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Paul Ryan dismisses House of Representatives chaplain

Paul Ryan dismisses House of Representatives chaplain

"Leader Pelosi was given advance notice by Speaker Ryan", said a Pelosi spokesman, but she "also made it clear to Speaker Ryan that she disagreed with this decision".

Here, Ryan has erred in failing to be perfectly candid with his members and not getting explicit buy-in from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Pelosi added that Conroy's "abrupt, unjust dismissal is hard to understand and impossible to support".

Rep. Gerald Connolly of Virginia says that answers are necessary. Paul Ryan bided his time, and finally, when he decided he wasn't going to run for reelection anymore, he was going to force out the chaplain of the House of Representatives who has been serving in that capacity since 2011, a guy that everybody in Congress, regardless of political party, seemed to like.

GOP Reps. Tom Reed of NY and Patrick Meehan of Pennsylvania voted with Dems on the measure.

"Some of the more conservative evangelical Republicans didn't like that the Father had invited a Muslim person to give the opening prayer", the source said.

Father Conroy is a West Coast Jesuit who taught and coached at Jesuit High School in Portland. He was the second Catholic chaplain in the House's history and appointed by Ryan's predecessor John Boehner. His explanation didn't assure all Republicans, either.

"During Father Conroy's entire service, I've never received a complaint from our Members about him pastoring to the needs of the House".

There are also reports that some lawmakers were dissatisfied with his service, but no one has stepped forward to criticize Conroy.

Conroy's replacement should be forewarned: No Sermon on the Mount, and be careful when it comes to Proverbs.

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As if Ryan's actions were not cringe-worthy enough, a Republican member who is part of the search committee to find a new chaplain sounded less-than-enamored of Catholic clergy.

In his letter of resignation on April 16, Fr Conroy noted that Mr Ryan had asked him to stand down, but says he was not given a reason. Members of the House of Representatives recommend guest chaplains. Here's NPR's Tom Gjelten.

"I lived with Fr. Conroy for three years".

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He submitted his letter of resignation yesterday, and in it he says, "As requested, here is my resignation, effective May 24th of this year". For the House speaker to fire the House chaplain is without precedent, at least in modern times.

"I have no problem, Catholic, bishop, priest, male or female, my only point was that they would have some familial experience or family-based ministry", Walker told CNN.

So, who should we believe, the priest or the politician?

Conroy was not afraid to weigh in on political issues in the past.

Lawmakers are at odds about why Rev. Patrick Conroy, a Jesuit priest, was forced to resign.

BREAKING: Paul Ryan just fired House Chaplain Patrick Conroy after Conroy reminded Congress to think of the poor during the tax debate.

Conroy told the New York Times that shortly afterward Ryan warned him to "stay out of politics".

Pelosi released a statement Friday saying Conroy "ministered to the needs" of members and that his term had been a "blessing of grace and dignity".

"I am extremely pained by the new ways that we can tell the public that we are dysfunctional", an emotional Cleaver told reporters off the House floor on Friday.

GJELTEN: And what did he tell you?

The prayer, given just before the House passed the GOP tax bill, could be interpreted to be critical of the bill. No specific prayer was said to be the cause, the source said.

Until then, the speaker doesn't have a prayer.

Ryan said he chose to make a change because of the concerns and that there was no misconduct, the Nevada Republican said.