aside Chaplain For The US Congress Father Conroy Has Decided Not To Let Speaker Ryan, Fire Him

Image result for cartoons about father conroy and speaker paul ryan

I am thrilled to learn that the 7 year tenured chaplain for the US Congress, Father Patrick J. Conroy has decided not to let the US House Speaker Paul Ryan get away with politicizing his position. In the past week, Speaker Ryan who knows that he cannot fire the chaplain, maneuvered around this rule by asking Father Conroy to tender his resignation.

At some point, the good Father ended up talking to Speaker Ryan’s Chief of Staff Jonathan Burks about his firing and he was left with the impression that he was being shown the exit door because some members no longer wanted a member of the Catholic faith performing the pastoral duties in the US Congress. It doesn’t help that Speaker Paul Ryan is supposed to be a practicing conservative Catholic. The chaplain has made the decision to stand up to power to where he wrote this  two-page letter indicating that he would not voluntarily resign.

Image result for cartoons about father conroy and speaker paul ryan
PAUL RYAN/ FATHER CONROY

As per the May 3, 2018 Slate report by Jim Newell, “In a two-page letter sent to the speaker on Thursday, Conroy had claimed that Ryan’s chief of staff, Jonathan Burks, suggested that the Republican leadership would prefer to have a chaplain who wasn’t Catholic. Conroy’s letter mentions, as has been previously reported, that it was Burks who came to see him on April 13 asking for a letter of resignation.”

“I inquired as to whether or not it was ‘for cause,’” Conroy writes, “and Mr. Burks mentioned dismissively something like ‘maybe it’s time that we had a Chaplain that wasn’t a Catholic.’” Burks also mentioned Conroy’s November prayer on tax reform, which some viewed as hostile to the GOP legislation, as well as an interview with the National Journal Daily that some Republicans didn’t appreciate.”

Image result for cartoons about father conroy and speaker paul ryan

Well the good Father has decided to rescind his letter of resignation and to replace it with  notice that he intends to continue in his current post. It looks like Speaker Ryan does not intend to fight this decision. Speaker Ryan is finally demonstrating some common sense in his leadership role.

I can’t be the only one who is suspicious that the White House and some members of the GOP in the US Congress wanted to replace Father Conroy with an Evangelical.

Image result for cartoons about father conroy and speaker paul ryan

Here’s the rest of the story… 

On May 3, 2018, Paul Kane of the Washington Post penned the following report, “House chaplain rescinds resignation after furor over his ouster by Ryan’

Excerpts:

“The Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, the House chaplain who last month announced his resignation under pressure, informed Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) on Thursday that he wanted to rescind his offer and remain in his position at least through the end of this year.”

“In a two-page letter, Conroy accused Ryan’s chief of staff of invoking his Catholicism in a confrontation that led to the priest submitting a resignation letter a few days later. Conroy says Jonathan Burks also brought up an opening prayer the priest delivered in November and an interview with National Journal in January.”

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“Conroy is just the second Catholic priest to serve as chaplain, but those two priests have held the position since 2000. He wrote Wednesday that he believed Ryan had the power to fire him when he had the clash with Burks, so he submitted his first resignation letter on April 15.”

“Conroy, who said he is now under the “advice of counsel,” is no longer sure Ryan has that power because his position is an office of the House, voted upon for a two-year term at the start of each Congress. The chaplain, who had intended to resign May 24, now believes there was no just cause for him to be ousted from the position.”

“I have never been disciplined, nor reprimanded, nor have I ever heard a complaint about my ministry during my time as House chaplain,” Conroy wrote Thursday (5/3/18).”

“In previous statements, Ryan denied that the Jesuit priest’s political views played any role in the ouster and said he had heard numerous complaints about Conroy’s lack of interaction with lawmakers.”

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“This was not about politics or prayers, it was about pastoral services. And a number of our members felt like the pastoral services were not being adequately served, or offered,” Ryan said at an event in Milwaukee earlier this week.”

“The chaplain issue flared up last week after The Washington Post reported that Conroy had been forced into resigning by Ryan, following a period where most lawmakers believed he was resigning of his own volition.”

“Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, particularly many of the more than 140 Catholics, questioned the timing of the decision and complained that Ryan had only given vague reasons for why Conroy was pushed out.”

“None of the lawmakers who complained to Ryan have spoken publicly about their criticism of Conroy’s work, leaving a vacuum that Conroy and his defenders have 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.”
Image result for photos of jonathan burks chief of staff to paul ryan

“Conroy, in his letter, spelled out in the most detail yet his April 13 confrontation with Burks that set the stage for his resignation letter. The priest asked why he was being forced out.”

