Lawmakers seek answers after Ryan asked House chaplain to resign

House Speaker Paul Ryan requested the House chaplain resign from his post earlier this month, and several prominent D...

Posted: Apr 27, 2018 9:07 AM
Updated: Apr 27, 2018 9:07 AM

House Speaker Paul Ryan requested the House chaplain resign from his post earlier this month, and several prominent Democratic lawmakers want to know more information as to why the Jesuit priest was asked to step down.

Father Pat Conroy resigned April 15 after he spent nearly seven years praying at the outset of House sessions.

He wrote two versions of his resignation letters, which were both obtained by CNN by a congressional source.

In the first letter, he wrote "as you requested, I hereby offer my resignation..." The second letter didn't include that he was requested to resign. The first letter also said that Ryan should consult with his chief of staff on a resignation date, but the second letter stated his last day would be May 24.

Conroy did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.

Ryan's spokesperson AshLee Strong denied that Conroy was pushed out for anything he said or did, but she didn't elaborate on what triggered the resignation request.

"The speaker consulted with the minority leader, but the decision was his," she told CNN in a statement. "He remains grateful for Father Conroy's service."

An aide for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told CNN she made it clear to Ryan that she had only received positive comments about Conroy's service from House lawmakers. The aide also said Pelosi made it clear to Ryan that she disagreed with his decision.

It's not immediately clear why Conroy was asked to resign. Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly said he wasn't sure why Ryan made the decision and wants to the Wisconsin Republican to answer questions over "this breach that he created." Both Ryan and Connolly are Catholic.

"For a lot of members, the outrage is personal, and it's not about Catholicism," Connolly told CNN. "It's about this relationship with this personal counselor. It's very offensive personally to a lot of members."

A group of bipartisan House members, including Connolly, is drafting a letter to Ryan requesting that he explain why he asked Conroy to resign.

"We are seeking additional information regarding your decision to request the resignation of Reverend Patrick J. Conroy, the 60th Chaplain of the House of Representatives," the letter, which was obtained by CNN, states. "The sensitive nature of this situation requires a description of the process followed to arrive at the decision and a justification for that decision."

Conroy was not afraid to weigh in on political issues in the past. He had mentioned the Republican tax bill in a prayer on November 6, 2017, before the legislation became law.

"As legislation on taxes continues to be debated this week and next, may all Members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great Nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle," he said at the time. "May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 38569

Reported Deaths: 1511
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin12456787
Ramsey4911228
Dakota238291
Stearns237119
Anoka2241109
Nobles16696
Olmsted112915
Washington111440
Mower9522
Rice8447
Scott7344
Clay58738
Kandiyohi5731
Blue Earth4792
Wright4755
Todd4012
Carver3811
Sherburne3175
Lyon3162
Freeborn2920
Watonwan2340
Steele2311
Benton2173
St. Louis18015
Martin1695
Nicollet16912
Cottonwood1360
Goodhue1318
Winona12515
Crow Wing10612
Pine1050
Le Sueur1031
Chisago1001
Otter Tail951
McLeod920
Carlton870
Dodge870
Polk822
Chippewa791
Unassigned7837
Isanti730
Waseca680
Douglas650
Itasca6412
Murray640
Meeker611
Morrison591
Becker560
Faribault560
Jackson550
Sibley542
Pipestone522
Pennington510
Renville352
Mille Lacs342
Wabasha330
Brown312
Rock310
Beltrami300
Fillmore300
Yellow Medicine300
Houston260
Swift221
Wilkin213
Norman200
Redwood180
Cass162
Roseau160
Aitkin150
Big Stone150
Koochiching151
Wadena150
Kanabec141
Grant120
Marshall120
Lincoln100
Pope100
Mahnomen91
Clearwater80
Hubbard70
Lake60
Traverse60
Lac qui Parle40
Stevens40
Red Lake30
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 31670

Reported Deaths: 722
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6638179
Woodbury325244
Black Hawk230158
Buena Vista171411
Johnson13148
Linn129482
Dallas128029
Marshall104919
Scott81510
Story7793
Pottawattamie73612
Wapello70830
Dubuque70222
Crawford6772
Muscatine64344
Sioux4770
Tama46529
Wright3861
Louisa36213
Jasper32517
Plymouth3225
Warren2901
Dickinson2663
Washington2439
Webster2292
Hamilton1891
Cerro Gordo1821
Boone1481
Clay1340
Clarke1322
Allamakee1314
Mahaska11617
Shelby1140
Clinton1121
Poweshiek1068
Carroll991
Pocahontas971
Bremer946
Des Moines922
Franklin900
Emmet880
Henry863
Cedar841
Taylor790
Hardin770
Monona770
Cherokee751
Floyd732
Marion700
Benton691
Guthrie664
Jefferson640
Sac640
Osceola620
Jones610
Butler572
Buchanan551
Humboldt551
Hancock540
Harrison540
Lee542
Calhoun532
Iowa530
Delaware511
Fayette510
Monroe516
Madison482
Clayton443
Lyon440
Davis411
Palo Alto410
Mitchell390
Winneshiek390
Grundy380
Mills370
Kossuth350
Howard340
Jackson320
Lucas314
Greene300
Chickasaw290
Union290
Winnebago290
Ida240
Cass230
Van Buren220
Appanoose213
Keokuk211
Page210
Worth200
Unassigned170
Adair160
Audubon161
Ringgold160
Decatur120
Montgomery102
Wayne100
Adams80
Fremont70
Rochester
Broken Clouds
86° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 90°
Mason City
Few Clouds
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 91°
Albert Lea
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 88°
Austin
Broken Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 86°
Charles City
Few Clouds
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 90°
Hot, sticky, and stormy
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Dave's Noon Forecast 7/7

Image

Rochester businesses close out of precaution

Image

How did businesses do on the 4th of July with tourism

Image

Stewartville's Will Tschetter commits to Michigan

Image

Covid-19 concerns, Rochester Boys and Girls Club temporarily closes

Image

Looking at the Role of School Resource Officers

Image

Seans 4pm Weather 7/6

Image

Treasury Department unveils relief loans

Image

Mandatory Mask Mandate for Rochester

Image

Approving Cares Act Funding

Community Events