Paul Ryan Reverses Course, Accepts House Chaplain Rescinding Resignation

House Chaplain Rescinds Resignation, Forcing Confrontation

House Chaplain Rescinds Resignation, Forcing Confrontation

"I have never been disciplined, nor reprimanded, nor have I ever heard a complaint about my ministry during my time as House chaplain", Conroy wrote in the letter.

The U.S. House chaplain who Speaker Paul Ryan tried to dismiss last month has rescinded his resignation, setting up a standoff with the lame-duck speaker just months before a hard midterm election for Republicans.

Patrick Conroy's resignation last month roiled the House, with many lawmakers pressing for an explanation about why he was asked to resign by Mr. Ryan.

House chaplain Father Patrick Conroy rescinded his resignation on Thursday, almost a week after news broke that he had tendered his resignation to Speaker Paul Ryan at the Speaker's request.

"I inquired as to whether or not it was 'for cause, ' and Mr. Burks mentioned dismissively something like 'maybe it's time we had a Chaplain that wasn't Catholic.' He also mentioned my November prayer and interview with the National Journal Daily", Conroy wrote in his letter.

Complaining that Ryan never spoke to him in person, he also raised his Catholicism. "I am disappointed by the misunderstanding, but wish him the best as he continues to serve the House", he said.

Burks said in a statement, "I strongly disagree with Father Conroy's recollection of our conversation". The Wisconsin GOP leader defended his original decision, saying it "was made in what I believed to be the best interest of this institution".

Conroy told The New York Times that shortly afterward, Ryan warned him to "stay out of politics".

"This body is not well served by a protracted fight over such an important post", Ryan said in a statement, according to the AP. Conroy's last day had been scheduled for May 24. Catholic lawmakers such as Reps.

"To be clear, that decision was based on my duty to ensure that the House has the kind of pastoral services that it deserves", he said.

Crowley issued a statement Thursday saying he was glad Conroy would remain chaplain but said questions still needed to be answered amid conflicting reports about the reason for Ryan's initial decision. After Conroy was forced out, Rep. Mark Walker, R-S.C., a Southern Baptist minister, suggested the next chaplain should be a family man, a remark that caused upset among Catholics because it implied that Catholic priests, who take a vow of celibacy, would not be eligible.

House Speaker Paul Ryan attended Catholic schools as a child, so this may not be the first time he's had his knuckles rapped by a representative of his Church.

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

"You may wish to outright "fire" me, if you have the authority to do so, but should you wish to terminate my services, it will be without an offer of my resignation, as you requested", Conroy wrote Thursday.

Former U.S. House Chaplain, Father Pat Conroy, speaks at the National Statuary Hall of the Capitol on September 27, 2017.

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