Harry Joseph Flynn

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The Most Reverend

Harry Joseph Flynn
Archbishop Emeritus of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Installed September 8, 1995
Term ended May 2, 2008
Predecessor John Roach
Successor John Nienstedt
Personal details
Born (1933-05-02) May 2, 1933 (age 81)
Schenectady, New York
Alma mater Siena College
Styles of
Harry Flynn
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Archbishop

Harry Joseph Flynn (born May 2, 1933 in Schenectady, New York) is a prelate of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States and Archbishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Flynn succeeded his predecessor, Archbishop John Roach, on September 8, 1995.

Previously, Archbishop Flynn was the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Lafayette in south-central Louisiana, having been ordained to the episcopate, in Albany, New York on June 24, 1986.[1] On May 5, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI accepted his resignation from the pastoral government of the Archdiocese in accordance with canon 401 § 1 of the Code of Canon Law. He was succeeded by Archbishop John Clayton Nienstedt.[2]


Flynn is 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 a Catholic priest on May 18, 1960.[3] Flynn was incardinated into the Diocese of Albany in the state of New York.


Archbishop Flynn is a member of several boards and committees.[3]

Social justice initiatives[edit]

Flynn is especially noted for his devotion to Catholic education and the emphasis in his ministry on social justice, especially within his own archdiocese. He is 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.[4] Like his late predecessor, Flynn is an outspoken opponent of the war in Iraq.

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

In the same month, Flynn departed from archdiocesan precedent by ordering his priests to refuse the Eucharist to any person wearing a rainbow sash – a symbol associated with those advocating change in the Church's position on homosexual activity.

Other bishops[edit]

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. Archbishop Nienstedt succeeded Flynn on May 2, 2008 [5] and also served as apostolic administrator of New Ulm until a successor was named in July 2008.[6] [7][8]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Episcopal lineage
Consecrated by: Howard J. Hubbard
Consecrator of
Bishop Date of consecration
Blase Joseph Cupich September 21, 1998
Frederick Francis Campbell May 14, 1999
Richard Edmund Pates March 26, 2001
Dennis Marion Schnurr April 2, 2001
Samuel Joseph Aquila August 24, 2001
Paul Joseph Swain October 26, 2006
Peter Forsyth Christensen September 23, 2007
Michael Joseph Hoeppner November 30, 2007


  1. ^ "Bishop Harry Flynn". Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana. 
  2. ^ Cf. 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.) (Italian)
  3. ^ a b "Meet Archbishop Flynn". Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Archived from the original on February 23, 2008. Retrieved March 6, 2008. 
  4. ^ Harry J., Flynn (September 12, 2003). "In God's Image". Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved March 6, 2008. 
  5. ^ Archdiocesan Website
  6. ^ Catholic Hierarchy.org
  7. ^ "Bishop John C. Nienstedt named Coadjutor Archbishop". News Release #411 (Diocese of New Ulm). April 24, 2007. Retrieved March 6, 2008. 
  8. ^ Cheney, David M. (November 23, 2007). "Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis". Catholic-Hierarchy.com. Retrieved March 6, 2008. 

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
John Roach
Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis
Succeeded by
John Clayton Nienstedt