose for themselves). So not discussing that with my partner beforehand seems very irresponsoble.

    • Jc says:

      That was my first thought, too.

      • Andrea says:

        I decided I did not want to be confirmed at 14. I called the priest a week before. Sometimes it is up to the children to decide for themselves.

  10. smcollins says:

    I came to the conclusion at a young age (11/12) that church wasn’t for me (we went to a Methodist church). I just came to the realization that I wasn’t a true believer. My husband was never raised in the church and our kids won’t be either. We’ll eventually expose them to religion from an educational standpoint, just so they’re knowledgeable about it, but it won’t be “forced” upon them. If they decide to explore it more and make it an actual part of their life when they’re older (they’re only 2 1/2 & 5) then that will be their choice, not something they were indoctrinated into.

  11. Sam the Pink says:

    Eh, it sounds like Gavin wouldn’t have much to complain about, legally speaking. Religion is largely considered by the courts to be a matter of personal preference. In addition, Gavin didn’t object until now. If Stefani is Catholic, presumably, she had her sons baptized as babies, during the marriage and they are all fairly out of the baby years. A judge is going to question why he’s complaining now – is it because he objects to that particular church, a particular priest or clergy member, etc.? But overall, courts are generally pretty loathe to intervene in this stuff, because it guarantees a mess. My guess is that perhaps he thinks one of the boys no longer wishes to go and maybe is trying to stand up for the kid? Still, a parent is legally generally permitted to compel a child to attend religious services, within reason.

    The law is largely on her side here. Combine that with the fact that there is some research that tends to the conclusion that kids raised in religious homes tend to have lower rates of some negative things (lower rates of substance abuse, self-harm, depression, etc.) judges tends to be for involving kids in religious practice, and that doesn’t seem likely to change.

    • abbi says:

      Why is everyone assuming that it’s Gavin complaining and going after Gwen? I took this all as Gwen wants to raise the kids religiously, and is going after Gavin for not taking them to church when he has the kids. The deadbeat dad angle.

    • geekychick says:

      I mean, I would like to see a judge saying to someone that raising a kid in Catholic church is preferable to a kid being atheist, with all the info we have on the Church these days.
      Considering majority of people in my country are Catholic, I would strongly question the results of inqury you stated: it doesn’t seem to hold any kind of logic. Less suicadal thoughts? Really? Although the teaching is sexist, chauvinistic, homophobic and preaches restraing your own sexuality in many, many different ways? Yeah, I don’t think that is something I want my child to be taught.
      I’d go even farther and say the same about all organized religion(have you seen the articles about Orthodox Jewish communities and rampant child sexual abuse?), but then again-especially with Catholic church.

    • Kitten says:

      “Combine that with the fact that there is some research that tends to the conclusion that kids raised in religious homes tend to have lower rates of some negative things (lower rates of substance abuse, self-harm, depression, etc.)”

      Care to link to the studies you are referencing?

      • Esmom says:

        I’d be interested to see those, too. From my own study of one (myself), growing up Catholic ratcheted up my anxiety a lot. Threats of hell and punishment were extremely scary to me, and I’d often lay awake at night thinking of the things I had done — innocuous things like fibbing about not taking out the trash! — that were going to damn me to hell forever. My sister talks about having very similar issues.

        I still and will always struggle with anxiety but walking away from the Catholic church helped my mental well being a lot.

  12. Jen says:

    It could be coming from one or more of the kids. If they are saying they don’t want to go to church and she is making them go weekly, I can see Gavin wanting to step in. And a mediation is probably a good way to do it. Have someone trained and impartial in there.

    • Kimble says:

      This was my first thought. I don’t see why people force their kids to go to church. It should be a choice for anyone old enough to express it. But then I’m atheist, so what do I know???

  13. Smee says:

    My dad used to sit in the car, read the Sunday paper, drink coffee and eat donuts while my mom dragged us into church….everyone but my mom wanted to stay in the car with the donuts!

  14. JoJo says:

    Sometimes people can discuss these issues before they have kids but then people change,evolve after 10,15 years so it has to be addressed again.

  15. Louise says:

    I think some of this is also due to him being British. Religion in the UK is not what it is in the US. People barely go to to church. I mean, of course, they do, but most of the population, its weddings and funerals. I have lived in the US and the UK and I dont know anyone right now who goes to church every week. If someone displays an interest in going to church, they are a “bible basher” “nutter” etc. Its keep very much under the radar. It is just not the same in the UK as the US. It permeates life in the US. I remember seeing my coworkers have the ashes on their forehead and I had never seen it EVER (I was in my early 20’s) and I was shocked people were so open about religion (this was in NYC). So, I have a feeling his mindset is much different to Gwen’s about religion even without the Catholicism.

