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Tom: Yes, Katie can make noise during birth

Actor Tom Cruise says his Catholic-born fiance, actress Katie Holmes, has joined him as a follower of the Church of Scientology but insists that doesn't mean she can't make noise when she gives birth to their child.

Cruise, 43, addressed questions about the religious faith of his pregnant bride-to-be, the child they are expecting and Scientology's practice of "silent birth" in an ABC News television interview set for broadcast Friday.

Excerpts from the interview, conducted by Diane Sawyer, were released by the Walt Disney Co.-owned network as part of a publicity blitz linking the impending birth of Cruise's first biological child with his upcoming film, "Mission: Impossible: III."

Cruise suggested Scientology's doctrine of "silent birth," emphasizing a calm, quiet atmosphere in the delivery room, free from screaming and shouts of "push!," was misunderstood and exaggerated by the media.

"It's basically just respecting the mother, you know, and helping to be quiet. (But) not the mother. The mother makes as much noise ... you know, she's going through it. She does what she's gotta do, OK?"

Contrary to perceptions that Scientology frowns on giving painkillers to women in labor, Cruise added: "We're there, you know, with doctors. ... Whatever the woman wants. ... If she needs an epidural, she's gonna get her epidural."

He denied a tabloid report that he had bought an adult pacifier to muffle the moans of his 27-year-old fiancee.

Asked whether their baby would be given a Catholic baptism, Cruise said, "No," then added: "I mean you can be Catholic and be a Scientologist. You can be Jewish and be a Scientologist. But we're just Scientologists."

"Katie, too?" Sawyer asked.

"Katie, too," he replied.

It was the first public acknowledgment from the couple that Holmes has joined Cruise, one of Scientology's most prominent adherents, in embracing a faith founded by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard.

Cruise denied media accounts of tension with Holmes' parents, who are devout Catholics, over her association with Scientology. "They're OK with her being a Scientologist since they're Catholic?" Sawyer asked, to which Cruise answered, "Absolutely, yes."

The couple have yet to set a wedding date, but Cruise said in a separate interview with GQ magazine that they were looking to tie the knot sometime in late summer and early fall.

The baby will be the first for Holmes, who starred in the TV show "Dawson's Creek." Cruise has two older children, 13-year-old daughter Isabella and 11-year-old son Connor, whom he adopted with actress Nicole Kidman before their marriage ended in divorce in 2001.

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