Over recent months, Ms. Gingrich and her husband grew increasingly frustrated with the slow pace of the vetting process, and Ms. Gingrich even threatened to take her name out of the running, according to one of the people.
Others who were considered include Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania, who was an early favorite for the position but took his name out of the running because of the financial strain it would put on his family, according to one of the people with knowledge of the nomination process.
Ms. Gingrich, a member of the choir at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, played a critical role in Mr. Gingrich’s conversion to Catholicism. But she also played a role in breaking up his second marriage, according to Mr. Gingrich’s ex-wife and former adviser, Marianne Gingrich. The couple divorced in 1999.
She told ABC News, during Mr. Gingrich’s run for president in 2012, that her husband had sought an open marriage so that he could keep seeing Callista Bisek, then a congressional aide. (Mr. Gingrich denied the accusation at the time.)
Divorce has emerged as a fault line in the Vatican in recent months. Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on the family, “Amoris Laetitia,” seemed open to the idea of making communion available to Catholics remarried without receiving church annulments.
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