Paul Ryan Gives Up on Firing Chaplain

The Chaplain won back his job after writing a letter that directly challenged Ryan.

The firing of the Chaplain to the U.S. House of Representatives was a mysterious story. Why would Paul Ryan do such a thing? It is even more mysterious to me now that Reverend Pat Conroy has won his job back. Apparently, all it took was a letter frankly asking for the cause of his firing and presenting evidence that it was because he was a Roman Catholic Priest.

Another possibility is that, rather than being a chaplain to all Representatives, Conroy was an advocate for the Democrats. That is the suggestion you get from this C-span clip:

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If that is the reason Paul Ryan fired him, I think he should have stuck to his guns.

The Associated Press reports, “House chaplain wins job back after scalding letter to Ryan.

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.’”

Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, forced Reverend Pat Conroy to tender his resignation last month, sparking a firestorm. […]

But in a statement Thursday, Ryan — himself a Catholic — reversed course.

“It is my job as speaker to do what is best for this body, and I know that this body is not well served by a protracted fight over such an important position,” Ryan said.

Ryan’s statement came soon after Conroy delivered a two-page letter that said he has never “heard a complaint about my ministry” as House chaplain. Instead, Conroy says top Ryan aide Jonathan Burks told him the speaker wanted his resignation, and cited a prayer last year that was potentially critical of the GOP tax bill.

“I inquired as to whether or not it was ‘for cause,’ and Mr. Burks mentioned something dismissively like ‘maybe it’s time that we had a Chaplain that wasn’t a Catholic,’” Conroy wrote to Ryan in a letter that was also sent to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

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About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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