Conservative leader: Next House chaplain should have a family

Paul Ryan and Congress are embroiled in a bizarre controversy over the dismissal of House chaplain

Ryan (R-Wis.) denied during a private GOP conference that Conroy's ouster was politically motivated, insisting it came after complaints from members that Conroy was not meeting their "pastoral needs".

Last November, Fr Conroy gave a prayer which included the words: "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".

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

Ryan consulted with Pelosi before making the move.

The fiasco culminated on Friday when Rep. Joe Crowley, who chairs the House Democratic Caucus, triggered a vote with a privileged resolution that would have created a select committee to investigate Conroy's dismissal.

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.

Perhaps it was, as North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker - a Southern Baptist minister heading up a search committee for a replacement - that House members just wanted someone with a wife and kids who could relate to them a bit better.

"He was essentially dismissed for praying and for this very gray and hazy representation that he was not ministering to some of the members", said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., himself a clergyman.

About a week later, Conroy told the Times, he heard from the speaker's office. He also said Conroy's invitation of a Muslim cleric to deliver the opening prayer of a House session previous year didn't help his standing.

Free trade deal with European Union "overwhelmingly probable", says Brexit minister
She said: 'Coming out of the customs union means that we will be free to have those deals, deals that suit the UK. David Sterling's letter to the man who now works as the prime minister's Europe adviser was sent last August.

The move has been criticised by congressmen of both parties.

'We deserve more of an explanation and why.

U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., was more critical. "So I never heard any of these complaints before".

Conroy turned in his resignation letter April 16.

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.

One of the first orders of business when Congress began was recommending and swearing in a chaplain to preside over daily prayers that opened House proceedings.

"Well, I still don't understand why he was asked to leave", said Rep.

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".

Conroy is just the second Catholic priest to serve as House chaplain, following the Rev. Daniel P. Coughlin, who was chosen for the post in 2000 after a months-long protest by Catholic lawmakers.

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