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Connolly irate about House chaplain's removal

Connolly irate about House chaplain's removal

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told GOP lawmakers in a closed caucus meeting this morning that House chaplain Father Patrick Conroy was forced to resign not because of political considerations but because of complaints from some House Republicans that the Jesuit priest wasn't meeting their "pastoral needs".

Perhaps Conroy got cashiered because in November, with the House debating tax cuts, he had delivered a prayer on the House floor asking members to "guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans".

While Ryan has the support of most of the chamber's Republicans, many Democrats are upset about Conroy's ouster and say politics may be behind it. Democrats on Friday forced a vote on creating a special committee to investigate "the motivations and actions" behind Ryan's decision to fire Conroy but the move was killed by a party-line tally.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., pointed out that Conroy was only a few months away from completing his term, but it will now be over on May 24.

Democrats aren't the only ones furious by Ryan's heavy-handed move to drive Conroy out.

Rep. Sean Maloney from NY tweeted on Wednesday: 'Yeah we're angry. Coughlin was the first Roman Catholic chaplain. He was the second Catholic chaplain in the House's history and appointed by Ryan's predecessor John Boehner.

During Thursday evening votes, after news broke of Conroy's dismissal, lawmakers in both parties voiced concern, particularly Catholics.

The lawmaker, a Baptist minister, told reporters on Friday that 'Having spent 16 years in ministry as a pastor, there are things that you are able to understand that families go through in dealing with.

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May's government is already showing "a steady shift to a soft Brexit", she wrote in the presentation. They could rationalize a vote against May as acting in the best interests of the UK.

Conroy declined CBS News' request for an interview, but told The New York Timeshe wasn't given a formal explanation for his dismissal.

Conroy's resignation letter said he was offering to step down at Ryan's request, calling his seven years of House service "one of the great privileges of my life".

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) wants to know why Reverend Patrick J. Conroy was summarily removed from his post as chaplain of the House of Representatives.

'We deserve more of an explanation and why. "Was there political pressure?" said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. "So I never heard any of these complaints before".

It sure can't be about Ryan's comfort with Conroy; he's on his way out the door at year's end.

The chaplain is also responsible for "pastoral counseling" duties to the House community, including arranging memorial services for the House members and its staff and performing marriage and funeral ceremonies for House members.

Father Patrick Conroy, who was forced out by Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanMcMorris Rodgers seeks to tamp down unrest Conservative group unveils plan to slash spending by trillion Arizona GOP victor to join Freedom Caucus MORE (R-Wis.), is celibate by virtue of his Catholic faith.


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