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Gingrich May visit to Iowa Basilica nixed

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich has canceled his May 16 trip to St. John’s Basilica in Des Moines, an official from the Basilica said this week.

“The whole purpose was supposed to be a religious event, (by) showing the DVD (“Nine Days That Changed the World”) and honoring Pope John Paul II,” Basilica business manager Dwayne Weuve said. Weuve said he was involved in coordinating Gingrich’s visit, and had to ultimately cancel it.

“Once the secular media got hold of (the news that Gingrich was visiting), they turned it into a political circus, and we didn’t want to be involved in that,” Weuve explained. “It was no longer a religious event, so it just had to be canceled.”

Gingrich is expected to announce his bid for the U.S. Presidency next week, according to an interview in the National Journal’s Hotline OnCall.”

The Georgia Republican, who co-produced the documentary “Nine Days That Changed the World,” converted to Catholicism about two years ago and recently headlined the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. where he lamented that the country was facing a “crisis of secularism.”

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