Speed Reads


House chaplain rescinds resignation, skewers Paul Ryan's attempted ouster

Former House chaplain Rev. Patrick Conroy penned a scathing letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Thursday, rescinding his previous offer of resignation.

Conroy last month said that Ryan ousted him for no reason, asking him to resign without explaining why. He told The New York Times that he suspected it was over a prayer that got "too political" ahead of the passage of the GOP tax bill. The chaplain offers daily Catholic prayers for the House of Representatives before each session begins.

Conroy said he was bewildered at the time, but submitted a letter of resignation per Ryan's request. In his Thursday letter to the speaker, the chaplain said he'd like to take it back, and that he had no intention of going anywhere unless given an explanation or fired. "I have never been disciplined, nor reprimanded, nor have I ever heard a complaint about my ministry during my time as House chaplain," wrote Conroy.

Ryan dismissed Conroy's suggestion that he was asked to resign for political reasons, reports NBC News. "This is not about politics or prayers, it was about pastoral services," said Ryan, arguing that members of Congress were not being "adequately served."

Conroy wrote that Ryan hadn't even personally reached out with the request, instead sending his chief of staff, who told Conroy "maybe it's time that we had a chaplain that wasn't a Catholic."