Tom McFeely is the National Catholic Register’s News Editor. He lives in British Columbia.
In this interview posted Friday by Christianity Today, Newt Gingrich discusses his recent conversion to Catholicism.
Most of the interview with the former U.S. House speaker focuses on various aspects of the intersection of faith and politics.
“I have always believed that faith is a matter, and in my case, does go through your whole being, and it’s hard for me to imagine as a person of faith how it would not impact your policies,” Gingrich commented in reply to a question about how his Christian faith has affected the public policies he advocates. “In the end, if you truly try to understand what God wants, and truly try to do what God wants, that has to impact how you behave.”
Added Gingrich, “It’s undoubtedly made me much more pro-life. It’s undoubtedly made me more concerned about young people learning about God, learning a sense of being part of an extended world. I think that it makes me much more concerned about helping the poor.”
The Christianity Today interview also touches briefly on President Barack Obama’s request, acceded to by Georgetown University, that Georgetown cover a Christian symbol during last Tuesday’s presidential speech about the economy on that Catholic campus.
And Gingrich spoke positively about the political future of the Catholic governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, saying Jindal “is certainly brilliant and has a great future.”
Regarding his conversion, Gingrich said this: “All I can tell you is that for a decade I went to the basilica where my wife sings in the choir. I found myself growing more and more comfortable and more and more accepting. The head of the basilica began the conversation four years ago, and I found myself being a part of the Catholic community and being a part of the Catholic faith.”