Harry Joseph Flynn

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Harry Joseph Flynn
Archbishop Emeritus of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Bishop Emeritus of Lafayette
Archdiocese Saint Paul and Minneapolis
AppointedFebruary 22, 1994 (Coadjutor)
InstalledSeptember 8, 1995
Term endedMay 2, 2008
Predecessor John Roach
Successor John Nienstedt
Orders
OrdinationMay 28, 1960
ConsecrationJune 24, 1986
by  Howard James Hubbard, Philip Matthew Hannan, Gerard Louis Frey
Personal details
Born(1933-05-02)May 2, 1933
Schenectady, New York, U.S.
DiedSeptember 22, 2019(2019-09-22) (aged 86)
Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
Previous post Bishop of Lafayette in Louisiana
Alma mater Siena College
MottoCome Lord Jesus
Styles of
Harry Joseph Flynn
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Archbishop

Harry Joseph Flynn (May 2, 1933 – September 22, 2019) was a prelate of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States and Archbishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, where he served from September 8, 1995 to May 2, 2008, when his resignation was accepted by Pope Benedict XVI. Previously, Archbishop Flynn was the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Lafayette in south-central Louisiana.

Contents

Biography

Early life

Born in Schenectady, New York to William and Margaret Mahoney Flynn, he was orphaned when he was twelve and raised primarily by two of his aunts. [1] Flynn was a graduate of Siena College, having earned both a B.A. and a M.A. in English. After attending Mount Saint Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, he was ordained on May 18, 1960. [2] He later became a priest of the Diocese of Albany, New York. After his ordination, he taught at Catholic Central High School in Troy, New York. From 1965 to 1979, he served on the faculty of Mount Saint Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland. From 1965-1968 he was the dean; he was vice-rector from 1968-1970; and the rector from 1970-1979.

Bishop of Lafayette, Louisiana

While Flynn was serving as a parish priest in the Diocese of Albany, his secretary received a phone call from the papal nuncio. When she passed along the call, Flynn realized he was about to be appointed a bishop and in an attempt to dodge the appointment drove to a family cabin in the Adirondacks. Cardinal John O’Connor of the Archdiocese of New York sent a state trooper to bring him back. [3] He would often say in his later years "If I had 100 lives, I’d live every one of them as a priest - and none as a bishop!" [4]

Flynn's appointment as the coadjutor bishop of Lafayette, Louisiana was announced on April 19, 1986 and he was consecrated as a bishop on June 24, 1986. [5] He took on the full role of bishop on May 12, 1989, succeeding Bishop Gerard Louis Frey. He became the bishop of Lafayette, Louisiana, in the aftermath of one of the earliest public scandals involving the sexual abuse of minors by a priest. [6]

Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

In 1995, Flynn became the Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

Flynn was especially noted for his devotion to Catholic education and the emphasis in his ministry on social justice, especially within his own archdiocese. He was also a strong advocate for Catholic economic justice abroad, and many of the parishes in the archdiocese have sister parishes in impoverished nations, such as Costa Rica. On September 12, 2003, he released a pastoral letter dealing with the issue of racism titled In God's Image, in which he called for the parishes of the diocese to unite in an effort to end racism and promote diversity and harmony, and in so doing, to make God's love more present to the rest of the world. [7]

In May 2005, Archbishop Flynn publicly criticized Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty in the Star Tribune for what he perceived as irresponsible tax policies.[ citation needed ]

Flynn was an outspoken opponent of the war in Iraq.

In keeping with Catholic tradition, Flynn instructed his priests to refuse communion to any person wearing a rainbow sash—a symbol associated with those advocating change in the Church's position on homosexual activity.[ citation needed ]

After serving as Archbishop for 12 years, Flynn requested that the Holy See assign a coadjutor archbishop, and on April 24, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI appointed John Clayton Nienstedt, Bishop of the Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota, as Flynn's coadjutor.

In January 2008, Flynn, citing a Vatican instruction from 2004, ordered an end to the practice of lay preaching at Mass, sending as the end date for the practice his final day as Archbishop. He said: "There has to be that kind of training and theological background that even a person with a master's degree in theology would not have. The church does not want people just standing up there and giving opinions or even things they've read in books." [8]

Retirement

On May 5, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI accepted Flynn's resignation and Nienstedt succeeded him as Archbishop. [9] [10] He continued to assist in the Archdiocese after his retirement, administering confirmations, leading retreats, and other liturgies.

In November 2010, the Little Sisters of the Poor honored Flynn with their St. Jeanne Jugan Award on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his ordination. [11]

Flynn resigned from the board of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul on October 14, 2013. [12]

Flynn died on September 22, 2019 from bone cancer in Saint Paul, Minnesota at the age of 86. [13]

Appointments

Archbishop Flynn was a member of several boards and committees. [2]

Flynn was named to chair the USCCB Committee on Sexual Abuse in 2002. [14]

Legacy

In 2009, the University of St. Thomas renamed a residence hall, formerly Selby Hall, to Flynn Hall to recognize Archbishop Flynn. [15]

See also

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References

  1. "Obituary for Archbishop Harry J. Flynn". TheCatholicSpirit.com. September 25, 2019. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  2. 1 2 "Meet Archbishop Flynn". Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Archived from the original on February 23, 2008. Retrieved March 6, 2008.
  3. "Retired Archbishop Flynn stressed prayer, people". TheCatholicSpirit.com. September 25, 2019. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  4. "The priest as an image of Christ". TheCatholicSpirit.com. January 11, 2017. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  5. "Bishop Harry Flynn". Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana.
  6. Goodstein, Laurie (June 22, 2003). "Healer Bishops Are Sent to Ease Churches' Pain". New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  7. Harry J., Flynn (September 12, 2003). "In God's Image" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 28, 2007. Retrieved March 6, 2008.
  8. Wiering, Maria (May 13, 2008). "Directive from Archbishop Flynn ends lay preaching at Mass". National Catholic Reporter. Catholic News Service. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  9. Holy See Press Office, Daily Bulletin of 02.05.2008, Rinunce e nomine, Rinuncia e successione dell'Arcivescovo di St. Paul and Minneapolis (U.S.A.) [ permanent dead link ](in Italian)
  10. Archdiocesan Website Archived January 24, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  11. "Little Sisters of the Poor honor Archbishop Harry Flynn with award". The Catholic Spirit. November 3, 2010. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  12. Roewe, Brian (November 4, 2013). "St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese faces clamor for leadership change". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  13. "Archbishop Harry Flynn dies at 86". Catholic News Agency. September 23, 2019.
  14. Dillon, Sam (April 20, 2002). "Bishops Replace Head of Sexual Abuse Panel and Name New Members". New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  15. https://www.stthomas.edu/residencelife/housing/apartments/flynn/
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
John Roach
Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis
1995–2008
Succeeded by
John Clayton Nienstedt
Preceded by
Gerard Louis Frey
Bishop of Lafayette in Louisiana
1986–1995
Succeeded by
Edward Joseph O'Donnell