Paul Ryan forces out House priest because he 'aligned with Democrats'

Paul Ryan forces out House priest because he 'aligned with Democrats'

But the details of his departure are stirring controversy on Capitol Hill.

Here, Ryan has erred in failing to be perfectly candid with his members and not getting explicit buy-in from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. "His abrupt, unjust dismissal is hard to understand and impossible to support", she said. "But that's a theology that goes back centuries before there was any understanding of human psychology, human individuality, human sexuality and all those kinds of understandings of the human psychosis, and the human person that weren't as complete prior to these kinds of advances in understanding".

It's telling of this GOP-led Congress, though, that a popular chaplain may have may pushed out of his role because he was echoing Jesus' call to care for the poor or allowing a member of another faith (though not atheists) to deliver the opening prayer before a legislative session.

Reps. Patrick Meehan of Pennsylvania and Tom Reed of NY were the only Republicans to vote for the resolution on Friday.

Kaptur said she wants to find a bipartisan solution, which could include a privileged resolution to reinstate Conroy.

The sources said Conroy was particularly perplexed because he has made strong friendships with Republicans in his seven years as chaplain and genuinely does try to stay out of politics.

"Many of us like Father Conroy but we feel like he didn't do anything", an unidentified GOP member told CNN.

According to a Democratic aide, Conroy's ouster was "largely driven by [the] speech on the tax bill that the speaker didn't like".

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A letter is now being circulated for signatures that demands answers as to why Chaplain Patrick Conroy was asked to resign from his post. Earlier this month, Conroy was told the speaker would like his resignation, the priest told the Times.

Maureen Ferguson, senior policy advisor with The Catholic Association - a Washington-based group that describes itself as "dedicated to being a faithful Catholic voice in the public square - defended Speaker Ryan and said anyone who knows him "knows he is a devoted Catholic".

Conroy has served as House chaplain since 2011, when he was nominated by then-Speaker John Boehner. His explanation didn't assure all Republicans, either. Reps. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) and Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) were the only Republicans who voted with Democrats to create the committee. "It is such an unprecedented action to only be taken for very, very serious issues".

"The REAL job is being counselor to people who need it. Anyone who I know who deals with him has the highest regard for him". "Why wouldn't you give him to the end of this Congress which is the end of this year so that he can gracefully exit?"

Democrats and Conroy himself have cited a prayer he offered that called for fairness as the House debated tax cuts as a reason for Republican discontent.

There are also reports that some lawmakers were dissatisfied with his service, but no one has stepped forward to criticize Conroy.

Ryan stated Friday in a meeting with the House Republican Conference that he asked Conroy to resign after receiving complaints from House members who felt their "pastoral needs" weren't being met.

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