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Leah Remini on Embracing Catholicism After Scientology: 'To Me It's What Religion Is Supposed To Be'

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After more than three decades as a Scientologist, Leah Remini tells PEOPLE she is now finding comfort in Catholicism – and is embracing it for all the ways she feels it differs from Scientology.

“Nobody is asking me for money. Nobody is demanding that I come,” she tells PEOPLE in its latest cover story. “I light a candle. I sit and I listen.”

Remini, 45, broke with Scientology in 2013 after growing up within the controversial religion, and rising in stature within the church after she found fame on The King of Queens.

But the actress – who just released her tell-all book, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology – says her exploration of Catholicism is also a return to her roots, explaining that she was baptized Catholic and learned about the religion from her Sicilian grandmother.

Leah Remini on the cover of PEOPLE
For much more from Remini – including what she says about Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and more – pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

In September her daughter Sofia, 11, was also baptized Catholic.


“A very special day for our little girl and her Godparents, Remini captioned one family shot of the day, including the hashtags #baptism #catholic #newbeginnings.

Remini’s husband, Angelo Pagén, also tweeted a photo of the Baptism and confirmed he and Remini always identified with the faith.

“For the record @leahremini and I have always been Catholic ! Why we waited so long to baptize Sofia ! Hmmm .anyway it was a beautiful experience and our little angel is on her way to a more spiritual existence. God Bless” he captioned a shot of his daughter being dunked in the holy water.

Remini estimates she “probably” gave nearly $5 million to the Church of Scientology over her 35 years in the religion. Scientology responded in a statement that “as with most religions, donations by parishioners are the primary source of financial support for Churches of Scientology…. Other religions may have a system of tithes while some others require their members to pay for pew rentals, to make offerings for masses, religious ceremonies and services or to purchase tickets for admission to High Holy Day services.”

Remini, meanwhile, says she is finding peace as she visits a Catholic church “by myself, sitting and praying and doing my rosary.”

“Sometimes I don’t do anything,” she continues. “To me it’s what religion is supposed to be: a beautiful thing.”