The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


Gingrich on Catholicism: “This is the place that I belong”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

“I don’t know that I wanted to become a Catholic so much as I became a
Catholic. I don’t know that it was volitional in that sense. Having
gone to the basilica (The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception,
in Washington) with my wife, who sings in the choir there, for about a
decade, I think it gradually grew on me. And when Pope Benedict came to
the basilica for vespers with the bishops, and my wife and the choir
were singing, and I was allowed to come as a spouse — I had been
talking with Monsignor Rossi, who is the rector of the basilica, for
about five years, just about faith, and secularism, the challenges we
have in the modern world with our civilization, and that afternoon
seeing Pope Benedict XVI fairly close up, and both really believing in
his central theme of ‘Christ Our Hope,’ and seeing the joy in his eyes,
fundamentally different than the news media portrait of a severe German
intellectual, something in me just was triggered. And I said to
Monsignor Rossi that night that I wanted to convert. And we spent the
following six or eight months studying with Monsignor Rossi, and it was
more a process of becoming more and more comfortable that this was –
this is — the place that I belong, and the taking of the Eucharist is
the experience that enriches my life.”

Newt Gingrich, explaining his conversion to the Boston Globe’s Michael Paulson.
 


Advertisement
Comments read comments(11)
post a comment
DML

posted October 10, 2009 at 8:30 pm


Oh how I wish I was I was a fly on the wall during Newt’s ‘conversion.’ I would imagine that it was a stark constrast to an RCIA group that I participated in a few years ago. We had a woman from a disadvantaged situation, divorced from her first husband, who had found a new man and a new child on the way. Just prior to Easter, the DRE told her to take a hike. Our priest wasn’t man enough to tell her herself. She disappeared, rejected by the Church.
Now we have Newt, defiling the Eucharist with his sinful lifestyle, are there no standards in this church of ours? Why highlight this man who flaunts such a scandalous, adulterous lifestyle?



report abuse
 

Rudy

posted October 10, 2009 at 9:00 pm


Both the woman mentioned in the comment above and Newt Gingrich can repent from their sins and come back to the Church. If we had high standards I don’t think anyone could come in.
Mr. Gingrich earlier marriage was anulled, just as the late Senator Kennedy was and therefore his new marriage is lawful under Church law and carries with it no penalty for adultery.
Some times the Church fails to show mercy anc compassion and people are hurt. But we should see each case on its own merits.



report abuse
 

Paula

posted October 11, 2009 at 6:53 pm


If Newt Gingrich’s previous marriages were annulled, and I guess they were if he was able to join the church and partake of the Eucharist, then I’m wondering how he managed the fast track to annullment. I know people who have waited for years to have the Pope review their request for annullment. And really, how does one say a marriage of many years, even producing children, was really not a marriage at all? I believe forgiveness and redemption are amazing gifts to us from God and I am forever grateful to be a recipient of this great gift, but Newt Gingrich managing to have not one but 2 marriages annulled in a matter of a few months sickens me.



report abuse
 

Bob

posted October 11, 2009 at 9:18 pm


“I’m wondering how he managed the fast track to annullment. I know people who have waited for years to have the Pope review their request for annullment. And really, how does one say a marriage of many years, even producing children, was really not a marriage at all?”
Annulment cases are decided these days at the diocesan level by the Metropolitan Tribunals, not the Vatican.
As to you’re other question, for a marriage is a sacrament in the RCC, and certain conditions regarding form, intent, and consent have to be met for the sacrament to be valid. If any of those things are missing, the Church won’t recognize the marriage. Of course, special considerations have to be met for marriages originating in other faiths. For example, certain considerations regarding form are present for Catholics, but not for Protestants coming into the Catholic church.
A quick Google search should give you more info if you want it.



report abuse
 

Deacon Greg Kandra

posted October 11, 2009 at 9:48 pm


Paula…
I found this website, which gives a pretty good and fairly clear overview of annulment, to wit:
Some marriages are entered into without the necessary maturity or full knowledge and ability to keep such a permanent commitment, or without full free will because of external pressures. Therefore, a person has the right to ask the Church to examine a previous marriage to see if it was less than what the church views as a valid marriage, a freely chosen commitment between two mature, knowledgeable and capable adults to enter a covenant of love, for life, with priority to spouse and children.
God bless,
Dcn. G.



