House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiPelosi reiterates call to protect Mueller after new Trump tweet The Hill's 12:30 Report More than 5,000 OH ads have mentioned Clinton this year: report MORE (D-Calif.) on Thursday called for a further explanation of the circumstances behind the short-lived dismissal of Father Patrick Conroy as the House chaplain.
"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, who has been House chaplain since 2011, wrote in a letter to Ryan Thursday. Ryan said last week that some House members had concerns about Conroy, and that he was not able to adequately tend to the spiritual needs of some Congressmen.
Burks, came to me and informed me that you were asking for my letter of resignation. inquired as to whether or not it was "for cause." and Mr. Burks mentioned dismissively something like "maybe it's time that we had a Chaplain that wasn't a Catholic".
Conroy's resignation sparked an uproar last week when it became known that he was asked to quit.
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'.
He added that he wishes to serve the remainder of his term as House chaplain unless terminated "for cause".
On Thursday, Ryan changed course and released a statement that said the Catholic priest would be rescinding his resignation letter.
Conroy had tendered his resignation as House chaplain on April 15.
During the tax-cut debate, Conroy delivered a prayer that some took as siding with Democrats.
"My personal sense is this was a fight not worth having from Paul Ryan's standpoint", said Matthew Wilson, a professor of political science at Southern Methodist University and an expert on religion and politics.
Then, Conroy prayed for lawmakers to make sure that 'there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans'.
"I am disappointed by the misunderstanding, but wish him the best as he continues to serve the House", Burks said. The chaplain, who had meant to resign May 24, believes there was no just cause for him to be ousted from the position.
It was unclear why Ryan wanted Conroy to go.
"To be clear, that decision was based on my duty to ensure that the House has the kind of pastoral services that it deserves", the statement continued.
At that point, I thought that I had little choice but to resign, as my assumption was that you had the absolute prerogative and authority to end my term as House Chaplain.
Ryan's aides were still waiting to fully read the letter and said the office would comment later Thursday.
Conroy wrote that the reasons given by Burks included an interview with National Journal, as well as a possible question of whether the House chaplain should be a Catholic priest.