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Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives, blessing the walnut tree planted in memory of Rep. Louise Slaughter. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Reverend Patrick J. Conroy, the House chaplain since 2011, was abruptly dismissed by Speaker Paul Ryan, the New York Times reports, causing an "uproar...over religion."

The details: Per the Times, some Republicans demanded an explanation for the dismissal, and Democrats called for an investigation, but the move re-ignited "long-simmering tensions between Roman Catholics and evangelical Christians" over who should have the position. Ryan, who is a Roman Catholic, said his decision stemmed from the chaplain's "pastoral care," not politics, or a prayer he gave in November that Ryan took issue with.

The prayer in question: While the House was debating tax reform, Conroy prayed for members to "guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans." Afterwards, per the Times, Ryan told Conroy: "Padre, you just got to stay out of politics."

Ryan's spokeswoman AshLee Strong told the Times that Ryan "made the decision he believes to be in the best interest of the House."

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
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