Posted by: Greg Hengler at 8:25 PMTRANSCRIPT:
WALLACE: Mr. Gingrich, you have been a Baptist most of your life, and last Sunday you converted to Catholicism. Why, sir?
GINGRICH: Iâ€™m not talking about this much publicly, but let me just say that I found over the course of the last decade, attending the basilica, meeting with Monsignor Rossi, reading the literature, that there was a peace in my soul and a sense of well being in the Catholic Church, and I found the mass of conversion last Sunday one of the most powerful moments of my life.
WALLACE: You have -- itâ€™s no secret -- been married and divorced twice. Will you be able to participate fully in communion and all the other rites of the Catholic Church?
GINGRICH: Yes, we have done everything within the law of the church, following all of the rules of the church over the last 10 years. And itâ€™s been a process. Itâ€™s been a very long process and something which was deeply affected, in part, by Pope Benedict XVIâ€™s visit and the opportunity I had to sit in -- as you know, my wife, Calista, sings at the basilica every Sunday, and I was allowed as a spouse to be there as part of the vespers program when the pope came. Itâ€™s been a long process.
WALLACE: And if I might ask, just briefly, what is it about the popeâ€™s visit that led to this?
GINGRICH: I really believe, first of all, seeing the joy in his eyes, listening to his message, and I really believe that his basic statement, Christ our hope is right. And I think much of whatâ€™s wrong with our country and with the western world is a function of looking inside ourselves, not just looking at money or looking at our wallets.