Wisconsin Public Radio
Race for Governor

Flynn’s Work for Archdiocese a Hot Issue

Gubernatorial candidate’s work on clergy sex abuse scandal gets more criticism, support.

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Jul 24th, 2018 12:44 pm
Matt Flynn. Photo courtesy of Forward with Flynn.

Matt Flynn. Photo courtesy of Forward with Flynn.

Democratic candidate for governor Matt Flynn continued to defend his work as a lawyer for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee on Monday, pushing back in particular on claims he was involved with the transfer of abusive priests between parishes.

Flynn represented the archdiocese from 1989 until 2004, during the priest sexual abuse scandal.

His campaign for governor has been peppered with criticism from both the right and left for that work. On Monday, his campaign released a letter from former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland rebutting claims Flynn was involved in the transfer of abusive priests.

“The lawyers were not involved,” Weakland wrote.

According to Weakland, some priests who had undergone therapy were reassigned, but the process was overseen by a priest personnel board.

“Looking back, I would frankly have to admit that we were all extremely naïve,” Weakland wrote. “We did not understand the power of recidivism in such cases.”

A longtime Milwaukee priest, Domenic Roscioli, on Monday refuted Weakland’s claim.

“Weakland continues to minimize, excuse, and falsify what over 10,000 pages of court records clearly show: he allowed priest offenders to remain in parishes where they abused other children, moving them into new assignments and concealing them from the public,” Roscioli said in a statement released by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “He is now defending the man who was absolutely instrumental in helping him do it.”

Roscioli also pointed out Weakland resigned in 2002 after it was revealed the church covered up his homosexual affair and alleged date rape years earlier.

The state Republican Party also criticized Weakland.

“Matt Flynn lied about his role protecting these dangerous predators … and now his only defense is hiding behind a disgraced bishop who was his partner in the cover-up,” said party spokesman Alec Zimmerman.

This morning, SNAP and Roscioli issued a press release that called on high-profile supporters of Flynn, like Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, to urge Flynn to withdraw from the race.

On a call with reporters, Flynn said he always advised the archdiocese to report abuse to police and that he’s proud of the work he did representing the church.

“And I will not tolerate attacks on the church itself,” he said. “It’s a good church. It’s a very, very good church. It’s a foundational church in western culture and I will stand up for it.”

Listen to the WPR report here.

Matt Flynn Continues To Defend Work For Milwaukee Archdiocese During Priest Abuse Scandal was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

6 thoughts on “Race for Governor: Flynn’s Work for Archdiocese a Hot Issue”

  1. PMD says:

    Victimology elite? People who were sexually abused by priests are now playing the victim and that’s why Democrats lost in 2016? What in the holy hell is Flynn talking about? He is done. Time to drop out.

  2. Matt says:

    What in the holy hell are you talking about PMD? He wasn’t talking about victims. Dumbass Madison trolls who somehow got elected to ineffectual but seemingly important positions of “leadership” in the Democratic Party decided because they wanted their Madison candidate to win (good luck to her, and Flynn for that matter). To do so they abandoned the traditional support of the party for civil rights, such as the right to counsel and free speech and freedom of religion to attack a man for representing his church.

    Its some cynical left wing crybaby manufactured outrage at a lawyer for representing his church. And you want to tell him to shut up? Stop the word games, or move to Madison, slam religion, disregard our progress and keep getting your ass kicked in elections. Your nanny state bullshit is tiresome.

  3. PMD says:

    Matt Flynn continues to post here. Seems like he should have better things to do, like write his campaign withdrawal statement. Victimology elite is idiotic nonsense spewed by a desperate candidate. It’s more fitting at Breitbart or Fox News. He is not being attacked for representing his church or being a person of faith. More disingenuous crap. I’ll be glad to see him go. Walker would beat him by 20.

  4. Terry says:

    Flynn would actually do pretty good I think, maybe even topple Walker’s nightmarish, regressive, far right-wing prosperity destroying political machine that he has built on greasy Billionaire Dark Money and disgusting divide and conquer tactics. Flynn is right on the FoxCON fiasco, right on schools, right on roads, healthcare and criminal justice reform but he needs to clarify what happened here. Obviously we are a nation of laws and everyone gets access to due process, even the sleaziest slimeballs among us like Crooked Career Politician Scott Walker deserve due process (as his aides who all went to prison on Felony charges know) but that said, if he did try to cover it up he should step aside. Unlike Crooked Scott Walker, some of us still do believe in moral conduct and clean government.

    Dump Walker 2018

  5. LenaTaylorMustResign says:

    You know your campaign isn’t going particularly well when you need Rembert Weakland to issue statements defending you… Yikes.

  6. Terry says:

    @ScottWalkerMustResign, yeah it’s almost as bad as greasy, corrupt Career Politician Scott Walker getting praised by even more greasy, corrupt slimeballs like Trump. Ah, Walker, always the good little sychophantic, obsequious Trump Toady, ready to sell out Wisconsin, basic decency, morality and anything else to secure yet another 4 years mooching on the Big Government dole in Madison. Yikes indeed!

    Dump Walker 2018

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