House chaplain forced out by Ryan

House Chaplain Patrick Conroy’s sudden resignation has sparked a furor on Capitol Hill, with sources in both parties saying he was pushed out by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

Conroy’s own resignation announcement stated that it was done at Ryan’s request.

“As you have requested, I hereby offer my resignation as the 60th Chaplain of the United States House of Representatives,” the April 15 letter to Ryan, obtained by The Hill, states.

Through his office, Conroy, who has served as chaplain since 2011, declined to comment on Thursday. His resignation is effective May 24.

Four different sources — two from each party — say Conroy was told that he must retire or that he would be dismissed.

The message from Ryan was delivered by his chief of staff, Jonathan Burks.

The issue has riled House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who broached the episode during the Democrats’ whip meeting in the Capitol Thursday morning.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers are planning to send a letter to Ryan requesting additional information regarding Conroy’s dismissal; the group is currently circulating the letter among colleagues to collect more signatures.

[…]

A Democratic lawmaker said that the Speaker took issue with a prayer on the House floor that could have been perceived as being critical of the GOP tax-cut bill.

On Nov. 6 — the first day of the markup on the GOP’s tax bill — Conroy in a prayer urged lawmakers to ensure the legislation did not exacerbate the nation’s gaping class disparities.
“May all Members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great Nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle,” Conroy said at the time. “May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans.”

[…]

A second Democratic aide said Conroy’s ouster was “largely driven by a speech on the tax bill that the Speaker didn’t like.” But the source also offered a second reason.

“Some of the more conservative evangelical Republicans didn’t like that the Father had invited a Muslim person to give the opening prayer,” the source said.

[…]

Catholic members on both sides of the aisle were furious to learn that Conroy’s retirement was not voluntary, according to multiple sources, including one Republican lawmaker and one Democratic member.

Yikes.

This is disappointing.

if he was picking sides as it seems to say, he had to go.

The thinking among Democrats is that Ryan pushed Conroy out “because Republicans thought he was aligned with Democrats,” according to a senior Democratic aide familiar with the discussion.
House chaplains, who offer an opening prayer each day the House is in session, are supposed to be nonpartisan.

Today I learned advocating for the poor is picking sides in American politics. If that’s the case we’ll all be judged on what side we picked in this life.

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I had no idea that it was a Jesuit priest who was asked to resign.

I read a headline on the topic and I was going to go back to it.

That’s pretty ballsy. Catholic congressman asking a Jesuit priest to resign because praying for the poor is too partisan.

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The chaplain of the House said on Thursday that he was blindsided when Speaker Paul D. Ryan asked him to resign two weeks ago, a request that he complied with but was never given a reason for.

The sudden resignation of the chaplain, the Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, shocked members of both parties. He had served in the role since he was nominated in 2011 by Speaker John A. Boehner, a fellow Catholic. In an interview, Father Conroy was categorical: His departure was not voluntary.

“I was asked to resign, that is clear,” Father Conroy said. As for why, he added, “that is unclear.”

“I certainly wasn’t given anything in writing,” he said. “Catholic members on both sides are furious.”

Father Conroy said he received the news from Mr. Ryan’s chief of staff. “The speaker would like your resignation,” Father Conroy recalled being told. He complied.

[…]

Asked whether differences in politics were a factor in his ouster, Father Conroy said: “I do not want to politicize this. I have thoughts about it, but I am not contributing to that.”

But, he said, Capitol Hill is an inherently political place. “There are Catholics who are Republicans and there are Catholics who are Democrats,” he said. “I don’t know if there is a religious divide; there certainly is a political one.”

Though Father Conroy said he did not know whether politics were behind his departure, he pointed to a prayer he had given on the House floor in November, when Congress was debating tax overhaul legislation.

“May all members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle,” he prayed. “May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans.”

About a week later, Father Conroy said, he heard from the speaker’s office. “A staffer came down and said, We are upset with this prayer; you are getting too political,” he said. “It suggests to me that there are members who have talked to him about being upset with that prayer.”

Shortly after, when he saw Mr. Ryan himself, Father Conroy said that the speaker told him, “Padre, you just got to stay out of politics.”

“That is what I have tried to do for seven years,” Father Conroy said. “It doesn’t sound political to me.”

“If you are hospital chaplain, you are going to pray about health,” he added. “If you are a chaplain of Congress, you are going to pray about what Congress is doing.”

Father Conroy said that was the only time anyone from the speaker’s office had ever chastised him for veering into the political realm. “I’ve never been talked to about being too political in seven years,” he said.

Not commenting one way or the other on the dismissal as we really don’t know any details about it, however, “praying for the poor” could be political if a prayer is worded in such a way as to imply that there is only one way to care for the poor. Not saying that is what happened but addressing poverty is political in how it is approached.

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you don’t want to believe it but both sides advocate for the poor, just in different ways.

throwing government money at it hasn’t worked yet and may have made it worse. some link the breakdown of the family to it. we have been down this path before and it has been posted.

look at the jesuits on a college campus and you might be surprised what they allow.

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Bad news? Our favorite politician is going away for good this time.

His exact wording is in the first post. How is that political?

You mean “as the Republicans seem to say…” There is no objective evidence he was aligning with the Democrats…unless you have some?

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Today’s Psalm (Psalm 2) seems even more appropriate as a mass reading today.

Come on, you knew this before today.

how is enslaving the poor advocating for the poor. throwing money at the issue isn’t the answer.

do we know everything that goes on in congress? the article said ryan would not have pulled him if pelosi objected. she didn’t until he did it. more political grandstanding. why didn’t pelosi put a stop to it when she could have?

Ryan’s and Pelosi’s offices agree that Pelosi was told in advance that the chaplain was leaving.
AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Ryan, said it was Ryan’s decision, but declined to offer a reason for the move. She added that Pelosi and her office “were fully read in and did not object.”

“The speaker told Leader Pelosi that he would not move forward with the decision if she objected and she chose not to,” Strong said.

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Father put it in his letter that he was resigning at Ryan’s request. :woman_shrugging:t2:

hardly so, if he was shilling for the Dems.

How is this “shilling for the Dems?” –
“May all Members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great Nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle,” Conroy said at the time. “May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans.”

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I’m not going to parse his speech with you, and I expect there was more to it than this speech.

It’s not a job for life.

A lot of quality political appointees lose their job when politics change in DC. He may even have been appointed by GOP support, doesn’t matter.

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Oh, goodness. The comment was lmmachine’s “Today I learned advocating for the poor is picking sides in American politics”, which we knew already.

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