The sharp eyes of Christianity Today (and of Register Associate Editor Tom Wehner) spotted a religious news nugget in this recent New York Times profile of Newt Gingrich.

The news: The architect of the 1990s “Republican Revolution” plans to convert to Catholicism.

Here’s the relevant excerpt from the Times article:

“At a moment when the role of religious fundamentalism in the party is a central question for reformers, Gingrich, rather than making any kind of case for a new enlightenment, has in fact gone to great lengths to placate Christian conservatives. The family-values crowd has never completely embraced Newt, probably because he has been married three times, most recently to a former Hill staff member, Callista Bisek. In 2006, though, Gingrich wrote a book called “Rediscovering God in America” — part of a new canon of work he has done reaffirming the role of religion in public life. The following year, he went on radio with the evangelical minister James Dobson to apologize for having been unfaithful to his second wife. (A Baptist since graduate school, Gingrich said he will soon convert to Catholicism, his wife’s faith.)”

Update: This post has been updated with a photo, taken by Register Senior Writer Tim Drake, of Gingrich attending Pope Benedict XVI’s address last April at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.

Says Tim, “I recall wondering to myself at the time, ‘Is Newt Catholic, or is he converting, or is he simply interested in hearing the Pope?’”