Speaker of the House Paul Ryan forced the resignation of the official House Chaplain, and Republicans are helping to cover up why. Father Patrick Conroy complied with Ryan’s demand, and submitted his letter of resignation earlier this month. He has told reporters he still does not know why the Speaker wants him gone.
Neither does anyone else, as Ryan has refused to tell anyone, only “saying that Conroy had not met the pastoral needs of lawmakers,” The Hill reports. No lawmaker has stood by that claim in public.
After news broke Thursday of the firing, conservatives and liberals, Democrats and Republicans condemned the act. Democrats Friday morning (photo) filed a resolution to create a committee to investigate the firing.
Republicans, including some who claim to be devoted to religious freedom, blocked its passage Friday by a vote of 215-171. Here’s video showing Democrats standing together united as House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY) introduces the resolution:
The committee Democrats wanted to create would have determined the reason or reasons for firing Father Conroy. And while no one is certain, there are two prevailing theories being promoted by both Democrats and Republicans.
One is that Ryan is still angry over a prayer Conroy delivered the morning the House debuted Trump’s massive tax cuts for the rich bill. In it, Conroy quoted Scripture in a manner some believe was an attempt to help protect the poor.
The other theory is that Conroy allowed a Muslim to deliver the daily opening prayer.
One Jesuit priest, referring to The Hill’s report Thursday said if true, “a Catholic Speaker of the House fired a Catholic chaplain for praying for the poor.”