Catholic Judges on ‘American Idol’

Photo Credit: FOX © 2013 FOX Broadcasting Co.

Photo Credit: FOX © 2013 FOX Broadcasting Co.

With auditions over and Hollywood Week beginning, season 13 of American Idol is well under way and fans seem to have embraced the new judging panel of Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. But did you know that 2/3 of this year’s judges are practicing Catholics? Patheos blogger Tony Rossi recently highlighted the Catholic faith of judges Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. in his blog Christopher Closeup.

Country star and 4-time Grammy winner Keith Urban married actress Nicole Kidman in a Catholic ceremony in 2006. Father Ed Steiner, pastor of Nashville’s Cathedral of the Incarnation where the couple attends Mass, said in an interview:

“My experience of them is, if they are in town then they are at church. They clearly both take their faith very seriously.”

Urban has struggled with alcohol and drug addiction in the past, and Father Steiner indicated that faith has played a role in the “better life” that Urban sings about. “As an observer, I would say his faith is a strength,” Father Steiner said. “And as an observer, I would say Nicole’s faith has an influence on him as well.”

The newest American Idol judge – Harry Connick, Jr. – is openly Catholic, and even performed before Mass in Yankee Stadium, during Pope Benedict XVI’s 2008 visit to New York. He has discussed his Catholic faith various times, including a 2009 interview on Sirius XM’s Busted Halo program. During his interview with Busted Halo, Connick discussed his spiritual upbringing with his Catholic father and Jewish mother. He said,

“[My mother] wanted me to decide for myself what religion I was going to be. She didn’t want me baptized as a baby. So when I was 14, I decided I really wanted to be Catholic, so I got confirmed, baptized, everything on the same day in New Orleans. So it was a choice. My children I chose to have baptized because I think, personally, it’s better to raise them in a situation or an environment – and if they want to decide [otherwise], they’re going to grow up anyway. But I think if they have structure, no matter what religion you choose for them, I think it’s important to have that. That’s one thing that I missed as a little kid.”

For more, check out Tony Rossi’s full post at his blog, Christopher Closeup.

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