Church cancels Gingrich appearance
May 3rd, 2011
11:38 AM ET
7 years ago

Church cancels Gingrich appearance

(CNN) - The Basilica of St. John in Des Moines, Iowa canceled a screening of Newt Gingrich's documentary about Pope John Paul II, the church confirmed.

The former House Speaker and recent convert to Catholicism co-produced the film, "Nine Days that Changed the World." He was exepcted to speak at the viewing.

Dwayne Weuve, the Business Manager for the church said they were not able to "work out all of the details" for the May 16 event and that Gingrich's potential bid for the White House was "one of the considerations that went into it [the decision]."

The Des Moines Register reported the event could be considered a conflict of interest.

Rick Tyler, a spokesman for Gingrich, said the film has been screened across the country and "thousands have come to see and be inspired by its powerful message."

"These events are a time to come together to remember Pope John Paul II, his life, and the remarkable period of history," Tyler said. "These are in no way political events and it would be a shame not to go forward and share this movie with the Basilica in Des Moines."

"In any case, however, we will respect the decision of the Basilica of St. John," he added.

Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Sorensen

    Not even the catholics want to listen to the old irrelevant bozo.

    May 3, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Church's are tax exempt and Newt is trying to bend the rules for his own political gains by converting to use them. Newt's next move will be to declare himself to "sainthood" on the backs of the Catholic church. The Catholic Church is cleaning up their past scandals and not trying to support a scandalous Newt Gingrich.

    May 3, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  3. carrotroot

    I grew up as a Roman Catholic in the North East, and Biden and Kennedy are good representatives of the Roman Catholic faith. I will never recognise Newt as a Roman Catholic because he never grew up as one.

    May 3, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. PalmReader

    "The Basilica of St. John in Des Moines, Iowa canceled a screening of Newt Gingrich's documentary about Pope John Paul II, the church confirmed."

    Digging up a man who has been dead and buried for nearly 6 years in an attempt to now *beautify* him ... no matter who he may of been in real life ... isn't exactly my cup of tea. Nor is Newt Gingrich for that matter. That Newt is trying to cash in on John Paul 11 is an absolute truth.

    May 3, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  5. OneMoreTime

    The Church "has seen the light", again. A "recent" convert (what is it, two years?) is no more qualified to capture the
    depth of Pope John Paul II existence than I am. The Basilica of St. John saw politics written all over this "presentation"
    and so do we. Good for them.

    May 3, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    I would think that it would be highly inappropriate for a political candidate to produce and/or release religous oriented documentaries during a political campaign, much less solicit donations. (Newt, non-profit religous groups cannot donate to a political candidate.) Apparently, the religous group understands that "Citizens United" does not suddenly excempt them.

    May 3, 2011 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  7. Christy P in Santa Cruz CA

    Good old Newt – I bet he wanted the church to pony up a ton of $$. He NEVER does anything that doesn't benefit himself in a major way. Good for The Basilica of St. John. He's so slimy and dishonest, he'll never be elected to POTUS.

    May 3, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. GOP reaps what they sow

    Newt says he found God and the Church figured out that he only wanted money. Guess who was right?

    May 3, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  9. The Dude

    "a recent convert"... Well all things being equal, a man's relationship with his maker is deeply personal and deserving of respect and if his new faith brings him comfort and insight then I offer Mr. Gingrich my best wishes. That said, religion is traditionally the last refuge for who exactly....?

    May 3, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  10. David

    this guy ought to be shamed and put in a corner....

    May 3, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. ConservaFASCISTS -aka- Mammon

    Pretty much the church is saying they don't want to hear from a converted hypocrite.

    May 3, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |

    Converted to Catholicism from what?

    May 3, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  13. NVa Native

    Gingerich is a creep. I feculent creep.

    May 3, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  14. Rexben

    This man has sinned so many times even the pope couldn't get him forgiven by the church. A priest couldn't hear his confessions and not laugh his butt off. Making a movie about the pope will not make amends for what he has done.

    May 3, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  15. Rabbit Hole

    Is it surprising that this is a man that was once the face of the Republican party? Nah.

    May 3, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  16. Laverne

    This man needs an exoricism!

    May 3, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  17. ja

    i applaud the church, this man stand flat footed and stated on a christian broadcast outlet, his marital indiscretions were caused by hi passion for america, insult the citizens with a better one, well you struck out

    May 3, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  18. Seattle Sue

    I always thought of Gringrich as a Satan worshiper.

    May 3, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  19. Pam

    I guess he changes religions like he changes wives...whatever or whoever can profit him the most. He is a despicable person. And, not a very smart one either.

    May 3, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  20. Fair is Fair

    "I grew up as a Roman Catholic in the North East, and Biden and Kennedy are good representatives of the Roman Catholic faith."

    Really??? I'm not Catholic, but how do Biden and Kennedy reconcile their beliefs on abortion with those of the Catholic Church? And I wonder what Mary Jo would have to say, hmmm? Right.... good representatives, indeed.

    May 3, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    At least Gingrich is not as bad as Joseph Ellis, as a historian. As someone who converted from Roman Catholicism to one of the mainstream Protestant denominations I find the irony of Newt's conversion to Roman Catholicism totally hilarious! One of the reasons I left the Church is I divorced and remarried without going through the expense and effort of trying to obtain an Annulment from that same Church. Here is old Newtie boy, twice-divorced, and now a newly-minted Roman Catholic. What's up, Bishop (whoever accepted his conversion)? Don't the same rules apply? Did Newt ask for an official Annulment of his first two marriages from the Church as part of his conversion?

    While I have great respect for the institution of the Church I grew up in, and love the ritual and ceremony, I have a real hard time reconciling that with the blatant hypocrisy of its leadership. I have a hard time with Bishops who refuse Communion to politicians who do not completely follow the "party line" established by those Bishops. I have a hard time with Priests who refuse to grand absolution to couples who practice contraception. I have a hard time with a Church that enforces priestly Celibacy within its own community but accepts married priests' conversions from Eastern Orthodox and Anglican communities, recognizing both their Ordination and their Marriage.

    Now that I look at all those, the Hypocrites running the Church, and Newt aren't all that different!

    May 3, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  22. Emma

    I would think this moran has no place in the Catholic church as he may change his mind with the next wife!

    May 3, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    In any case, however, we will respect the decision of the Basilica of St. John," he added.
    Yeah, well, you kinda HAVE to dontcha?
    As a Catholic myself it seems that the Lizard has finally found the "right" religion to go with his, ummm, tempestous lifestyle. He can screw from Monday through Friday, go to confession on Saturday, take communion on Sunday, and back in the saddle on Monday. The question remains though,how much did it cost him to have the Catholic church accept him and his divorces into the fold?

    May 3, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  24. Oldie in TampaBay

    OMG! Newt a Catholic!?! ROFL hahahahahahahahahaha ..

    May 3, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  25. Al-NY,NY


    Converted to Catholicism from what?

    the church of the Holy Hypocrisy (aka the Republican Party)

    May 3, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
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