Former Archbishop Harry Flynn dies at 86

Star Tribune

Sept. 24, 2019

By Patrick Condon

Former Archbishop Harry Flynn, who led Minnesota’s largest Catholic diocese for more than a dozen years and struggled with fallout from the church’s sexual abuse scandal as it played out across the country, has died. He was 86.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis reported that Flynn died Sunday night. The Rev. John Malone, a longtime friend and colleague, said Flynn had several bouts with cancer in recent years and had moved into hospice care in the Twin Cities last Tuesday.

“He never wanted to be a bishop,” said Malone, who was a professor and administrator at the University of St. Thomas. “He’d do anything he could to get out of the office. He was a man who wanted to be present to the people he served.”

Flynn took over as archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis in 1995, after previously working in New York, Maryland and Louisiana. In 2002, he led a task force of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that looked into the clergy sexual abuse crisis.

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