    • Starkiller says:

      Then perhaps he should have taken that into account before he decided to live in the US, marry an American (whom he must have known was very religious before doing so) and proceed to have children with said American. Why does he only now have a problem with it?

      • grumpy says:

        Maybe she is the one with the problem and maybe he didn’t know what she was like before because she always alters her personality to suit the man she is with.

  16. Gaby says:

    I’m South American, was raised as Catholic and I don’t practice it anymore. My views on religion and God changed completely, but I guess it makes me unease seeing how people single out the Catholic Church as this evil institution.
    But they don’t represent the entire institution or religion. My grandmother taught me how to pray when I was 2 years old, my family was involved in Bible study and etc. Easter and Christmas are still a very big deal for my family. I hate all this generalization. Kids shouldn’t be forced to do what they don’t want but it’s not like being confirmed in Church makes you obliged to follow it forever. I still believe in GOD, but I believe every religion is manmade, but I would never look down on someone else for having other beliefs.

    I KNOW about the coverups, and I know about the perverts and abuse, and I agree they should be punished by law and be completely cut off the church, they are criminals, and maybe there were even more coverups around Latin countries, because most of them are mainly Catholics and there aren’t as many cases of abuse as we see happening in US and Europe.

    Let’s not blame every single Catholic for the mistakes made by the church. Their faith in Jesus, Mary and God have nothing to do with the perversion committed by the people there, and I guarantee that they are also appalled by it. They don’t condone abuse just because they follow a religion.

    • Kitten says:

      The problem is that religion in general provides the kind of perfect protection that these predators are drawn to because priests and church leaders have unfettered access to children and the implicit trust of communities.

      Additionally, confession allows these pedophiles to have access to intimate details about their victims that can be used to exploit and manipulate them. In The Keepers, the priest who molested hundreds of children specifically targeted victims of abuse. When they went to confession and blamed themselves for being molested by a trusted uncle, the priest would see that as a green light to further assault these children. He knew they were “primed” to remain silent about their victimization.

      So maybe you are correct that it’s not specific to the Catholic Church but undoubtedly, religion provides an ideal cover for these perpetrators. One thing I will say is this: I grew up in an Irish Catholic town outside of Boston and was 20 years old or so when the Geoghan scandal broke. At the time and to their credit, I saw MANY Catholics stop going to church. It was impressive in terms of their willingness to prioritize morality over faith. TBH, that is not something I would expect from the religious..

      • Gaby says:

        Exactly! I’m not defending the “church” but I just believe that Catholics are singled out in terms of religion because of these perverts, as in somehow they allow or condone the abuse. They don’t. A little church in a small town has absolutely no power over the Vatican or other parishes in terms of covering these criminals. And I don’t understand why the priest should have access to children other than at Sunday mass, with the family together. It didn’t happen in the parish I belonged to. I agree that that kind of access without others present have facilitated the abuse, and I think that no adult should be left alone with a child that isn’t theirs.

      • LT says:

        And as others have said, many churches are tackling this head on. I was a Sunday school teacher and I had to get a background check and take a class about how to spot and prevent abuse. None of us – teachers, counselors, etc – are permitted to be alone with one child. This is true for every church in my denomination in my region of the state.

      • EllieMichelle says:

        Yeah pretty much this. It’s why a lot of predators are people who work in some aspect of youth sports (Sandusky, Nassar etc)- access to children and a network to cover up their crimes.

    • abbi says:

      Um, are people reading the news? I don’t know how anyone can excuse the catholic church these days. The most recent headline is that 300 priests had been abusing children for decades in Pennsylvania, and covered up by a hierarchy of church leaders. 300! The catholic church is the most political, corrupt and f-ed up institution out there. It seems every week a new scandal is coming out, as adults who were abused as children in private catholic schools keep coming forward.

      • vanessa says:

        Right. I don’t know how anyone can put a dime in a Catholic church collection basket after the PA report was released. Take some time to read just a portion of what these kids went through – you can access the full report. Lives ruined! I was raised Catholic and it absolutely is indoctrination. I didn’t know I could be anything else until I was out on my own and realized there was another way to be. They absolutely taught us that sex outside of marriage was wrong, homosexuality, abortion, all that stuff was sinful. The guilt and shame definitely have negative affects. I feel one of the biggest gifts I am giving to my children is allowing them to be free from this. I was married in a church in PA and the priest had the nerve to lecture me and my husband for living together before the wedding – the hypocrisy amazes me. They all knew there were predators abusing alter boys, but don’t you dare use birth control. The fact that my family members can still contribute to this organization shows you how deep the indoctrination goes.

      • abbi says:

        That’s awesome that you are giving your kids that freedom:) My parents did the same for me and my siblings.

