Fr. Conroy Rescinds Resignation, Setting Up Showdown with Paul Ryan

via NY Times:

The chaplain of the House of Representatives, who was recently forced to resign by Speaker Paul D. Ryan, said Thursday that he is rescinding his decision — in effect forcing Mr. Ryan to try to fire him.

Father Patrick J. Conroy, a Catholic priest who has been the chaplain since 2011, wrote in a letter to Mr. Ryan that he would like to serve out his full two-year term, “and possibly beyond,” unless he is officially terminated.

In the letter, he states:

I have never been disciplined, nor reprimanded, nor have I ever heard a complaint about my ministry during my time as House Chaplain…

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.

At that point, I thought that I had little choice but to resign, as my assumption was that you had the absolute prerogative and authority to end my term as House Chaplain.
Recently, on April 27, you publicly indicated that my “pastoral services” to some Members were lacking and that I did not offer adequate “spiritual counseling” to others. This is not the reason that Mr. Burks gave me when asking for my “resignation.” In fact, no such criticism has ever been leveled against me during my tenure as House Chaplain. At the very least, if it were, I could have attempted to correct such “faults.” In retracting my resignation I wish to do just that…

Had I known of any failure in providing my ministry to the House, I would have attempted to make the appropriate adjustments, but in no case would I have agreed to submit a letter of resignation without being given that opportunity. Therefore, I wish to serve the remainder of my term as House Chaplain, unless terminated “for cause.”