Newt Gingrich Schools Piers Morgan on Catholic Church 'Reform'

Amidst the liberal media's fixation on Pope Francis upholding Catholic teaching on sexuality, Newt Gingrich knocked their wishes of liberal "reform" on Wednesday's Piers Morgan Live.

"I am amazed at how much western elites translate reform into sex. If it doesn't relate – if it doesn't relate to sex, it doesn't count," he told host Piers Morgan, who then ludicrously claimed that "if you are gay, and you want to be Catholic, at the moment, you are basically demonized." [Video below the break. Audio here.]

Morgan had brought up that Pope Francis, as the Cardinal of Buenos Aires, Argentina, battled with the country's government over issues like gay marriage and contraception.

Gingrich chastised Morgan for pushing liberal sexual ethics while ignoring the Pope's focus on helping the poor:

"There are several billion human beings who will be thrilled to have a Pope who believes that Christ loves them, wants to wash their feet, wants to feed them, wants to embrace them. I mean, if we could just – you know, in the middle of all of the elites' angst about their personal lives, if we could just look at it for a second and say, won't it be amazing to have a Pope who genuinely focuses, in the tradition of Saint Francis, on helping the poorest among us?"

Morgan, for his part, condescendingly lectured the church that it needs to approve condom use for those dying of AIDS: "It's about the reality check that successive popes have not moved with the times in a way that many Catholics, and I would be one of those, wish that they had."

A transcript of the segment, which aired on Piers Morgan Live on March 13 at 9:44 p.m. EDT, is as follows:

[9:44]

PIERS MORGAN: A Vatican spokesman said he'll be a reformer and described the church as going back to basics. You know, I have said earlier that he has been having this ongoing battle with his own Argentinean president, who is also a Catholic, but she has been very forceful in pushing forward gay marriage, artificial insemination, free contraception, and so on, clashing with him repeatedly. Has that given him a taste, do you think, of what battles may be to come?

NEWT GINGRICH: Look, I'm going to go out on a limb for a second. I know this will shock you.

MORGAN: (Laughter)

GINGRICH: I am amazed at how much western elites translate reform into sex. If it doesn't relate -- if it doesn't relate to sex, it doesn't count. I think he's going to challenge all of us in terms of dealing with the poor. I think he's going to challenge all of us in terms of spirituality. I think he's going to wrestle more than any Pope has in modern times with a part of your question, which is if Christ loves everybody, and that certainly includes people of different sexual identities, then what is the church's relationship to everybody? And I don't know that he's going to come up, Piers, with what you would think of as enlightenment. But I think he may come up with some answers that are profoundly spiritual and that lead all of us to new dialogue and new conversation, in ways that, frankly, without him as Pope, we might never have imagined.

MORGAN: I mean, that may be great for the poor. I guess what I would say by response is – what I might say is that if you are gay, and you want to be Catholic, at the moment, you are basically demonized.

GINGRICH: Piers, time out. Just go back and watch yourself say that for a minute. "It may be okay for the poor." There are several billion human beings who will be thrilled to have a Pope who believes that Christ loves them, wants to wash their feet, wants to feed them, wants to embrace them. I mean, if we could just – you know, in the middle of all of the elites' angst about their personal lives, if we could just look at it for a second and say, won't it be amazing to have a Pope who genuinely focuses, in the tradition of Saint Francis, on helping the poorest among us?

MORGAN: Well listen, with great respect, Mr. Speaker -- we're going to take a quick break. But with great respect, you do get poor people who are gay as well. And you also have a lot of very poor people in Africa who have died from AIDS, simply because their Catholic leader has refused to allow them to use condoms. So it's not about elitism. It's about the reality check that successive popes have not moved with the times in a way that many Catholics, and I would be one of those, wish that they had.
 

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014