Bipartisan Letter to Ryan Seeks More Information on Chaplain Resignation

Speaker’s office to receive letter Friday

House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy, is expected to resign in May. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan letter requesting additional information circulated for signatures Thursday after reports surfaced that Speaker Paul D. Ryan pushed for House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy to resign.

“The sensitive nature of this situation requires a description of the process followed to arrive at the decision and a justification for that decision,” wrote the letter’s author, Virginia Democratic Rep. Gerald E. Connolly.

[Ryan Pushed House Chaplain Father Conroy to Resign]

Without such information questions will come up about the “politicization of the process for hiring and dismissing a House chaplain” and “could also risk resurrecting prior questions of religious bias,” the letter said.

The letter, shared first with Roll Call, had been signed by Republican Rep. Walter B. Jones of North Carolina and Democrats Marcy Kaptur of Ohio and Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire as of publication time. Other offices have until 10 a.m. Friday to sign it before it is sent to the speaker.

Conroy’s forced resignation could damage his reputation as a Catholic priest, the letter said.

“Continued silence on this matter could allow unfair and utterly unfounded inferences to be made about his character and the evenhandedness of the House on dealing in matters of faith,” it said.

Last week Ryan sent out a press release announcing Conroy would step down in May. On Thursday, reports circulated that Ryan pushed Conroy to resign.

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