Paul Ryan reportedly sacked House chaplain over tax-bill prayer

UNITED STATES- APRIL 11 Rev. Patrick Conroy Chaplain of the House attends the 2013 National Days of Remembrance ceremony in the Capitol rotunda to honor the victims of the Holocaust

Several members said Ryan only briefly mentioned the incident, which has infuriated Democrats and some Republicans, during the conference meeting, which was held to discuss the party's appropriations strategy for fiscal 2019.

While one source claimed that "some of the more conservative evangelical Republicans didn't like that the Father had invited a Muslim person to give the opening prayer", others offered a more compelling reason: Ryan "took issue with a prayer on the House floor that could have been perceived as being critical of the G.O.P. tax cut bill".

While those who serve as House Chaplain are expected to conduct themselves in a non-partisan manner, many sources are saying that Speaker Ryan wanted Rev. Conroy out because he had aligned himself with liberal Democrats.

The Rev. Patrick Conroy, the chaplain of the House of Representatives, is resigning effective May 24. His comments were seen as anti-Catholic, due to the vow of celibacy that Catholic priests take after becoming ordained.

"I lived with Fr. Conroy for three years".

Conroy "was responsive to me and my sons after the shooting past year", said Rep. Joe Barton, whose sons were present during the shooting in Virginia.

Ballecer said that the "church" part of the job is usually just morning prayer and a few events.

'The Speaker said it was just because certain people felt he was not complying with their requests or was not giving them good counseling. "(Our reps)", he tweeted. He remains grateful for Father Conroy's service'. "So I never heard any of these complaints before".

Most of the Catholic Democrats questioning Conroy's resignation have long histories of voting in favor of abortion as well as gay and transgender issues.

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"If Paul Ryan had a problem with Fr Pat Conroy's prayer about tax reform and the poor then he will really have a problem with the New Testament", Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Penn.) tweeted.

"He said it was absolutely not political", said Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, describing Ryan's remarks after leaving the meeting. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) and Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), both former pastors, to lead the search effort to find a new chaplain for when Conroy leaves at the end of May.

Conroy, a Roman Catholic priest from the Jesuit order, had served as the chamber's chaplain since 2011.

"There has been no explanation other than vague things like "not all of my members feel that they got spiritual guidance from him" on the Republican side", Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) told Politico on Thursday. This is a matter that has serious implications for our institution, and we look forward to your reply to address the concerns raised by your decision to request Reverend Conroy's resignation.

But until we know more details, this episode looks frightful for Ryan, who regularly acquiesces to the ugliest Republican trends in the Trump era.

Conroy's more traditional hierarchy of religious ideals made him unpopular with the House's strong contingent of fundamentalist Christian lawmakers.

While the first letter suggests that Conroy resigned at Ryan's prompting, the reasons behind Ryan's apparent request are not immediately clear.

Cleaver noted that the Jesuit's career and reputation is forever damaged by the episode, "especially when a Catholic priest dismissed - oh jeez, all this other stuff that's been going on with these priests, and this is bad, this is absolutely terrible".

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