Skip to comments.Newt Gingrich on his conversion to Catholicism
Posted on 04/05/2009 4:11:27 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
Congressional Quarterly has posted a transcript of Fox News Sunday, including this exchange between Chris Wallace and Newt Gingrich about the former House speakers 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: Im 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 its 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 its been a process. Its been a very long process and something which was deeply affected, in part, by Pope Benedict XVIs 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. Its been a long process.
WALLACE: And if I might ask, just briefly, what is it about the popes 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 whats 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.
uh....it’s called BAPTISM, which is what every Catholic goes thru......Baptism is being born-again into the Holy Spirit.
nice to see someone walked my path. I was a fallen Catholic and really a Catholic in baptism only. My acts, thoughts and actions were of a hedonist and full of the pride of "knowing" right from wrong.
A friend took me to a "Promise Keepers" in Tampa and I went mainly as a friend. I found a great emptiness in my life.
I am the worst example of a Christian and will find myself in Heaven only if God is truly merciful and forgiving. I am also a Catholic. I wish my church wasn't infested with communist, socialist, liberals, pederasts and the rest of the hypocrisy that pushed me out of the church. But I find strength in the local priest and a comfort in the mass.
The Catholic Church is my home. CS Lewis is my inspiration and those that attack the church or any person trying to find his way back to Christ will be dealt with by something worse that hostile postings on this board or a well turned phrase in a flame war online.
I see Newt as somewhat of a charlatan, but he's a conservative charlatan... so I'll take him. I see a story of a man finding his way back to Christ by converting to Catholicism , I'll accept his word and look at his actions. ....... Those with the snide comments about "born again vs RCC/CC" or being papist, idol worshiping or somehow demean ever single person that is Catholic... you very well may be right. But "charity" is one of the Christian tenets and I would expect charity from a fellow brother in Christ.
or maybe not.....
I many not be what some call a “good Catholic”. Sunday Mass, the Offertory and the Eucharist are what matter to me as far as the liturgy. But the fact which should concern all believers is that He is who He said He was and He paid for our sins. Last year on Good Friday a friend sent me an e-mail about being in the tomb with Jesus. I said, “It’s OK - that rock is gonna roll.” A good song came out of that. If you want go to http://www.myspace.com/emmettgrayson. It’ll come up as soon as the page opens.
So I guess you can't ever really know who is and isn't a "truly born-again Christian," because they could someday convert to Catholicism and demonstrate that they were never "for real" to begin with.
Sort of throws a wrench in that "assurance of salvation" stuff, doesn't it?
Obviously, it was not a complete statement. I was not trying to write a theologic exposition. On the other hand, the basis of Christianity is faith. If you’ve got it, then it doesn’t matter what church you are a member of. There are plenty of Catholics who have the requisite faith, just as there are plenty of Baptists who do as well.
That was wonderful. Thank you.
I’m happy for him. Now let me know when he converts back to free market conservatism. Then I’ll really welcome him home.
Then we have a great deal in common, my friend. C.S. Lewis helped me find my way back to trust in Christ Himself and it took some more years before I found my way back to Catholicism. I ignore the political leanings of the folks at Mass because it is my sanctuary from all of that. Like you, Newt never appealed to me much either, but if he’s inclined to live the faith this way, who am I to question it?
I’m very glad you liked it. If Johnny Cash were still with us, it might even be a hit sometime.
Very possibly, but I thought you sounded pretty darn good.
It really is beautiful and touching.
This Rock has a pretty good summary of the case:
ONE key Scripture reference to being “born again” or “regenerated” is John 3:5, where Jesus states: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” This verse is so important that those who say baptism is just a symbol must deny that Jesus refers to baptism. “Born again” Christians claim that the water is the preached word of God. If we look at what the early Christians said about this verse, they uniformly referred to it as baptism and said this was the way in which we are born again and receive new life, a fact which can be shown elsewhere in Scripture (Rom. 6:3-4, Col. 2:12-13, Titus 3:5). It is impossible to find a Church Father who referred to John 3:5 as anything other than baptism; they are unanimous.
This Rock goes on to point out that all of the early Church Fathers agreed that this saying of Jesus refers to Baptism from Justin Martyr to St. Augustine and onward:
I wrote the song completely, but that recording was done by my good friend, Jack Bond. I’m going to do my own studio version soon, though, I hope.
I loved his voice.
Now I have mentally attached it to you :)
Jack does a couple of the songs I have up there - but he’s also a good conservative Catholic fellow. I think he also does “April In Tennessee”, but the rest are my own voice in what are called “writer tracks”. They’re OK as recordings but not “radio-ready”. I had quit writing for 20 years and have been a bit slow working into the performance end of things. Anyway, my real voice is in the others. Sorry, if I confused thibgs.
Not to worry. I bookmarked the site so I could go through the rest of the music.
I just know that this coming Sunday I will have a smile when I think how that rock is gonna roll. It’s an exhilarating line. Unforgettable, really.
Like any creative person, I am deeply appreciative and honored by your comments. I thank you very kindly.
Welcome to the Roman Catholic Church Newt. Isn’t it glorious?
You are so welcome. There’s much more to the lyrics than just the hook in that line, which you know since you wrote them. The whole story and its meaning gets so neatly packaged. Our part, His part. I just thought it was a pretty masterful piece of work.
That’s your own personal belief, which, incidentally, is contradicted by Scripture.
I don’t think it’s contradicted by scripture. The Bible is very clear that faith is the key to salvation. I don’t remember anywhere in the Bible where it says that you’ve got to be a member of the right church in order to get into heaven.
As a traditionalist Catholic I find it impossible NG be married three times and be allowed full Communion.
