Ryan Reinstates House Chaplain After Uproar From Lawmakers

08 May, 2018, 02:30 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Latest News: Drama continues after Home chaplain rescinds resignation letter requested by Ryan

Within hours, Ryan backed down and agreed to leave Conroy in his post at least through the end of the year, ending the possibility of what Ryan feared would be a "protracted fight" over what is supposed to be a unifying and spiritual position in the partisan chamber.

The chaplain is elected by the full House and Democrats said Ryan does not have the power to fire him.

The drama over the chaplain's place started on April 15, when Conroy submitted a letter saying that as Ryan requested, he could be leaving his place on the finish of Could. Last week, while Congress was in recess, Conroy rescinded his resignation and alleged that Ryan's chief of staff suggested to him "maybe it's time that we had a Chaplain that wasn't a Catholic", a claim Ryan's chief of staff denied.

Father Conroy said he and Mr. Ryan will sit down together on Tuesday when the House is back in session.

However, the Catholic organization remains unhappy about Ryan's handling of the incident. "My problem is I was never told that that was the case".

"While you never spoke with me in person, nor did you send me any correspondence, on Friday, April 13th, 2018, your Chief of Staff, Jonathan Burks, came to me and informed me that you were asking for my letter of resignation". His letter also said he was retracting the resignation "upon advice of counsel", potentially hinting that he might take legal action depending on what happened next.

Ryan's retreat came quickly.


During the prayer last November, Conroy prayed that "there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans".

In an appearance in Milwaukee last week, Ryan said: "This was not about politics or prayers, it was about pastoral services".

But the dismissal itself hints at politics. Instead, Conroy says top Ryan aide Jonathan Burks told him the speaker wanted his resignation, and cited a prayer previous year that was potentially critical of the GOP tax bill. Conroy is a Roman Catholic priest from the Jesuit order.

Mr. Ryan's move also exposed long-simmering tensions between Catholics and evangelicals in the House. "However, many distressing questions must still be answered about the motivations behind Father Conroy's unwarranted and unjust dismissal".

Conroy has served whilst the room's chaplain since 2011.

"It's time Ryan found himself a new chief of staff", the Catholic organization's statement said. Another theory that was put forward was that some Republicans were bothered by the fact that, at the request of a Democratic Congressman from North Carolina, Conroy had invited a Muslim Imam affiliated with Duke University to deliver the opening prayer for the House back in October of previous year.

Earlier that week Ryan had refused to publicly deal with his rationale to demand Father Patrick Conroy's resignation, although he defined his choice to the Home Republican Convention behind closed doorways - citing member concern over his pastoral care and a scarcity of chaplaincy service. Whatever the reason, though, the fact that Ryan has backed down is a strong indication that he was getting significant negative blowback from other members of the Republican Caucus over Controy's dismissal.

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