Gabriel Loses Faith

Byrne eschews Catholicism for his kids


by Willow Green |
Published on

Irish actor **Gabriel Byrne **has revealed that his children are being brought up in the Jewish faith, though he himself was raised a Catholic. The star, who once studied to be a priest, told the Express newspaper that he had decided to raise his children as Jews after suffering from years of Catholic guilt.

Ironically, Byrne plays the devil opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in new film End of Days, and is shortly to be seen on our screens as a Catholic priest in Stigmata, where he is sent by the Vatican to investigate a case of stigmata, the phenomenom where wound identical to those endured by Christ appear on a person's hands, feet, or head. Byrne's ex-wife, actress Ellen Barkin, is Jewish, a religion he feels has the benefits of Christianity without the drawbacks he experienced as a Catholic "Judaism is a beautiful religion with lots of symbolism. I have no problem whatsoever with the kids being raised as Jewish." Recently Byrne spoke of sexual and physical abuse at the hands of priest when he was a child and at the seminary he trained at, experiences which influenced him to seek alternative moral guidance for Jack, aged nine, and Romy, aged seven. "I don't really see a huge difference between the principles of Judaism and Christianity. It's basically love they neighbour as thyself, and basically act to a moral code that you feel is right."

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