Congressmen want answers after Ryan asks House chaplain to resign

Speaker Paul Ryan asked the House chaplain to resign.
Speaker Paul Ryan asked the House chaplain to resign.

Credit: Alex Edelman

Credit: Alex Edelman

Democratic congressmen are seeking answers after House Speaker Paul Ryan asked the House chaplain to resign earlier this month, CNN reported.

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Father Pat Conroy resigned April 15, ending nearly seven years of praying to kick off House of Representatives sessions.

Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly said he wasn't sure why Ryan asked for the Jesuit priest’s resignation, and wants the Wisconsin Republican to answer questions over "this breach that he created."

Both Ryan and Connolly are Catholic, CNN reported.

"For a lot of members, the outrage is personal, and it's not about Catholicism," Connolly told CNN. "It's about this relationship with this personal counselor. It's very offensive personally to a lot of members.”

Ryan's spokeswoman AshLee Strong denied that Conroy was pushed out of the position for anything he said or did, but did not elaborate on what prompted Ryan to ask for Conroy’s resignation.

"The speaker consulted with the minority leader, but the decision was his," Strong told CNN in a statement. "He remains grateful for Father Conroy's service."

An aide for Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi told CNN that the House minority disagreed with the decision and told Ryan that she had only received positive comments about Conroy's service.