  17. Aang says:

    My son calls us aesthetic Catholics. Meaning we love the ritual, the robes, the incense, the ancientness, the music, the idea of exorcisms (in theory). We belong to a very liberal urban parish that welcomes my trans son and is committed to social justice. We have groups that work on issues from human trafficking to environmental problems and everything in between. I don’t give money to catholic charities or to our diocese. I do support our parish because the parish school is very diverse and provides a good education to urban kids with very poor public school choices.

    • Justmyopinion says:

      I was thinking of taking my kids to the same sect in our city. This, to me, is what spirituality IS.

  18. Tanya says:

    I wonder if this is coming up now because the kids are getting to the age where Confirmation is on the table. I could see Gavin being fine with going to church but less fine with Confirmation.

  19. OkieOpie says:

    I think he is simply trying to make trouble for her. He knew she was religious when they were together and he all of a sudden has a problem with it? She has been photographed taking those kids to church since the oldest was a baby. I don’t buy it. Something else is going on.

    • Tig says:

      you are correct. Gavin has only seen his kids 9 days since May, because of his tour and his father’s death. Both of the oldest kids go to a private school for students with dyslexia, which Gwen also has, not a Catholic school. This is about stability for the kids.

  20. Lisabella says:

    She’s as Conservative as they come – I’m shocked she hasn’t become Evangelical for Trump!

    • Tig says:

      Yeah, that’s why she held fundraisers for Obama at her house with Michelle there and why she was the final performer for the last Obama state dinner for the Italian prime minister.

  21. A says:

    Why are people assuming that neither one of them discussed religion before getting married and having kids? I know a lot of people who are religious while their partners are not, and their partners have basically shrugged and said that it’s fine how their kids are raised as long as they don’t have to involve themselves in that same degree.

    I’m more inclined to think that this was the same case here, and something has changed more recently. It could just be as others have pointed out that the kids themselves are choosing to get more involved, or wish to continue going to church even as they spend time with their father, and they’re making efforts to reflect that (esp if they’re going to the same church as Gwen every Sunday even when they’re with their dad). They might just be rearranging schedules to figure out how to keep the time they’re spending with their dad equitable.

    The worst case scenario that I would even imagine for this is that the kids are picking up some sort of unsavoury attitude or habit from church, and Gavin isn’t pleased abt that. I’m not generalizing all Christians or Catholics here, but I seem to recall a heck of a lot of, “You’re going to hell if you’re not Christian!” antics when I was growing up (I was not raised Christian at all). It’s funny to think about that type of thing now. I wonder what the Bible says about being an ahole. Probably not recommended by Jesus, huh?

  22. Justmyopinion says:

    I was raised Cathoiic. In a very small, very backwards-thinking town. I was made to go to church every sunday, and the whole sunday school crap. Which was also attended by the kids who bullied me.
    Such fun.
    We weren’t taught about homosexuality, abuse, any bigotry in the church or sunday school. Wanna know where i learned all that? Regular school. I’m Canadian, but think Appalachian attitudes. My religious leaders were kind, welcoming, and positive. If i hadn’t been forced into attending boring services, and made fun of for that by my classmates (who were also forced to attend…i guess it was only funny that I had to go), and the whole “we’re christian and we’re ALWAYS BETTER THAN YOU” attitudes that prevailed in the past two and a half decades, I would likely have a more positive view.
    Dislike religion all you want, but please don’t claim that they teach bigotry. If that was your case, I’m sorry that happened. There are plenty other, valid reasons to dislike it.

  23. Grace says:

    I remember going to church twice with my Catholic friend, and BOTH times there was a big presentation given to the congregation about abortion–why it’s a sin, you will go to hell if you have one, and they showed pictures and lectured the masses. I wouldn’t take my kids to a Catholic church because it breeds misogyny, homophobia, and covers up pedophilia. It needs to be reformed and enter this century. And until that happens…NOPE! So, I get it! Ok, I’m out!

    • megan says:

      Wow, I am 55 and been a Catholic all my life – try to go to mass every Sunday. I have NEVER seen that happen and I have lived in 4 different states. What state/city did this happen in?

      • jwoolman says:

        Yes, my mother was a devout Catholic and I survived 16 years of Catholic education. I never heard the kind of sermons full of hellfire these people are describing here – that was for the Protestants. Our sermons typically were kinder and gentler and based on the Epistle or Gospel reading of the day. Catholic priests don’t generally go into the priesthood because they are great orators…. Their speaking obligations were limited, their major purpose involved the ritual itself.

        The parochial school teachers and pastors were the usual mixed bag of people everywhere – some great, some ok, some should have been put out to pasture long ago. We moved around a lot but really didn’t run into abusive predatory priests. Not surprising, since children are still most at risk in their own homes especially from dad, stepdad, or mom’s boyfriend. The abuse cases make the news because they are uncommon.

