Fired Reverend Can Stay: Paul Ryan Fires House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy, Backs Off After Resignation Letter

Pablo Martinez MonsivaisAP Images

House Chaplain Reverend Patrick Conroy was told to resign or he would be fired by Speaker Paul Ryan from the post that Conroy has held since 2011. In response, the House Chaplain proffered a resignation letter that directly addressed the speaker. Now that news of the firing has gone public, Speaker Ryan has backed down and told Conroy that he can stay on through the remainder of his term.

The House Chaplain offers up an opening prayer each day that the House is in session. These prayers are supposed to be nonpartisan in nature. According to a previous report by the Inquisitr, Conroy recently prayed about the issue of income disparity in the United States.

“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,” Father Conroy prayed. “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.”

Sources claimed that Speaker Ryan didn’t appreciate the tone and so the reverend allegedly was given the option of resigning or being dismissed by Ryan. The resignation letter originally stated, “As you have requested, I hereby offer my resignation as the 60th Chaplain of the United States House of Representatives… I have never been disciplined, nor reprimanded, nor have I ever heard a complaint about my ministry during my time as House chaplain”

Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives, prays as both teams kneel, before the Congressional baseball game,
Featured image credit: Alex BrandonAP Images

On Thursday, Ryan changed course and released a statement that said the Catholic priest would be rescinding his resignation letter.

“I have accepted Father Conroy’s letter and decided that he will remain in his position as Chaplain of the House,” Ryan said, according to The Hill. “My original decision was made in what I believed to be the best interest of this institution. To be clear, that decision was based on my duty to ensure that the House has the kind of pastoral services that it deserves. It is my job as speaker to do what is best for this body and I know that this body is not well served by a protracted fight over such an important post.”

Father Patrick J. Conroy is just the second Catholic priest to serve as House Chaplain. He says that his desire is to continue to serve until the “end of his current two-year term, and beyond.”