Democrats upset about chaplain firing

29 April, 2018, 01:13 | Author: Conrad Doyle
  • Rev. Patrick Conroy at Jesuit High in 2012. Doug Beghtel The Oregonian

One prominent Republican has expressed concern over Ryan's decision.

Ryan's spokeswoman, AshLee Strong, has denied that Conroy was forced to resign.

"The speaker consulted with the minority leader, but the decision was his", she told CNN in a statement.

Both Boehner and Ryan are practicing Catholics.

But maybe some members were hearing "My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves" even if that's not what Conroy said. "As chaplain, Father Conroy has been a great source of strength and support to our community", Ryan said on April 16.

Father Conroy is a West Coast Jesuit who taught and coached at Jesuit High School in Portland.

Conroy reportedly drafted a second letter as well, which did not mention the request for resignation.

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What was it that made the prayer political?

"A staffer came down and said, "We are upset with this prayer; you are getting too political"," related Conroy. House Republicans do a pretty good job of embarrassing themselves. His explanation didn't assure all Republicans, either.

"He assured us that had nothing to do with it", Rep. Mia Love of Utah said.

"It is such an unprecedented action to be to only be taken for very, very serious issues", King said. "So I never heard any of these complaints before".

Democrat Gerry Connolly of Virginia told NPR, "Why wouldn't you counsel him to do better if there was a problem?"

Congress adjourned Friday for a weeklong recess.

Walker, who is also co-chair of the Prayer Caucus, didn't explicitly say another Catholic could not serve as House chaplain.

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Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit House Speaker Paul Ryan requested that Father Pat Conroy step down. Members of the House of Representatives recommend guest chaplains. Here's NPR's Tom Gjelten.

Democrats are demanding answers as to why the U.S. House Chaplain resigned from his post earlier this month.

A group of bipartisan lawmakers in the House are drafting a letter to send to Ryan asking he explain the resignation. For the House speaker to fire the House chaplain is without precedent, at least in modern times.

"For a lot of members, the outrage is personal, and it's not about Catholicism", Connolly told CNN. The aide also said Pelosi made it clear to Ryan that she disagreed with his decision. He offered his resignation last week at Ryan's urging. Last November, Conroy prayed for lawmakers to make sure that "there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans". "I would ask that rhetorically back to him", said Rep.

GJELTEN: And what did he tell you? On that day, the House was on the verge of passing the controversial tax reform bill that gave 80 percent of tax breaks to the nation's top 1 percent of earners.

JONES: No preacher or priest should feel that someone at the highest level, meaning speaker of the House, is going to determine whether that prayer was right or wrong because this was given as he felt God put in his heart.

Members of Congress elect chaplains based on the person, not the denomination. One of the three, Republican Mark Walker of North Carolina, told reporters yesterday that he would be looking for somebody, quote, "who has a little age, that has adult children".

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If that's what Walker is saying, "then no Catholic priest would ever serve as the spiritual reverend here to the House of Representatives" Crowley said.



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