Gingrich Makes News on Catholicism, 2012 and Ethanol

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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich penned an essay Tuesday in the National Catholic Register titled "Why I became a Catholic." The piece was published on the eve of the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, which Gingrich will headline.

In the piece Gingrich explains how and why he became a Catholic after being a Southern Baptist for decades.

"Over the course of several years I gradually became Catholic and then decided one day to accept the faith that I had already come to embrace," he wrote.

Gingrich calls Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the United States in 2008 a "turning point."

It looks like the former Georgia congressman is also approaching a turning point regarding his presidential aspirations. Gingrich has not filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission but has been testing the presidential waters for months, with an announcement expected in the coming weeks. Sources close to the former Speaker of the House tell FOX News, Gingrich is "almost there."

The scrutiny associated with presidential candidates is already in mid-season form. Numerous news organizations reported on Monday that in 2009, Gingrich received $300,000 from the ethanol lobbying group Growth Energy.

A well-placed Gingrich source tells FOX News, "Growth Energy was a client of the Gingrich Group. [Gingrich] never lobbied for them, he provided strategic consultation." Ethanol subsidies are a huge issue in Iowa, a state that produces over two billion bushels of corn each year and is also home to the ‘First in the Nation Presidential Caucuses.'