report abuse
 

DML

posted October 11, 2009 at 10:14 pm


I’m with Paula. In my old fashioned upbringing, marriage is marriage. Newt is a smart, mature guy. Leaving a wife in the hospital is beyond the pale, it is a grave manifest sin to abandon a sick wife and your children.



report abuse
 

Deacon Greg Kandra

posted October 11, 2009 at 10:26 pm


DML…
According to the Church’s teaching on marriage and annulment, what matters is the state of mind of the two parties at the time the marriage began — and the reason the two entered into marriage in the first place. That is what determines whether or not a sacramental marriage existed — and whether, if it didn’t, it can be annulled.
Yes, it is a “grave manifest sin” to walk out on a sick wife and children. But it may or may not have bearing on an annulment. (And, of course, like all sins, it can be forgiven by the grace of God and the sacrament of reconciliation.)
Dcn. G.



report abuse
 

Paula

posted October 12, 2009 at 12:41 pm


Dear Deacon G-
Thank you so much for your responses. I will explore this subject further as you and others have suggested. I have felt drawn to the Catholic church for many years after reading many wonderful books by Catholic writers, starting with Thomas Merton. But here’s my problem, my first marriage was entered into with the “necessary maturity” and “full knowledge and ability to keep such a permanent commitment” and with “full free will.” It was “a freely chosen commitment between two mature, knowledgeable and capable adults to enter a covenant of love, for life, with priority to spouse and children.” My feeling is that most marriages annuled by the Church were entered into this way; however, things changed and the marriages ended. I just have a very hard time with this subject.
But again, I thank you for taking the time to respond to my earlier post.



report abuse
 

Katie Angel

posted October 12, 2009 at 1:21 pm


Paula,
If your marriage failed, there had to be some reason behind it – and usually that reason has at its foundation a lack in one of the sacramental criteria. One may enter into a marriage believing that one has the necesasry maturity, the full knowledge and the right priorities but find after a period of time that their spouse did not or they were mistaken. These are among the reasons for annulment. I have had several dear friends over the years that have found themselves in that situation – at the time of the marriage, they believed they were ready and that is was right but years later found that their spouse did not have the same mindset or had violated the marriage vows (a clear indication of inability to keep a permanent commitment). The Church has an interest in helping her children keep their promises (the marriage vows) and usually asks that the couple attend counseling and do all they can to make the marriage work – but if it is irretrievably broken, she understands and helps the couple move forward.
Many blessings on your journey.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted October 12, 2009 at 2:28 pm


I was not Roman Catholic when I was married the first time,nor am I now Roman Catholic. My first marriage took place in a Protestant church in which we were very involved. It is difficult to be told that one can’t become Roman Catholic and partake of the Eucharist without first having such a marriage annulled. And yet I know many members of the Catholic church who are divorced and partake of the Eucharist whenever they wish. All that you have said makes total sense to me for members of the Catholic church, but not for those who were not members when they first married. Marriage is not one of the sacraments in the Protestant church as it is in the Roman Catholic church; therefore,I do not see why one must go through the annulment process in order to become Roman Catholic.



report abuse
 

Deacon Greg Kandra

posted October 12, 2009 at 2:52 pm


Your name..
Here’s a good explanation of annulments and why the Church requires that even Protestants receive an annulment before being re-married in the Catholic Church.
Blessings,
Dcn. G.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

This blog is no longer active
This blog is no longer being actively updated. Please feel free to browse the archives or: Read our most popular inspiration blog See our most popular inspirational video Take our most popular quiz

posted 10:42:40pm Dec. 12, 2010 | read full post »

One day more
A reminder: "The Deacon's Bench" is closed! Please enjoy the archives!

posted 11:26:20pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Meet Montana's married priest
Earlier this week, I posted an item about Montana getting its first married priest. Now a local TV station has hopped on the bandwagon. Take a look, below.

posted 10:29:55pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Big day in the Big Easy: 10 new deacons
Deacon Mike Talbot has the scoop: 10 men today were ordained as Permanent Deacons for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. This group of men was formally selected on the day the evacuation of New Orleans began as Hurricane Katrina approached. The immediate aftermath of the storm for this class would be

posted 6:55:42pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Gaudete! And let's break out a carol or two...
"Gesu Bambino," anyone? This is one of my favorites, and nobody does it better than these gals: Kathleen Battle and Frederica von Staade. Enjoy.

posted 1:04:10pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.