05/01/2015 04:19 pm ET Updated May 01, 2015

Actress Maria Bello Opens Up About Reclaiming Her Catholicism

Actress Maria Bello self-identifies as a Catholic, but it took her some time to understand and accept that she had more freedom in her faith than she initially thought, she told HuffPost Live on Wednesday.

In a conversation with host Alyona Minkovski about her new book,Whatever...Love Is Love: Questioning the Labels We Give Ourselves, Bello spoke of a close relationship she had with a Catholic priest who helped her answer questions she had about herself and her faith. Among those questions were how to reconcile being a Catholic with believing in marriage equality or a woman's right to choose or a woman's right to be a priest.

In her book, Bello details how throughout her friendship with this priest in college, he encouraged her to explore theology, philosophy and many kinds of spirituality. He himself did not always agree with every doctrine the church upheld. His open mind and encouragement of her passions helped Bello find peace in the fact that she did not have all the answers.

While writing this chapter in her book, Bello told HuffPost Live she "woke up" and said, "Yeah, I'm gonna reclaim that label for myself. That's my heritage, that's the lens through which I see life and my faith."

Ultimately, Bello hopes to broaden the conversation surrounding how we label each other and ourselves. From sexuality to parenthood to religion, Bello encourages people to choose their own identities.

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation with Maria Bello here.

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