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Catholic Paul Ryan is elected House Speaker

Paul Ryan speaks in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Paul Ryan has been elected House Speaker – making six out of the eight last speakers Catholic.

Rep. Ryan was officially elected as the speaker of the House, with 236 votes out of 247 Republicans in the chamber.

Ryan, 45, the youngest speaker since 1869, takes over from John Boehner, who is also Catholic.

His appointment makes him the sixth Catholic House Speaker out of the last eight – or seventh taking into account Newt Gingrich, who converted to Catholicism in 2009 after his time as speaker.

“We’re going to move forward. We’re going to unify,” Ryan told reporters on Wednesday. He will now be sworn in using his own copy of the New American Standard Bible, which he reportedly uses for weekly Bible study.

Ryan initially said he would not run for speaker, as it would be hard to maintain his work and family balance.

He currently travels back to his home in Janesville, Wisconsin to see his three children and wife Janna Ryan every weekend.

Earlier this week, NBC reporter Luke Russert sparked a storm when he said Ryan would run for the role because of “Catholic guilt”.