Sunday, April 5, 2009

Newt Gingrich on his conversion to Catholicism

Congressional Quarterly has posted a transcript of “Fox News Sunday,” including this exchange between Chris Wallace and Newt Gingrich about the former House speaker’s conversion to Catholicism:

WALLACE: Mr. Gingrich, you have been a Baptist most of your life, and last Sunday you converted to Catholicism. Why, sir?

GINGRICH: I’m not talking about this much publicly, but let me just say that I found over the course of the last decade, attending the basilica, meeting with Monsignor Rossi, reading the literature, that there was a peace in my soul and a sense of well being in the Catholic Church, and I found the mass of conversion last Sunday one of the most powerful moments of my life.

WALLACE: You have — it’s no secret — been married and divorced twice. Will you be able to participate fully in communion and all the other rites of the Catholic Church?

GINGRICH: Yes, we have done everything within the law of the church, following all of the rules of the church over the last 10 years. And it’s been a process. It’s been a very long process and something which was deeply affected, in part, by Pope Benedict XVI’s visit and the opportunity I had to sit in — as you know, my wife, Calista, sings at the basilica every Sunday, and I was allowed as a spouse to be there as part of the vespers program when the pope came. It’s been a long process.

WALLACE: And if I might ask, just briefly, what is it about the pope’s visit that led to this?

GINGRICH: I really believe, first of all, seeing the joy in his eyes, listening to his message, and I really believe that his basic statement, Christ our hope, is right. And I think much of what’s wrong with our country and with the western world is a function of looking inside ourselves, not just looking at money or looking at our wallets.


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