Action Alert!
Catholic World News

Jesuit nominated as chaplain for US House avoids praying in Jesus' name

May 19, 2011

The Jesuit priest who has been nominated to become chaplain of the US House of Representatives has disclosed: “I never pray in the name of Jesus—except when I’m doing something Catholic—saying Mass, for example.”

Father Patrick Conroy said that he has not been shaken by the criticism that initially greeted his nomination. Although the Oregon province of the Jesuits (of which he is a member) has filed for bankruptcy because of sex-abuse settlement costs, Father Conroy said that his own conscience was clear on that issue.


Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 16 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Don Vicente - May. 24, 2011 10:25 AM ET USA

    @ Anselm: Your solution is fine, but then you don't pray in the name of Jesus, which I thought was the thing people were concerned about. Oh, well, the Lord's Prayer is not said in the name of Jesus...

  • Posted by: hartwood01 - May. 23, 2011 7:26 PM ET USA

    Can't believe it, but I'm agreeing with a Jesuit!

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - May. 23, 2011 9:10 AM ET USA

    May the FORCE be with you, Father Patrick Conroy.

  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - May. 20, 2011 5:47 PM ET USA

    The speaker of the House brought his name forward, but I don't think he expected what he got!

  • Posted by: kmbold - May. 20, 2011 5:44 PM ET USA

    Must have been Boehner. Hopeless.

  • Posted by: mamato085337 - May. 20, 2011 8:14 AM ET USA

    Does anyone know who is the person who brought him forward? I would surely like to know that.

  • Posted by: impossible - May. 19, 2011 11:30 PM ET USA

    If he hasn't got the courage to pray in Jesus' name, he should not be there. How awful, if true, that the only time he prays in Jesus' name is when he says Mass.

  • Posted by: Anselm - May. 19, 2011 8:41 PM ET USA

    In an interfaith aka pluralistic environment it is normal not to mention Jesus in prayer. In those situations, I always begin with "Let us pray" so people can take whatever prayer stance they want, then I begin with something like "Heavenly Father" Or "God of Abraham," etc and end with "We ask this in your name." It is obvious to whom the prayer is directed and many Catholic prayers do not end mentioning Jesus. The problem with Don's advice is it appears that the prayer is for himself.

  • Posted by: kmbold - May. 19, 2011 7:11 PM ET USA

    Seems sensible enough, Chaplain Vicente. But this chaplain is a Jesuit.

  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - May. 19, 2011 7:03 PM ET USA

    His statement makes no can be respectful of other religions, but quite frankly, being a Catholic priest I hope he consistently prays to Jesus, the one true God. isn't he bound by the 1st Commandment? Don Vicente below provides a verygood model for this new chaplain.

  • Posted by: Caritas - May. 19, 2011 7:00 PM ET USA

    I believe Pelosi opposed him initially but then changed her mind & agreed with his nomination.

  • Posted by: bkmajer3729 - May. 19, 2011 6:53 PM ET USA

    What do you mean you don't pray in the name of Jesus - except when you are doing something Catholic? You're a Catholic Priest right? So sometimes you can not be Catholic or Catholic is just doing certain things? This is the best we can do to represent our Church at this level. No, you're right, I really don't understand.

  • Posted by: Savonarola - May. 19, 2011 6:36 PM ET USA

    This is absurd. Where did this JESUIT receive his formation as a Jesuit? Fortunately, according to rumor, there are some good, young Jesuits coming along.

  • Posted by: Hal - May. 19, 2011 5:39 PM ET USA

    Whatever. They were headed for Arianism anyway. It would be comical if it wasn't so depressingly tragic.

  • Posted by: Don Vicente - May. 19, 2011 5:10 PM ET USA

    I was a USAFR Chaplain for 26 years. When asked to pray in an interfaith (meaning Christians and non-Christians) setting, I would usually conclude with something like: "Heavenly Father, we come before you from many traditions and beliefs, and we each make our prayer to you from our hearts. I myself make my prayer through Jesus Christ. Amen." I have had non-Christians thank me for being respectful of their traditions while not denying my own. It's not the only solution, but it works for me.

  • Posted by: DrJazz - May. 19, 2011 3:27 PM ET USA

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this the guy that Pelosi OPPOSED? If so, yikes.