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House chaplain's firing sparks uproar among Democrats

House chaplain's firing sparks uproar among Democrats

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House speaker says he fired the House chaplain over complaints that he didn't do a very good job — not because of pressure over the Rev. Patrick Conroy's political leanings.

That's according to Republicans leaving a caucus meeting Friday. They say Speaker Paul Ryan told them Conroy was forced out after complaints that he didn't adequately tend to the pastoral needs of lawmakers.

Democrats and Conroy himself argue the GOP was actually riled by a prayer Conroy offered last fall, when he called for fairness in tax cuts.

Conroy told The New York Times that Ryan warned him to "stay out of politics."

The Catholic priest had served as chaplain since 2011 but offered his resignation last week at Ryan's urging.