This story has been updated.
American pop star Britney Spears announced in a now-deleted Instagram post on Aug. 5 that she is Catholic and attends Mass.
In a post made Thursday evening, Spears, 39, shared two videos. In one, she is seen posing in a pair of jean shorts and a sweater. In the second, she is shown twirling in a blue dress with flowers.
In her caption, Spears said, “Pssss as for the next video … I just got back from mass … I’m Catholic now … let us pray 🙏🏼 !!!”
As of Friday afternoon, however, Spears’ Instagram post was deleted. Other posts unrelated to faith were also deleted from her Instagram account, such as her talking about owning her first iPad.
Spears, a native of McComb, Mississippi, was raised Baptist. She first rose to fame as a child on the television show Star Search, before being cast on the The All-New Mickey Mouse Club at the age of 11. She released her debut album, “…Baby One More Time” in January 1999 at the age of 17.
While some online were taken aback by Spears’ sudden announcement of her religious conversion, she has expressed an affinity for the faith in past Instagram posts. Spears has repeatedly posted prayers, including the Hail Mary, and speaks frequently about her prayer life. Her Instagram bio reminds people to “Pray Every Day 🙏🏼✝️.”
While Spears was raised Baptist and now says she is Catholic, it is not certain if she was previously baptized, and it is unclear if she has received any other sacraments.
After a public breakdown in 2007, Spears has been under a conservatorship. She made headlines earlier this year when she requested that her father, Jamie Spears, be removed from his position as conservator. A “#FreeBritney” movement was established online to show support for Spears’ independence.
Spears’ mother Lynne Spears, sister Jamie Lynn, and nieces Maddie Aldridge and Ivey Joan Watson, are practicing Catholics, with Jamie Lynn joining the Church fairly recently.
As a part of her since-removed 2018 year in review Instagram story highlight, Jamie Lynn posted a picture on her Instagram dated Feb. 18, 2018, captioned “pregnancy + RCIA. Worth it.”
Jamie Lynn and her mother are pictured alongside Bishop Robert Muench, the now-bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Baton Rouge.
It is unclear if Lynne was her daughter’s confirmation sponsor. Lynne Spears has repeatedly posted on social media about Mass, saying once that “7:30 Mass in Kansas City is the BEST way to start our busy day!” She also posted about visiting churches on her travels.
Jamie Lynn has spoken about how she placed rosaries, crosses, and other sacramentals around the hospital bed of her eldest daughter Maddie, when she was nearly killed in an ATV accident in February 2017.
In a 2007 video for her album “Blackout,” Spears stirred controversy for posing suggestively with an actor depicted as a priest, in a confessional.
In June, Spears revealed that as part of the conservatorship, she has been forced to wear an intrauterine device (IUD) despite wanting to have another child. (Spears has two sons from her marriage to backup dancer Kevin Federline.)
“I want to be able to get married and have a baby,” said Spears during a court hearing in June. “I was told that right now in the conservatorship, I am not able to get married or have a baby. I have an IUD inside of myself right now so I don’t get pregnant. I wanted to take the IUD out so I can start trying to have another baby, but this so-called team won’t let me go to the doctor to take it out because they don’t want me to have children.”
Catherine Hadro, host of EWTN Pro-Life Weekly, said on the “Speak Out” segment of her July 3 episode that the claims of Spears being forced to wear an IUD were “deeply disturbing.”
“If what Britney Spears says is true, her conservators are allegedly deeming her incapable of motherhood,” said Hadro.
Hadro compared this rhetoric to that of the abortion industry, saying that like what Spears had been told, the abortion industry “feeds a lie to women (that) they are not strong enough to be a mother to their own child.”