There has been some distress in leftie circles over the news that former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich will be received into the Catholic Church this weekend at St. Joseph’s Church. Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl will preside at the ceremony. I say, "Welcome Newt!" It is, as I never tire of saying, a big Church with plenty of room for everybody and no special admission tickets required beyond believing what the Church believes is necessary for salvation.

Mind you, I found it ironic that Mr. Gingrich has already pronounced himself on the propriety of Notre Dame inviting President Obama. He said, "It is sad to see Notre Dame invite President Obama to give the commencement address since his policies are so anti-Catholic values." To be clear, a not-yet Catholic is counselling the priest-President of a Catholic University on what is and is not sad about the application of Catholic values. The next thing you know, we will have recently converted evangelicals telling us who are bishops should be. Oops. I guess that has already happened this week with Randall Terry, who was a Methodist five minutes ago, going to Rome to ask them to remove two outstanding prelates, Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington and Bishop Paul Loverde of Arlington. (Terry was received into the Church in 2005.) I welcome both converts, but their embrace of "Catholic values" should extend to a measure of humility when pronouncing on the authenticty and fideltiy of those who have been Catholics for many years. Otherwise, we will need to introduce a new baptismal garment, a muzzle.

Back to the main story. Of all the leading Republican politicians, I think it is fair to say that Gingrich has the most interesting mind. He and I could not agree on whether to serve sweet potatoes or white potatoes at Thanksgiving dinner, I am sure. But, he is a serious thinker and a devoted public servant. No Catholics should be taking pot shots at him or questioning the authenticity of his conversion. We should say, "Welcome."

Comments

Anonymous | 3/31/2009 - 4:32pm
I'm hardly a newbie Catholic (28 years) and I whole heartily agree with Mr. Gingrich on the Obama/ND situation. It's frankly a scandal and pretty much covers the ''required belief's for salvation'' invoked in this article. Support for abortion is about as contrary to Catholic values as you can get and is not a new teaching...see the Didache from the FIRST century of Christianity. In the same breath, I agree that Mr. Terry should be keeping his opinions to himself because not only does he sound incompetent he is trying to pit the opinions of one bishop (Burke) against another. Anyways, glad to welcome another soul into the Barq of Peter.
Anonymous | 3/30/2009 - 5:26pm
How can he become a Catholic with TWO divorces, and my brother has been turned down because he was divorced and remarried???
Anonymous | 3/30/2009 - 10:43am
Doesn't it actually say something significant that non and new Catholics can plainly see how things like the ND scandal fly in the face of what we purport ourselves to believe?
Anonymous | 3/29/2009 - 4:11pm
The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity --- You Betcha ;)
Anonymous | 3/28/2009 - 12:27am
The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity. -- William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming This is worse than a crime, it's a blunder. -- Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord Blessed are those from whom you expect nothing: you shall not be disappointed.
Anonymous | 3/30/2009 - 10:02pm
I think Catherine E.'s remark is relevant, though I know enough canon law to imagine how it may have happened for Newt. Still, it is this kind of thing that rankles all Catholics who are somehow excluded based upon the completely irrational marriage laws that permit "defect of form" for a catholic and non-catholic married in a civil ceremony to summarily end a marriage of many years and two baptized Catholics who tried to comply are assumed to have been properly married have to go through the wringer of annulment. Newt and company will attempt their own remaking of the Catholic political scene...and there must be other voices to oppose their interpretations.
Anonymous | 3/27/2009 - 4:32pm
Y'all gotta love the new southern fried Catholicism we got goin on these days. Maybe we should sell off all the churches and praise the Lord under revival tents? It would be a lot cheaper, more folksy too. I've noticed quite an influx of new Catholics in recent years. Let's see . . we got Sam Brownback, Deal Hudson and Newt from the Baptists. Robert Novak and Larry Kudlow from the Jews and Randall Terry from ??? (someplace). What do they all have in common? Why they're converts, that's what! God love 'em and it's nice they all feel so comfortable in the Catholic Church. WELCOME, y'all!!!