American Catholics are really excited about Britney Spears’ announcement on Instagram that she is “Catholic now.” An article on the website ChurchPOP noted: “Whether or not Spears’ announcement is serious, let us continue to pray for her. Our Lady of the Rosary, please pray for Britney Spears!” Catholic social media influencer Lizzie Reezay of the popular YouTube channel “LizziesAnswers” (225,000 subscribers) in turn declared: “She twirls in a blue flower dress…. This is amazing, let’s pray for her journey.”
In one sense, it is exciting (if it’s true). But it wouldn’t necessarily be exciting for the reasons we (or Catholic media) might be inclined to think—say, that her conversion might incite heightened interest in the Church among her fans; or, perhaps, that a former teenage sex icon might become a voice for chastity and Catholic teaching on sexuality.
No, it would be exciting because it is wonderful news whenever anyone becomes Catholic, be that person brilliant or uneducated; wealthy or poor; famous or unknown. As Christ Himself says: “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15:7). Yet Confirmation services don’t typically elicit much euphoria or media attention (though perhaps Britney’s will!).