James Flynt

Laicized

Assignments/Locations Year Start Year End
James Flynt Our Lady of Good Hope Parish (Milwaukee) 1985 1987
St. Nicholas Hospital (Sheboygan) 1987 1987
St. Dominic Parish (Brookfield) 1987 1989
Divine Savior / Holy Angels High School (Milwaukee) 1989 1995
St. Casimir Parish (Milwaukee) 1995 2001
St. Mary Czestochowa Parish (Milwaukee) 1996 2001

 

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James Flynt

In July, 1986, a group of concerned Our Lady of Good Hope Parish staff and parishioners, met with Bishop Sklba to discuss the mixed messages being communicated, especially to young people, by Flynt. They raised issues about his expressions of affection, inappropriate commentary on sexuality, his general lack of fulfilling responsibilities and causing divisions in the parish.

In August, 1986, Bishop Sklba met with Flynt to discuss Flynt’s complaints about the parish situation including conflict with another priest and lack of communication. In December, 1986, Flynt resigned from the parish and was told to seek counseling.

In July, 1987, Bishop Sklba met with Flynt and his therapist to discuss parishioners’ reactions to his ministry at Our Lady of Good Hope Parish, especially surrounding his selective style of ministry, anger issues and comments about sexual morality.

In September, 1989, Bishop Sklba informed Flynt of complaints from St. Dominic Parish, Brookfield. Bishop Sklba met with a group of staff and parishioners who were complaining about Flynt’s comments to them about the homosexual behavior of other priests and staff.  Flynt was causing or contributing to great discord. Flynt was to seek counseling.

In June, 1992, concern was raised to Bishop Sklba from a priest that a foster child had moved into St. Casimir Parish Rectory, Milwaukee, with Flynt. Bishop Sklba referred the concern to the vicar for clergy.

In September, 1992, the vicar for clergy visited Flynt at St. Casimir Rectory and learned that Flynt was intending to adopt a sixth grade boy who was in foster care, one of five children taken in by a family at St. Dominic Parish, Brookfield. The vicar cautioned about the adoption but Flynt said the decision was his to make.

In April, 1995, Bishop Sklba met with the Milwaukee County District Attorney and the concerned individuals who had come to him in 1986. They wished to discuss Flynt’s behavior in relation to a wedding he had celebrated the previous September. Flynt had attempted to seduce the groom after the rehearsal party. The couple had reported the incident to Archbishop Weakland in December, 1994, and he referred them to Project Benjamin. Two staff from Project Benjamin followed up with meetings and ascertained that the couple wanted Flynt to pay for his own room from the wedding, to be sent to counseling, to leave his current assignment at a high school and not be permitted to function as a priest. The couple was offered counseling. Flynt, under the guise of “physical ailments,” resigned from the high school in March, 1995, and finally paid the hotel bill in April, 1995.

When these same concerned individuals heard that Flynt was to be appointed to St. Casimir Parish, they contacted the Milwaukee County District Attorney. They were not sure if they had any legal liability if they publicly exposed their concerns about Flynt because they had no proof from the current situation or the 1986 issues.

In June, 1995, Flynt was assigned as administrator of St. Casimir Parish, Milwaukee.

In July, 1995, the same staff members from Our Lady of Good Hope Parish, who met with Bishop Sklba in 1986 and again in April, 1995, met with the director of Project Benjamin to raise concerns about Flynt, but now with regard to a specific individual. They reported that Flynt traveled with this individual. Later in July, 1995, the parents of this individual met with the director of Project Benjamin to raise concerns about Flynt and their now adult child. At the end of July, 1995, this individual sent a letter to the director of Project Benjamin to deny any concerns about Flynt and their relationship. When they had traveled together the individual was not a minor and said nothing had happened.

In July, 1996, Flynt was also assigned administrator of St. Mary Czestochowa Parish, Milwaukee.

From June to August, 2001, he was in missionary training but was not deemed an appropriate candidate for missionary work.

In January, 2002, Flynt was appointed administrator of St. Peter Parish, Slinger, where a letter-writing campaign arose with strong feelings about his ministry, both positive and negative, were expressed.

In May, 2002, the Milwaukee County District Attorney advised the archdiocese that his office had opened an investigation into claims of sexual abuse of a minor by Flynt. The individual brought the complaint to the DA stating that at age 11, with the consent of his parents, he had started staying overnight at the rectory with Flynt. This arrangement continued for nine years. It was reported that they slept in the same bed and that Flynt engaged in genital fondling with the individual.

Flynt’s appointment to St. Frances Cabrini Parish, West Bend, was rescinded. The individual making the claim was unwilling to cooperate in any prosecution for fear of publicity. The investigator for the DA brought his conclusions to the archdiocese and in February, 2003, the case was considered by the Diocesan Review Board. They recommended that Flynt be permanently removed from ministry.

Flynt resigned from the upcoming parish assignment and filed a petition for voluntary laicization in May, 2003. The case was submitted to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in September, 2003. After seeking clarification on the facts of the case, the Congregation further considered the request for laicization which was granted in June, 2004. Flynt was provided the usual financial assistance in the form of a severance allotment.


This narrative is based on facts contained in documents related to this Diocesan priest offender.

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