Daily Archives: April 27, 2011

Newt Gingrich: Why I Became Catholic

Now home: Newt Gingrich

I do not follow enough US politics to be able to judge whether Newt Gingrich is a Catholic a’ la Tony Blair, or a sincere one instead.

Still, I found this article with his reflections about his own conversion path both inspiring and indicative.

It seems to me that what happened to him is what happens in the majority of cases; not – or not only – a dramatic moment of enlightenment on the way to some personal Damascus, but a gradual approach – in this case clearly helped by the beautiful example of his wife – at the end of which one doesn’t experience conversion, but rather takes notice that it has already happened.

I also found rather moving that a Southern Baptist – probably, though I can’t be sure of that, raised up in the condemnation of the pomp and splendour of the Papacy – would come to the first powerful realisation of his already happened acceptance of Catholic truth within the walls of St. Peter’s. I liked this, because I have always believed – and have often written about this – that the symbolism of the Catholic church is very powerful, and the splendour of her churches are one of the most striking aspects of this symbolism.

Also please notice that Mr. Gingrich had the humility of studying the catechism for one year even after having followed the catholic mass for one decade and a half and having been – one wants to hope – already subject to more Catholic doctrine than most western cradle Catholics alive. This is the right attitude, and it is beautiful that he mentions it with a natural humility that does him honour.

I do not know how sincere or orthodox a Catholic Mr. Gingrich will be. But I think that it can safely be said that he would be – in case – an infinitely more Christian President of the United States than “punished with a child”, no-bible-in-the-office, late-abortion-as-first-priority Hussein Obama.


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