After being forced to resign under conspiracy last month, the House chaplain decided to fight back and wrote a scathing letter to Paul Ryan, taking back his resignation. On Thursday, Ryan backed down and gave the chaplain his job back.
On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that Rev. Patrick J. Conroy was given his job back as House chaplain after being forced to resign at the end of last month.
“Conroy, who was forced to step down by Ryan last month, sent the speaker a letter rescinding his resignation and vowing to remain until the end of the year. Within hours Ryan had backed down, ending the possibility of what the speaker feared would be a “protracted fight” over what is supposed to be a unifying and spiritual position in the partisan chamber.”
This shocking reversal comes after a big uproar following Conroy’s resignation. Members of the House, both Democrats and Republicans, raised concerns that the chaplain was pushed out because of some prayers that he gave promoting social justice and poor people – which Ryan perceived as a knock against the GOP tax scam. Some members also believed that he was forced out because the Freedom Caucus was upset that he once allowed a Muslim to read the opening prayer.
Basically, Paul Ryan threw the chaplain out because he wasn’t mean enough to poor people and Muslims.
But on Thursday, Rev. Conroy fought back. He wrote a scathing letter to Ryan rescinding his resignation.
In his letter, Conroy details a confrontation that he had on April 13 with Ryan’s chief of staff Jonathan Burks. Conroy says that Burks had an anti-Catholic bias against him.
Conroy says that he asked Burks why he was being forced out. Burks told him, “Maybe it’s time that we had a chaplain that wasn’t a Catholic.”
In a statement from Ryan’s office on Thursday, Burks said, “I strongly disagree with Father Conroy’s recollection of our conversation. I am disappointed by the misunderstanding, but wish him the best as he continues to serve the House.”
Conroy said that he decided to fight the ouster on advice of counsel. “I have never been disciplined, nor reprimanded, nor have I ever heard a complaint about my ministry during my time as House chaplain,” he wrote.
According to the Post,
“Ryan has said numerous lawmakers complained to him about Conroy’s services but none have spoken publicly about their criticism, which created a vacuum that Conroy and his defenders filled.
They have suggested that the priest was pushed out because of an anti-Catholic bias among some of the evangelical Republicans in Congress, as well as the belief of some conservative lawmakers that Conroy fit in with some of the more liberal positions held by the Jesuit community.”