Speaker Paul Ryan’s ridiculously inept decision to fire Father Pat Conroy, the Jesuit priest who has served as House chaplain since 2011, is looking dumber every day. It has caused such a bipartisan furor in the House that Father Conroy has decided he’s not going anywhere and has rescinded his resignation.
In a two-page letter, the Rev. Patrick J. Conroy informed Ryan that he gave in to pressure from the speaker’s staff when he agreed in mid-April to resign, believing that Ryan had the power to fire him, but the chaplain now believes he was pressured into the resignation for lack of cause.
“I have never been disciplined, nor reprimanded, nor have I ever heard a complaint about my ministry during my time as House chaplain,” Conroy wrote.
That sounds fair. Also from his letter:
While you never spoke with me in person, nor did you send me any correspondence, on Friday, April 13th, 2018, your Chief of Staff, Jonathan Burks, came to me and informed me that you were asking for my letter of resignation. I 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.” He also mentioned my November prayer and an interview with the National Journal Daily.
He’s got plenty of support. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) says “I’ve never seen members so angry about something in this House in my 10 years,” and says that he’s been approached by numerous Republicans—some even from the Freedom Caucus—to find a way to save Conroy’s position. “We want to find a mechanism, if Republican leadership will accept it, whereby the resignation is rescinded.”
Your move, Mr. Ryan. Please let it be as bad as they’ve all been thus far. And maybe you ought to think about going to confession while you’re home this recess.
This is the best slow-moving Paul Ryan going away gift anyone could ask for.