Archbishop Harry Flynn is one of the most knowledgeable church officials regarding priests accused of the sexual abuse of minors in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Flynn was ordained in the Diocese of Albany in 1960. He worked as coadjutor bishop and bishop for the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana from 1986-1994, during which time the clergy abuse crisis exploded in the United States.
Flynn was sent to Louisiana from New York to “fix” the scandal that erupted surrounding serial predator Father Gilbert Gauthe. Gauthe admitted to sexually abusing over 300 children and eventually pled guilty to 34 criminal counts and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Lauded for his work in Louisiana, Flynn was considered an “expert” in clergy sexual abuse. Flynn became the spokesperson and face for the national clergy abuse scandal and was appointed Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis on September 8, 1995. Flynn retired from his position in 2007.
Archbishop Flynn was deposed in the Doe 1 civil lawsuit in May 2014. According to Flynn, cases of clergy sexual abuse “could not have been handled better” during his time as Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Similar to Archbishop Carlson’s 2014 testimony in the same case, Flynn stated at least 134 times that he could not recall how he handled clergy sexual abuse cases during his 13-year tenure as archbishop.