House chaplain presides over first prayer since rescinding resignation

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House Chaplain Pat Conroy went back to work on Monday.

On Thursday, Conroy sent House Speaker Paul Ryan a letter, which has circulated to multiple media outlets. "My unique choice was made in what I believed to be the most effective curiosity of this establishment".

"It's time Ryan found himself a new chief of staff", the Catholic organization's statement said. "To be clear, that decision was based on my duty to ensure that the House has the kind of pastoral services that it deserves". Within hours, Ryan backed down and agreed to leave Conroy in his post at least through the end of the year, ending the possibility of what Ryan feared would be a "protracted fight" over what is supposed to be a unifying and spiritual position in the partisan chamber.

"I inquired as as to if or not it was 'for trigger, ' and Mr. Burks talked about dismissively one thing like, 'possibly it is time that we had a Chaplain that wasn't a Catholic, '" Conroy wrote.

Conroy mentioned top Ryan aide Jonathan Burks advised me the speaker needed his own resignation, and cited a prayer past year that was potentially vital of their GOP tax bill that angry many Republicans.

But now Conroy has told The New York Times that he takes part of the blame.

The drama over the chaplain's position began on April 15, when Conroy submitted a letter saying that as Ryan requested, he would be leaving his position at the end of May.

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Pelosi launched her personal assertion Thursday, saying she was joyful that Conroy could be staying on as chaplain.

In his letter to Ryan, Conroy said that he had never "heard a complaint about my ministry", adding that when a Ryan aide, Jonathan Burks, requested his resignation, Burks mentioned a prayer the chaplain had led that some GOP lawmakers saw as critical of the Republican tax bill.

"This is not about politics or prayers, it's about pastoral services", he told The Weekly Standard. The dismissal last month of the chaplain had raised concerns with some Catholic Republican House members, and handed Democrats a political gift.

But the Pelosi aide said that while she had been in the loop about the decision, she "made it clear to the Speaker that she had only received positive comments about Father Conroy's service from Members", and "also made it clear to Speaker Ryan that she disagreed with this decision".

The Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and an editor at large of America magazine, told The New York Times that it was "only just" that Conroy rescinded his resignation. "The feeble excuses offered by Speaker Ryan are merely a pretext to cover for the whims of extremists in his caucus".

In the prayer, the chaplain urged lawmakers to "guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans".

Conroy says he asked Burks if that was the cause of Ryan's disapproval. The hubbub around Father Conroy is all the more contentious in Catholic circles because Mr. Ryan is a Catholic conservative.

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