“Maybe it’s time that we had a chaplain that wasn’t a Catholic,” Burks said, according to Conroy’s account.”

“Burks also mentioned a November prayer that Conroy delivered during the tax-cut debate that some took as siding with Democrats in the debate. “May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all,” Conroy prayed.”

18 comments

    • Dear Kim,

      I am so pleased that he has taken this stand. He deserved better treatment and it would have been wrong for him to set a precedent for future chaplains. This is a position that should not be politicized. Someone needed to draw a line in the sand.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Suze,

      I feel the same way. Being a Jesuit, he probably prayed on this and took counsel with fellow Jesuits. Then I suspect that many from both sides of the aisle approached him to back and encourage him.

      He might have felt compromised if he thought he was not welcome in the US Congress but it looks like he had ample reassurance that this was not the case. It seems that Speaker Ryan had not shared the fact that Father Conroy was not voluntarily resigning. It is reassuring to me that Speaker Ryan got an earful from both sides of the aisle. There is some decency left.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Like

  1. So glad. I only wish he had come out with Ryan’s remark about needing a chaplain who is not Catholic and refused to resign in the beginning. I understand he was probably completely stunned. Anyway, I’m very happy he has recinded his resignation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Holly,

      The Chaplain was only being human. I feel terrible that he was put through this mistreatment by the House Speaker Paul Ryan who did not share with his colleagues that Father Conroy was not voluntarily resigning.

      Father Conroy was probably approached by numerous representatives from both sides of the aisle with words of encouragement and support. He probably would not have taken this stance if he did not feel fully welcome in the US Congress. It does my heart good to know that the Speaker got an earful from both republicans and democrats. He did not get away with his slight of hand.

      Hugs, Gonda

      The republican conservatives just shot themselves in the foot with their Catholic voters who can be an independent lot.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

      • I recognize that the chaplain was bewildered and stunned but it’s human to stand up
        For yourself and country and stop
        The bullying right and fanatical evangelist. With the conviction that “God” is on your side you’d think he could just say no. “Do your own dirty work, I’m not going willingly.” Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Tony Burgess,

      I am willing to bet that the speaker has had an earful from a lot of Catholic voters who were not happy with his treatment of Father Conroy. But he also has been beaten up by representatives from both sides of the aisle who had not been informed that Father Conroy was not resigning, voluntarily

      Speaker Ryan backed down graciously and quickly in this situation in accepting the Father’s wish to remain in his job. I do not give Speaker Paul Ryan credit for suffering from a guilty conscience or from shame. This tells me that Speaker Ryan has been subject to a lot of pain. This does my hear a lot of good.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Like

    • Dear Suzanne,

      Speaker Paul Ryan showed his true colors with this failed maneuver to involuntarily oust Father Conroy which blew up in his face, bigly. Your portrayal is accurate. Speaker Ryan had no choice but to back down.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Like

    • Dear Roger,

      Yes, You are being too kind. This ne’er-do-well passed his GOP tax cuts bill in 2017 which has spawned a whopping US GDP growth of 2% only in the 1st quarter of 2018 with no demonstration of a significant increase in good paying jobs and / or wage rates. The GOP will not be able to sell to their voters this irresponsible tax cuts bill that was paid for in part by an increase to the US deficit over 10 years by a minimum of $1.5 trillion dollars.

      There is a reason that he is not running again for his elected seat. He knows his party will be in the minority position after the November 2018 elections. He is a true WUSS.

      Then he sneakily tries to get rid of Father Conroy by asking him to resign without letting his colleagues know that the good chaplain was not resigning voluntarily. HE IS A WORM.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Gronda, Ryan could not have picked a worse thing to do to frame his legacy in pressuring the Father to resign. Using a tennis analogy, this was an unforced error. I am sure some of his Republican colleagues had choice words for him. There are enough real issues out there to deal, which he is not, to make one up and then fall on his face. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Keith,

      This was political malpractice. In one quick slight of hand, Speaker Ryan managed to unite many from both sides of the aisle who wanted a piece of his posterior. He has unnecessarily dished a significant number of voters who are Catholic.

      He deserved what he got from his fellow republicans. Rep King of NY was out for blood.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Like

      • Gronda, the man does nothing about the many and several unethical things done by Devin Nunes and for the most part gives the President a hall pass for his many indiscretions, but fires a priest over a prayer for equity. He reaped what he sowed on this. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

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