National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Yahoo Watch: Newt Gingrich

Everyone loves a convert, but I also like it when they shut up for a bit after swimming the Tiber.* Alas, the ever-prolix Mr. New Gingrich, has become a new voice in the Catholic universe and he speaks as if his was the very voice of the magisterium, even those his is the voice of someone who was a Methodist until yesterday.

He recently addressed a conference sponsored by the Knights of Columbus in California. Needless to say, Mr. Gingrich did not address the indissolubility of marriage, a subject on which he actually has expertise. He did have this nugget: “Our elites fail to recognize the irony that our own courts are as fully anti-religious as any institution in the Polish dictatorship, and our elite culture is as frightened of Christ and the cross as any secular group in past radical regimes.” Hmmmm. I wonder. Yesterday, I went to Mass and I did not notice any secret police taking photographs of the communicants. And what exactly is “our elite culture” and how come a man who held the second most important constitutional office in the land, appears regularly on television, and has published countless articles and books is not part of that elite culture?

Mr. Gingrich fancies himself an intellectual and an historian. He may be better informed than Mr. Beck whose knowledge of history has a distinctly “History Channel” depth to it, but if Gingrich continues to issue idiotic statements like this, he should be banned from Catholic stages not because he offends Catholic teaching, but because he offends basic standards of intellectual rigor.

*Augustine was a convert who wrote a great deal. He is the exception that prives the rule and, in this case, Gingrich is no Augustine. If any commentators push the envelope, I shall insist that we elect Mr. Gingrich bishop of Hippo and dispatch him to the sands of North Africa forthwith! (N.B., I apologize for the typo which had Gingrich going to Hoppi, not Hippo. Thanks to Mark Silk for catching it.)

50th-Anniv-cover-2.jpgGet this special NCR 50th anniversary offer! Subscribe to NCR by Nov. 15 and get a 50th anniversary issue. This special issue is available exclusively to subscribers. Learn more.

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

50-and-forward.jpg

NCR Email Alerts