        The numbers seem high only because there are so many Catholics and therefore so many priests. At least 22% of people in the US identify as Catholics. Worldwide, close to half of all Christians are Catholic.

        The Catholic Church really doesn’t have more abuse than other institutions, including Protestant churches, but it has the same history of coverup of abuse that everybody else has. That was what was done long long ago by everybody. It is not because of their religion but because of people who violated the principles of that religion. I know the principles very well at the highly educated adult level (16 years of Catholic education,remember).

        And celibacy does not lead to pedophilia. Please. It just doesn’t. It’s a choice that some religions make for their priests or equivalent as a focus thing, although it’s often one of those things more honored in the breach than the observance. There are actually some married priests – men who were already priests in the Anglican Church, for example, but converted to Catholicism. The practice of celibacy will change when people want it to change, since like all countries – every religion is ultimately a democracy. People may try to blame things on an institution but actually they are always responsible for their own beliefs and practices. Same with female priests – that will come eventually and it may already have come in secret. Old institutions simply change slowly.

        .My brother is still a devout Catholic and attends Mass during the week when possible as well as on Sunday because he enjoys it, while I was a budding heretic in second grade (I decided to believe it all temporarily as we studied the baby catechism… and told myself I would decide when I was older, which I did). I was not harmed by a Catholic education or participating in Catholic rituals. On the contrary, it was a very interesting church to grow up in. I could have done without those rather morbid Stations of the Cross before Easter, though. And the gruesome stories one teacher loved to tell about how some martyrs met their demise. (Well, I was never into horror stories. Other kids loved them.) But otherwise, it was fine.

        Ultimately, people decide their own religious/ethical framework. It doesn’t hurt to start out with somebody else’s framework for practice. I have never understood why some parents think they shouldn’t teach their children their own beliefs and values but let them magically decide at 18. We don’t expect that for anything else. Religiously mixed marriages have their challenges, but kids are flexible and can handle their parents having two different approaches.

        Protestant Churches work differently, but you don’t attend Mass for the sermon but rather for the liturgy, the ritual. It’s a type of ritual prayer, many religions have something analogous. Private and public at the same time. Many Protestant churches are nonliturgical and tossed out all rituals long ago, opting for making a sermon the centerpiece of their services. But the place Mass holds for a practicing Catholic is not replaced by “Sunday homeschool”. Its main purpose is not really instructional. Sunday Mass is considered a religious obligation – again, many religions incorporate such things. That’s not because of the sermons, and many Masses have no sermon. A lot of Catholic prayer really is completely private and a lot of public rituals are optional. But generally participation in the Mass is in a special category for many people. Again, people from nonliturgical religious backgrounds or no religious/casually religious backgrounds may have trouble understanding this.

        Catholic sermons were longer on Sunday at main Masses (nothing like the Protestant marathons, 20 minutes to a half hour was considered extremely long) but practically nonexistent at earlier Masses on Sunday or on weekdays. I still remember one really nice pastor, in the throes of throat cancer, who was limited to speaking only a few minutes at a time. He managed to say something useful in that short time!

  24. Lisabella says:

    TIG, I don’t know what planet you’re on or what you are smoking, but she’s a true Conservative from Costa Mesa, just like her father…

    • Tig says:

      Lisabella – all you have to do is google what events I mentioned and you can find tons of articles on it. Yes, that is Michelle walking in her backyard. Yes, the state dinner for Obama happened October 18, 2016. But go ahead, keep living your life with your smokes. For the record, my Mom was an Orange County Catholic who hosted Teas for Kennedy for her diocese.

  25. megan says:

    They had 2 ceremonies…one in England and a Catholic ceremony in the US. I would guess they went thru pre wedding classes, and that they agreed to raise the kids catholic. When you baptize the children, you agree to raise them Catholic. I wonder if the sticking point is that when he has custody of them on the weekends, he is not taking them to church.

    She had pictures of one of her sons receiving First Communion a couple years ago, so clearly she is raising them Catholic.

  26. Yes Doubtful says:

    Maybe the kids don’t like it or don’t want to go as often. Gwen has always been religious, but she got uber religious when Gavin and her marriage started to crumble years ago before the Nanny. I think the surprise pregnancy with Apollo cemented her faith for her and she leaned on it heavily after she separated from Gavin. TBH I get annoyed with her talking about God all the time in interviews and new music and I don’t even have to live with her. Maybe one of her boys has developed differing views and Gavin is sticking up for him? Or maybe he’s just being an ass. Regardless, it’s a touchy subject and I hope they figure it out civilly.

  27. chrissyms says:

    There are “gay friendly” Catholic Churches. There are a lot of them in California so I am assuming that is where Gwen goes. If the boys are with her on Sundays they go, and if they are not then they don’t. I feel like this is the only way to solve the problem. When they are 18 then they can or not go. Up to them.