Paul Ryan Says House Chaplain Can Stay After Patrick Conroy Rescinded Resignation

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Former House Chaplain Patrick Conroy has taken back his resignation in a scathing letter to Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), saying he was forced into resigning without a cause-except that he's Catholic.

Conroy wrote a two-page letter to Ryan earlier on Thursday, accusing the speaker of ousting him from his role without cause last month, The Washington Post reported.

"I do not wish to have my "resignation" be construed as a "constructive termination, '" Conroy wrote". The Wisconsin GOP leader defended his original decision, saying it "was made in what I believed to be the best interest of this institution".

"This was not about politics or prayers, it was about pastoral services".

Representative Gerald Connolly, a Virginia Democrat, said Ryan should respond by "defusing" the situation and letting Conroy serve the rest of the year in his post.

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiPelosi reiterates call to protect Mueller after new Trump tweet The Hill's 12:30 Report More than 5,000 OH ads have mentioned Clinton this year: report MORE (D-Calif.) on Thursday called for a further explanation of the circumstances behind the short-lived dismissal of Father Patrick Conroy as the House chaplain.

Ryan said he plans to meet with Conroy next week.

Conroy had never been disciplined or been made aware of any issues with his service as chaplain, and there was therefor no reason for him to resign, the chaplain asserted in his letter to Ryan. "And a number of our members felt like the pastoral services were not being adequately served or offered", Ryan said, according to WaPo.

Walker later removed himself from a bipartisan committee to find a new House chaplain amid outcry from Catholics.

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".

In the letter, published by the NY Times, Conroy claims Ryan's chief of staff, Jonathan Burks, came to him and asked for his resignation.

Conroy was a popular teacher, coach and adviser at Beaverton's Jesuit High School, serving on the staff from 2004 until 2011, when he was tapped to be House chaplain. Ryan also reportedly told the Republican conference Conroy's dismissal had nothing to do with Conroy's political statements, specifically a November speech he gave in the House floor regarding the tax bill. Ryan told lawmakers last week that Conroy was pushed out because he was not meeting the "pastoral needs" of members.

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

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