Pagan mum has kids baptised

Only one parent needs to be Catholic for a child to be baptised (Bigstock)

Despite being a practising pagan, Western Australian mother Sarah Betts had no qualms about having her children baptised Catholic, ABC News reports.

Ms Betts identifies with the nature-based Wicca form of paganism and her husband is a Catholic.

"It wasn't much of a choice to make. My husband said, 'I'd like my children to be christened,' and I said, 'Well my kids don't have to be christened in my religion, so yeah, go for it!'," Ms Betts said.

Preparing to baptise her second child, she knew it might get awkward when the priest asked about her own religion.

"He said, alright, fill this form in, and I filled it in, slid it across the desk to him," said Ms Betts, a Kalgoorlie-Boulder local in the Western Australian Goldfields. "He looked down and his eyebrows went up, and I went 'Oh, he's seen the pagan'."

Fr Mark Payton is the priest in charge of Kalgoorlie's St Mary's parish. He is not the priest who interviewed Ms Betts and her husband, but he did baptise their child.

"I don't think I've ever had someone say, I'm pagan. But, I'm fine with that," he said. "As long as one of them's Catholic, that's kind of the minimum requirement. It's common that we have people come in and one of the parents is Catholic and one's not baptised or baptised in a different Christian denomination."

Ms Betts said paganism resonated with her value of the environment, harmony among people, and gender equality.

She told ABC News of some recent supernatural interactions where she began to hear messages while operating her small business out of a building that offered psychic services.

Fr Payton did not dispute people having supernatural experiences.

"Spiritual realities, they are real," he said. "There are fallen angels, evil spirits around and the Church warns that there is a danger in delving into those things, like seances and even tarot cards."

He cautioned against any urge to interact with spirits. "If a person is involved in that, they can open themselves up to influence by these evil spirits — and it does happen."

With all of her children now baptised as Catholic, despite her own pagan beliefs, Ms Betts said she would see that the children engaged with their religion.


Awkward pre-baptism meeting with priest: 'His eyebrows went up, and I knew he'd seen the pagan thing' (ABC News)

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