WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a reversal, Speaker Paul Ryan says the chaplain of the House of Representatives will stay in his job.
Ryan’s announcement comes hours after Father Patrick Conroy said he would withdraw his resignation in a letter charging that a top Ryan aide told him “something like ‘maybe it’s time that we had a Chaplain that wasn’t a Catholic.'”
Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican and a Catholic himself, sparked an uproar last month when he asked Conroy to resign. Ryan has said he was dissatisfied with Conroy’s pastoral care to lawmakers.
In a statement Thursday, Ryan says “this body is not well served by a protracted fight over such an important post.” He says he will sit down with Conroy next week.
Earlier in the day, the embattled chaplain announced he was withdrawing his resignation in a caustic letter to Ryan.
Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican and a Catholic himself, forced Conroy to tender his resignation last month, sparking a firestorm. Ryan has said he was dissatisfied with Conroy’s pastoral care to lawmakers.
Conroy said in a two-page letter delivered Thursday that he has never “heard a complaint about my ministry” as House chaplain.
“No such criticism has ever been leveled against me during my tenure as House Chaplain,” wrote Conroy on Thursday. “At the very least, if it were, I could have attempted to correct such ‘faults.’”