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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."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 343505

Reported Deaths: 7543
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds23932444
DeSoto23229283
Harrison20527329
Rankin15411291
Jackson15232252
Madison10959227
Lee10719179
Jones9047169
Forrest8723159
Lauderdale7884244
Lowndes7054151
Lamar702989
Lafayette6548124
Washington5595139
Pearl River5196152
Bolivar4954134
Oktibbeha494398
Panola4771112
Warren4728128
Marshall4701106
Pontotoc447773
Union433279
Monroe4330137
Neshoba4281181
Hancock428088
Lincoln4176116
Pike3667113
Leflore3627125
Tate353388
Alcorn350974
Sunflower347694
Scott341176
Adams340988
Yazoo339376
Copiah324968
Simpson322891
Itawamba314680
Coahoma314085
Tippah306568
Prentiss298863
Covington293484
Leake285475
Marion284181
Wayne277543
George272251
Grenada269488
Newton262364
Tishomingo239770
Winston236784
Jasper230648
Stone229637
Attala226373
Chickasaw219060
Holmes200174
Clay197654
Clarke186880
Tallahatchie183742
Calhoun181332
Smith179235
Yalobusha171540
Walthall145748
Lawrence142826
Greene140134
Amite137543
Noxubee135235
Perry133538
Montgomery133044
Carroll126431
Webster121232
Jefferson Davis116734
Tunica114227
Benton106725
Claiborne105331
Kemper102429
Humphreys100133
Franklin87923
Quitman84719
Choctaw82619
Wilkinson78032
Jefferson71328
Sharkey51618
Issaquena1736
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 587405

Reported Deaths: 11536
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson853851591
Mobile48932864
Madison37517533
Shelby27280257
Tuscaloosa27171465
Montgomery26172627
Baldwin25399329
Lee17224181
Calhoun15401334
Morgan15170291
Etowah14954370
Marshall13116235
Houston12077293
Elmore10915219
St. Clair10763252
Limestone10725158
Cullman10546205
Lauderdale10255254
DeKalb9508192
Talladega8949188
Walker7793288
Autauga7563114
Jackson7400117
Blount7362139
Colbert6703142
Coffee6365132
Dale5650117
Russell480243
Chilton4771117
Covington4749125
Franklin458181
Tallapoosa4519156
Escambia441383
Chambers3949125
Dallas3743163
Clarke371263
Marion3463107
Pike332579
Lawrence3263100
Winston298773
Bibb290465
Geneva283983
Marengo262467
Barbour250961
Pickens245562
Butler240872
Hale235578
Fayette227065
Henry213945
Monroe202141
Randolph201144
Cherokee199248
Washington185239
Macon170552
Crenshaw168358
Clay166259
Cleburne161345
Lamar151038
Lowndes145455
Wilcox132331
Bullock126542
Conecuh121332
Coosa118329
Perry110528
Sumter110333
Greene99137
Choctaw64425
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The heat wave that controlled our area over the past several days is now behind us. The forecast for the next week looks a bit cooler & less humid.
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