Published: Ven, Mai 04, 2018
World Media | By Darren Santiago

Ryan says House chaplain will stay in job

Ryan says House chaplain will stay in job

The embattled chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives has won his job back just hours after sending a scalding letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan that accused a top Ryan staff aide of telling him "something like 'maybe it's time that we had a Chaplain that wasn't a Catholic'".

Conroy wrote that the reasons given by Burks included an interview with National Journal, as well as a possible question of whether the House chaplain should be a Catholic priest.

The unholy tiff sparked a bipartisan furor from House members who demanded an explanation from the fleeing Speaker: the chaplain, after all, is elected by the Congress.

Conroy, who resigned April 15 and implied that Ryan had asked him to do so, submitted another letter on Thursday listing the reasons he has decided not to resign after all, including that he was never disciplined or reprimanded in his seven-year post as chaplain.

Complaining that Mr. Ryan never spoke to him in person, Father Conroy also suggested his Catholic faith played a role in his dismissal. Asked why, Burks reportedly responded, "Maybe it's time we had a chaplain that wasn't a Catholic".

In case you missed the beginning of the saga, Conroy announced he was stepping down as Chaplain not long ago, and then last week it came out that he had been pushed to resign by Ryan and/or his staff.

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In an appearance in Milwaukee last week, Ryan said: "This was not about politics or prayers, it was about pastoral services". Peter King of NY and Walter B. Jones of North Carolina, have joined with Democrats to raise questions about the speaker's decision to force out Conroy. "Help them to make wise decisions in a good manner and to carry their responsibilities steadily, with high hopes for a better future for our great nation", the chaplain said in a prayer opening the session on November 6, as the tax reform bill was being considered. Ryan reversed course on Thursday, accepting Conroy's request to remain in the position.

Last week, 148 House members of both parties sent Ryan a letter demanding more information on Conroy's ouster. "I am disappointed by the misunderstanding, but wish him the best as he continues to serve the House", he said.

"You may wish to outright "fire" me, if you have the authority to do so", Conroy wrote, "but should you wish to terminate my services, it will be without my offer of resignation, as you requested". The Washington Post also reported that Ryan told House Republicans on Friday that he had gotten complaints about Conroy's "pastoral style", according to the paper.

Conroy disputed this allegation, and said that he would have made an effort to adjust his ministry in order to better serve the House.

In recent days, the drama of Paul Ryan's exit as House Speaker has been eclipsed by another saga: Ryan's protracted feud with a 67-year-old Jesuit priest.

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