Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich doesn't talk about his faith all that much, but when I sat down with him this past week I asked him about his conversion to Catholicism.
Watch the clip below and the transcription is below, as well.
Brody: How has the Catholicism experience if you will changed you and really given you this purpose going forward?
Gingrich: Well, I don’t know that it gives me a purpose per se. I think it changes my sense of understanding to some extent and it changes my sense of community. The most compelling thing is the degree to which taking Communion is at the center of the Catholic experience and that it is literally participating in renewing yourself through Christ.
Somebody once said ‘when did I decide to become Catholic?’ and I said I think what actually happened was going to the Basilica with Callista who’s been singing in the choir there since 1996. I just gradually became Catholic. I didn’t decide. It was a process of kind of being surrounded and experiencing it and feeling it.
But this really goes back to my Grandmother Docherty, my mother’s mother. When I was four years old, Grandmother Docherty was telling me that there is a Heaven, there is a Hell. She’s quite vivid about the second and that I should be a good person and should learn to do what God wanted.
She was a Missouri Synod Lutheran. It was at the heart of her being, and I think I acquired that at four or five years of age and so I’ve always had this sense of trying to understand what God wants of America and what God wants of me personally and of how we can find ways to do God’s will and I think that that process has just deepened and enriched for me.
Watch more of my interview with Gingrich here: