Chap­lain Conroy con­tin­ues role in new Congress

Cecil Whig - - RELIGION - By KATHER­INE TULLY-MCMANUS CQ-Roll Call (TNS) UP­PER CH­E­SA­PEAKE CHO­RUS OVEREATERS IM­PROVE ANONY­MOUS, MEN­TAL HEALTH, AD­DIC­TIONS PRO­GRAM, YOGA 12-STEP RE­COV­ERY, RE­HEARSALS, SE­NIOR MEET­ING, SMART RE­COV­ERY, TOPS, NARANON, RE­COV­ERY, NARANON MEET­ING,

— Fa­ther Pa­trick J. Conroy will remain in his role as House Chap­lain for the 116th Congress, af­ter a year full of tur­moil sur­round­ing the role.

The House voice voted Thurs­day af­ter­noon to in­stall the House of­fi­cers — but not with­out an ex­tra hur­dle for the chap­lain.

House GOP Cau­cus Chair­woman Liz Cheney called for a sep­a­rate vote on the chap­lain, sep­a­rat­ing Conroy’s fate from that of his fel­low House of­fi­cers like the clerk, sergeant-at-arms and chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi granted Cheney’s mo­tion and Conroy was ap­proved.

The House chap­lain opens ev­ery House ses­sion with a prayer or brings in a guest chap­lain to say a prayer. The chap­lain also is re­spon­si­ble for “pas­toral coun­sel­ing” for the House com­mu­nity. That in­cludes ar­rang­ing me­mo­rial ser­vices for House mem­bers and their staff and per­form­ing mar­riages.

For­mer chap­lains served from two to 21 years. Con­way’s term as chap­lain be­gan in 2011.

In April 2018, then-Speaker Paul D. Ryan moved to fire Conroy, a Je­suit priest. Ryan faced push­back from Democrats — in­clud­ing fel­low Catholic Nancy Pelosi — and from a few Repub­li­cans.

Mem­bers op­pos­ing Conroy’s ouster raised con­cerns about re­li­gious free­dom and if Ryan was be­ing pres­sured by evan­gel­i­cal Repub­li­cans whose views may not align with Conroy’s Je­suit be­liefs. Je­suits fo­cus on ed­u­ca­tion and ser­vice to oth­ers, and are known for hav­ing more lib­eral re­li­gious views com­pared to some more tra­di­tional Catholics and other re­li­gions.

Ryan’s staff had raised con­cerns about a prayer Conroy de­liv­ered Nov. 6 dur­ing the tax over­haul de­bate.

“May their ef­forts these days guar­an­tee that there are not win­ners and

WASHINGTON

losers un­der new tax laws, but ben­e­fits bal­anced and shared by all Amer­i­cans,” Conroy said in the prayer.

But Ryan de­nied that he fired Conroy over the prayer.

Pelosi said in a state­ment at the time that she ex­pressed “force­ful dis­agree­ment” with Ryan over his de­ci­sion to ask Conroy to re­sign.

“It is truly sad that he made this de­ci­sion, and it is es­pe­cially be­wil­der­ing that he did so only a mat­ter of months be­fore the end of his term,” the Cal­i­for­nia Demo­crat said. “The Speaker did this know­ing that he had no power to fire Fa­ther Conroy and in­stead chose to force him out by de­mand­ing his res­ig­na­tion.”

There is no stated process in House rules for re­mov­ing the chap­lain.

Ohio Demo­cratic Rep. Marcy Kap­tur and Ger­ald E. Con­nolly worked on a priv­i­leged res­o­lu­tion to re­scind Conroy’s res­ig­na­tion and re­in­state him as chap­lain through the end of 2018.

“I have rarely seen mem­bers this an­gry about any­thing. Be­cause it’s per­sonal,” said for­mer Rep. Joe Crow­ley. He noted that Conroy had ties to many mem­bers of the House, hav­ing coun­seled them and presided over many re­li­gious ser­vices, in­clud­ing wed­dings and bap­tisms.

