Conservative author and former House speaker Newt Gingrich will celebrate the Easter season this year in a very special way – by converting to Roman Catholicism.
“I have become increasingly drawn to Catholicism over the past several years while attending Mass with my wife, Callista,” Gingrich tells Newsmax. “ After prayer and reflection, I believe this is where God has led me. I’m looking forward with great joy to being received into full communion with the Catholic Church.”
Rumors of the religious conversion began circulating last month when Gingrich, a Baptist since college, told The New York Times that he had been exploring a reaffirmation of the role of religion in public life and found himself increasingly attracted to his wife’s Roman Catholic faith.
Gingrich recently criticized the University of Notre Dame for choosing President Barack Obama as a commencement speaker. The Fox News contributor sent messages via micro-blogging service Twitter saying: “It is sad to see Notre Dame invite President Obama to give the commencement address since his policies are so anti Catholic values."
Callista Gingrich is a member of the Choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., a resident professional choir. In April 2008, the choir sang for Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to the United States.
Susan Gibbs, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Washington, told AOL Political Machine blogger Patricia Murphy that she couldn’t comment about the specifics of any one person's conversion, adding that Gingrich is "in proper standing with the Catholic Church," and, "any obstacles to joining the church have been resolved."
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