Thursday, April 2, 2009

Gingrich becomes a Catholic
By Betsy Rothstein of The Hill
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) converted to Catholicism on Sunday and celebrated his new faith with some close friends at the hot spot Café Milano. Gingrich, who had been a Baptist, attended Sunday evening Mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on Capitol Hill and was confirmed into the Catholic Church that evening during a separate service.Gingrich’s wife, Calista, is Catholic.
Former Rep. Vin Weber (R-Minn.), now a lobbyist at Clark & Weinstock, and his wife attended the Sunday service. Weber told ITK that the Gingrich party “for his Catholic friends” was “very, very nice.” Weber cracked that it was different from any other event he has attended with Gingrich because “it was the only event with Newt where he didn’t give a speech.”
The possible 2012 White House hopeful had no comment on becoming a Catholic. Rick Tyler, Gingrich’s spokesman, said, “He’s not commenting on it. That’s not to say that he won’t comment on it, but he isn’t right now.” Gingrich’s Wikipedia page already posts his religion as Roman Catholic.
Writer Michael Novak and Cardinal McCarrick, the retired cardinal of Washington, were in attendance at Café Milano.
Becoming Catholic isn’t simple. “It’s harder than becoming a Lutheran or a Methodist,” said Weber. “You go through several months of preparation — it’s not like joining a country club.”
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) was at the restaurant dining with three men. He didn’t appear to be there to celebrate with Gingrich.

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