One of the largest Catholic organizations in the country are calling on House Speaker Paul Ryan's chief of staff to resign for his alleged remarks to the House chaplain that prompted him to offer his resignation, CNN reports.
"In his letter rescinding his resignation as House Chaplain, Father Patrick J. Conroy (Ryan has reinstated him) said that it was Burks who told him, 'Maybe it's time that we had a chaplain that wasn't Catholic,'" Catholic League president Bill Donohue said Friday, in a statement.
"It's time Ryan found himself a new chief of staff. Anti-Catholic bigotry cannot be tolerated anywhere, and certainly not in Washington."
Conroy released a letter on Thursday in which in wrote: "On Friday, April 13, 2018 your Chief of Staff, Jonathon 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 continued: "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."
Burks did not respond to CNN's request for comment on the Catholic League's statement, but did address Conroy's letter.
"I strongly disagree with Father Conroy's recollection of our conversation," he said. "I am disappointed by the misunderstanding, but wish him the best as he continues to serve the House."
Ryan, who is Catholic, said Thursday afternoon that he had "accepted Father Conroy's letter and decided that he will remain in his position as chaplain of the House," according to Politico.
"It is my job as Speaker to do what is best for this body, and I know that this body is not well served by a protracted fight over such an important post."
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