Founding Member and former Midwest Director of SNAP
(The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)
Women’s March Wisconsin
Flynn refuses to respond to specific questions regarding offending priests and directs demeaning comments to State Representative Chris Taylor
On Tuesday, June 26th, State Representatives Chris Taylor and Melissa Sargent joined the call of Women’s March Wisconsin, clergy abuse survivors, and their allies for Wisconsin Gubernatorial candidate Matt Flynn to end his candidacy. Flynn acted as the chief lawyer for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee during the height of the priest cover-up and sex abuse scandal.
In response to the press release by Representatives Taylor and Sargent, Flynn made several false claims on Resistance Radio afternoon show, Devil’s Advocates. In addition to his lies, he demonstrated strong misogyny in his criticism of Representative Taylor’s interview and detailed release, saying the Representative was like, “a kid in class…who had read no books.”
Father Lawrence Murphy, a subject of the 2012 Oscar-award-winning director Alex Gibney’s documentary “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God,” was one of the Milwaukee Archdiocese’s most notorious abusers.
When asked by Devil’s Advocates co-host Dominic Salvia if he believed Father Murphy had sexually assaulted up to 200 children per Representative Taylor’s claims referencing archdiocesan files, Flynn declined to comment saying to Salvia, “You can read them yourself.”
In his response, Flynn falsely claimed in regard to the offending priests that “the minute we found out that there was anything in someone’s past…we dragged them out.” Publicly available documents demonstrate that during Flynn’s tenure as chief lawyer to the Milwaukee Archdiocese, at least twenty-three priests with known history of sexual abuse allegations were transferred to other parishes, seven of them more than once. At the time Flynn completed his tenure as chief lawyer of the archdiocese of Milwaukee, twenty-four priests with histories of abuse remained in ministry.
Though Representative Taylor stated strongly in a Tuesday afternoon press conference that she had no intention of endorsing a gubernatorial candidate prior to the August primary, Flynn referred to the timing of the release in regard to the Marquette Poll, suggesting that Representative Taylor was vying for a position in Evers’ cabinet.
Women’s March WI State Co-Chair Sarah Pearson said, “Every time Matt Flynn is confronted with evidence related to his role in the priest sex abuse and cover-up scandal, he refuses to address the irrefutable evidence he’s been confronted with, opting instead to engage in personal attacks tinged with violence and misogyny. The words he’s used: ‘go jump in a lake,’ ‘knock it off,’ and his referral to a progressive female State Representative as a ‘kid in class’ and ‘ill-prepared’ show us that he doesn’t possess the temperament to be the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s representative and our state’s leader. In the Me Too era, progressive Wisconsinites are looking for a leader who will be a champion for survivors of sexual abuse. Matt Flynn is not that person.”
Women’s March Wisconsin and survivors of clergy abuse thank Representatives Taylor and Sargent for their commitment to advocacy for victims of child sex abuse and the political courage demonstrated in today’s call for Matt Flynn to drop out of the Wisconsin gubernatorial race.