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Fr. Patrick Conroy, SJ, serves as a Catholic chaplain for the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Paul Ryan boots pro-gay Jesuit as U.S. House chaplain

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WASHINGTON DC, April 27, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Capitol Hill is in an uproar over  House Speaker Paul Ryan’s request for the resigation of Jesuit, pro-gay chaplain Rev. Patrick Conroy as the official U.S. House of Representatives chaplain.

Conroy resigned yesterday after allegedly being given an ultimatum by Speaker Ryan.  According to a report by The Hill, “Four different sources—two from each party—say Conroy was told that he must retire or that he would be dismissed.”

While those who serve as House Chaplain are expected to conduct themselves in a non-partisan manner, many sources are saying that Speaker Ryan wanted Rev. Conroy out because he had aligned himself with liberal Democrats.

Conroy said that Speaker Ryan had recently told him, "Padre, you just got to stay out of politics."

In the wake of Conroy’s dismissal, NBC reports, “More than 70 Democratic lawmakers have signed a letter demanding answers from Speaker Paul Ryan about his decision to oust the chaplain of the House of Representatives.”  

Most of the Catholic Democrats questioning Conroy’s resignation have long histories of voting in favor of abortion as well as gay and transgender issues.   

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, a Democrat from New York, tweeted that Conroy’s ouster is a "shameful anti-Catholic move motivated by conservative extremists in Congress."  

Congressman Maloney is an out gay man “married” to a man.

House Speaker Ryan is himself a Catholic.  It is not Rev. Conroy’s Catholic views which are at issue.  It’s his spurious views purporting to be Catholic.

Rev. Conroy: Catholic Teaching is a ‘Dead End’

As chaplain of the House, Conroy opened the proceedings each day with prayer.  More importantly, as Chaplain, Conroy served to provide pastoral counseling to the House community.  

During his tenure as House Chaplain, Rev. Conroy’s presence has been seen as increasingly problematic by conservatives and faithful Catholics.  Conroy’s views have clashed with Church teaching on more than one occasion, especially with regard to LGBT issues. 

His views on gays and lesbians appear to align seamlessly with those of his fellow prominent Jesuit, Fr. James Martin.  

In an undated video interview published on Youtube March 31, 2015, Conroy declared that Catholic teaching on homosexuality is a “dead end.”  

The high-profile chaplain suggested that Catholic teaching is outdated and has not kept up with the times.

“Now, we have theology on all this stuff and the answer is ‘gays can never engage in this and can never be married,’” he said. “But that’s a theology that goes back centuries before there was any understanding of human psychology, human individuality, human sexuality and all those kinds of understandings of the human psychosis, and the human person that weren’t as complete prior to these kinds of advances in understanding.”

Fr. Conroy thinks the Church has a big problem: “The problem ... facing the Catholic Church is ... what hope does that ever give for a gay or lesbian person who desires just as a heterosexual person desires to commit their life to someone in whom, as Catholics, they have found the presence of the love of Christ; the presence of the meaning of their life in that person.”

Conroy, who was nominated for the position in 2011 by former House speaker John A. Boehner, is only the second Catholic priest in history to serve as U.S. House Chaplain.

According to The Hill report, “Ryan, who is also Catholic, has appointed Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), an Air Force Reserve chaplain, as well as Reps. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) and Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), both former pastors, to lead the search effort to find a replacement.”

“Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), part of the group searching for the next chaplain, suggested someone ‘that has adult children, that kind of can connect with the bulk’ of lawmakers and the problems they face with children who ‘made some bad decisions’ or a spouse upset about the legislative schedule,’” according to a Washington Post report.

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Doug Mainwaring

Doug Mainwaring is a journalist for LifeSiteNews, an author, and a marriage, family and children's rights activist.  He has testified before the United States Congress and state legislative bodies, originated and co-authored amicus briefs for the United States Supreme Court, and has been a guest on numerous TV and radio programs.  Doug and his family live in the Washington, DC suburbs.