Campus Notebook: In Unanimous Vote, House Approves New Chaplain

Posted May 25, 2011 at 6:41pm

The Rev. Patrick Conroy was sworn in as House chaplain Wednesday after unanimous approval, becoming the first Jesuit and only the second Catholic priest to hold the office.

“This loyal servant of the faithful is uniquely suited to serve as chaplain of the people’s house,” Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said on the House floor. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) “and I have gotten a chance to get to know Father Pat. And we are honored that he has accepted our invitation to serve as chaplain.”

The bipartisan nomination veered off course earlier this month after Roll Call reported that the Jesuit order Conroy belongs to paid a record sex abuse settlement in March. Pelosi briefly reconsidered her support for Conroy because neither she nor Boehner knew about it, her spokesman said at the time.

After speaking with Conroy, Pelosi’s concerns were appeased and Conroy was confirmed without objection. Lawyers in the case and the Jesuit order said Conroy was not involved in any sexual abuse.

“It’s a pretty clear case of guilt by association,” Conroy told the Oregonian newspaper earlier this month, “but my conscience is clear.”

Please send Campus Notebook tips here.