This is the same hierarchy (well- the present or immediate past) that has allowed the annulment scandal.
stupid answer...all religions have their share of dissidents, and by the way, Hitlery is yours, she certainly isn’t a Catholic (thanks God)
nonsense...Christ established His church for a reason....the church of “what’s happening now” simply does not cut it
This conversion rings true, because I also was drawn to the Church seeing the Holy Spirit and the love of Christ shining from Pope Benedict's face on that balcony in Rome the day he was elected. I signed up for RCIA classes the next day.
When I said "so-called born again" I meant the self described hodge-podge of "faiths" that seize on isolated snips of scripture out of context and use them in their warehouse services to attack the Original and Universal Church.
Note that I said so-called born again, and I was referring to a very distinct segment of Protestants that the PREVIOUS poster was claiming membership in.
Looking at this whole situation from merely a historical point of view is another thing. Gingrich is a noted historian.
I can see him after those first moments of being touched by the Holy Spirit, getting out books and starting to read and read and read until he got back to the Early Church Fathers and then to the apostles. He is a definite researcher, and I believe this is a REAL conversion, too.
There is just something in the humility with which Gingrich speaks of it — almost a reverence. Did you pick that up, too?
Annulments are only required for a valid marriage which is still in existence.
Newt’s first wife is dead, so that marriage no longer is a problem.
His second marriage was done while the first wife was alive. It was not a valid marriage.
Only his third marriage is valid. No annulment is necessary, but I am certain he has had to confess his sins and has been instructed on the marriage sacrament and his reponsibilities to remain faithful.
I am not a canon law expert, but I have heard enough explanations on various programs that I am pretty certain I am correct.
let’s see...newt sinned ( not really because his divorces and remarriages were not forbidden in the Baptist denomination....all he had to do to come home to Catholocism was to have the church determine that his previous marriages were not valid....in fact he needn’t even need to do that much....if one of his marriages were determined to be valid, he would merely not be able to remarry. The sacrament of reconciliation , faithfully entered into, enables Christ to forgive you of even the most heinous sins....that’s who Jesus is.....He told you that....please listen.......whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven, whose sins you retain, they are retained....I thought you were a bible believer......almost all of the bible doesn’t count.....you knew that!!!
It is sad to think that devout followers of the original and True Christian Church, the Catholic Church - who are unshakable in their Faith can't be coaxed into leaving their Faith with a few select out of context uses of scripture to bash the Faith they hold dear? You think that's sad? I think it is wonderful that there are many people who understand and live their Faith so strongly that they can't be conned out of it. Nothing sad about that.
Newt has a lot of failings, one of which is effort to be liked by both sides and to tailor his remarks accordingly. My prayer is that frequent confession will grant him a bit more courage in such situations and make him less enamored of publicity.
And I am one of them. But if you follow the entire discussion, you will see I was referring to the so-called born agains who attack the Catholic Church. My point was that no good Catholic who understands his Faith will fall for their mis-characterizations of what the Church teaches. Of all the "former Catholics" I have met who left to join one of those corner-store churches, not a single one of them had an understanding of what the Church truly teaches.
bumpus ad summum
Thank you- withdrawn- you sound correct here.
I’m pretty lame on validity of marriages as such are rife everywhere and I can’t admit it, can I, for almost all co-workers and guests to my parent’s house would be sleeping together illegally- so I choose to stay blind!
There fixed it. You see that is what the Jesus actually said was "Born from above." Only someone smart enough to actually read the NT in Greek would know that, not someone that sat in the pews taking a fundie pastors word for it.
And I think much of whats 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.
Newt, Newt, Newt. Where were you when RR said, "There is nothing wrong with this country that cannot be cured by what is right with this country."
“As a traditionalist Catholic I find it impossible NG be married three times and be allowed full Communion.”
This subject has been hashed over and over on FR! Newt’s first wife is now deceased, so that marriage has no bearing on the matter of his marital status. It’s my understanding that Marianne, Newt’s second wife, was divorced when they married, and that puts into doubt the validity of his second marriage in the eyes of the church.
None of us really knows the entire story of Newt’s marriages as to whether they are obstacles for his receiving the sacraments of the Catholic Church. So, I think we should lay this subject to rest.
This is yet another place we differ from the institutional religion of Rome. You folks require the membership into the group, then go through all kinds of gyrations with these ridiculous pronouncements to hold the club together. The believers in Christ alone have no “religion” and are made members by Him alone. If He doesn’t make a member, then they cannot be part of Him. We have no rosters, we have no rolls, we have no gyrations. We let Christ sort out the sheep from the goats. And we have no co-redemptrix.
Yes. I recall two years ago seeing the canard about how unlikely it would be for anyone to go from the Senate to the white house, then the top three candidates were all senators...
The GOP is nothing more than the democratic party of 40 years ago. Times have changed. BTW, I do not care for Newt and probably would not vote for him.
No one can be born again as an infant. They may be consecrated to God but to ber born again demands a human choice. Will you accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour or not?
No, Ann, it really isn’t. Being born again demands a choice, do I want the Lord Jesus Christ in my life or don’t I? Baptism may seal it but it’s not salvational.
We are all born of water. The mother’s placenta is water. First we are born naturally and then, hopefully, we are born of the Spirit when we receive Christ into our lives. IMHO, of course. Baptism is not a born again experience. We must first be saved and THEN baptized. It is necessary but not until we’ve been born of the Spirit.
Amen, Brilliant. Faith and then works that God has planned for you to do since the foundations of the world were laid. It’s never the other way around.
The Church that Christ established is His body, the Body of Christ, which means all of us who have believed on Him for our salvation. It’s not a denominational thing, it’s a people in Christ thing.
How do you know if someone is truly born again or is a ‘so-called’ born again? Only God knows the heart, Dan.
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