In a let­ter re­scind­ing his res­ig­na­tion — pro­vided ini­tially at the speaker’s re­quest — Conroy es­sen­tially dared Ryan to fire him.

“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,” Conroy wrote. “There­fore, I wish to serve the re­main­der of my term as House Chap­lain, un­less ter­mi­nated ‘for cause.’”

Ryan ac­cepted it and Conroy stayed on as chap­lain. He’s stay­ing even longer, as Pelosi’s choice for House chap­lain for the next two years.

FRI­DAY 18

FREE LUNCH, 12 to 1 p.m. ev­ery Fri­day at Elk­ton Pres­by­te­rian Church, 209 E. Main St. pro­vided by Elk­ton Com­mu­nity Kitchen. All are wel­come. For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact elk­ton­com­mu­ni­tyk­[email protected]

SUN­DAY 20

PAR­ISH SUN­DAY SCHOOL, 9:45 a.m. at Zion UMC in Ce­cil­ton. Re­curs weekly.

MON­DAY 21

7 to 8 p.m. at Janes United Methodist Church, 213 N. Wal­nut St., Ris­ing Sun. (Use side door to main en­trance go to hall­way in front of sanctuary last door on left/play school room #3) Con­tact: Kris 410658-2791.

7 p.m. at 229 E. Main St., Elk­ton. Panic, fear, anx­i­ety, de­pres­sion. At­tend a free weekly meet­ing with Re­cov­ery In­ter­na­tional.

FRI­DAY 18

7 p.m. at State Line Bap­tist Church, 560 Chrome Road, Ris­ing Sun. Re­form­ers Unan­i­mous. Leader Darrell Federer. Check out state­linebap­tist.net for more. Re­curs weekly.

SATUR­DAY 19

6 to 8 p.m. at St. Mary Anne’s Epis­co­pal Church Par­ish Hall, North East. Join a 12 step based dis­cus­sion and yoga prac­tice that is open to any­one deal­ing with ad­dic­tive be­hav­ior. All A’s are wel­come. Meet­ings by do­na­tion. Wear com­fort­able cloth­ing. Re­curs weekly.

7 to 10 p.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 201 Mt. Royal Ave., Aberdeen. Call 443309-2026 for info. Re­curs weekly.

TUES­DAY 22

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Stephens Par­ish Hall in Ear­leville. Any­one 55 or older is in­vited to at­tend. Come and meet your neigh­bors. No mem­ber­ship fee. Lunch is served. Come for the fel­low­ship, speaker, see what events we are plan­ning. Ques­tions call 410-275-8150. Re­curs weekly.

10 to 11:30 a.m. at Janes UMC in Ris­ing Sun. This meet­ing is for those re­cov­er­ing from the dis­ease of ad­dic­tion. This is an open sup­port group that meets ev­ery Satur­day.

MON­DAY 21

CEL­E­BRATE Doors open at 6:30 p.m. at Conowingo Bap­tist Church. For ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion, call Scott at 443-907-0679 or Pas­tor Josh at 443-877-8788. Re­curs weekly.

7 p.m. at Bethel Lutheran Church, North East. “Hope and Peace” ev­ery Mon­day. Con­tact Lorri: 443-350-0909.

TUES­DAY 22

5:30 p.m. at Rose­bank UMC, Ris­ing Sun. Non­profit weight­loss sup­port group, meets weekly. $6 monthly fee. First meet­ing free. top­srose­[email protected]

7 p.m. ev­ery Tues­day at Elk­ton United Methodist Church, 219 E. Main St., Elk­ton. A Nar-Anon adult sup­port meet­ing for those with ad­dicts in the fam­ily. Park around back. Call Terri Ray­mond at 443466-6678 for more. Re­curs weekly.

AP PHOTO/J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE

In this June 13, 2016, file photo, the Rev. Pa­trick Conroy, chap­lain of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, de­liv­ers an in­ter­faith mes­sage on the steps of the Capi­tol in Washington for the vic­tims of the mass shoot­ing at an LGBT night­club in Or­lando. Conroy, the em­bat­tled chap­lain of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, was reaf­firmed to his role Thurs­day.

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