David Trosch

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The Rev. David Charles Trosch (November 29, 1935 – October 12, 2012)[1][2] was a Roman Catholic priest from Mobile, Alabama,[3] who was the subject of controversy due to his promotion of the concept of justifiable homicide in the case of killing abortion providers.[4]


Trosch first attained notoriety when he tried to place ad in The Mobile Register newspaper with a drawing titled "Justifiable Homicide", depicting a man holding a gun to the back of an abortion doctor performing an abortion.[4][5] The Catholic Church directed him to "recant his stand or give up his job."[6] Although the ad was never published, Trosch was relieved of his parish duties and suspended by his bishop due to his ongoing public statements in defense of his views of "justifiable homicide" of abortion providers.[7]

Archbishop Oscar Lipscomb of the Archdiocese of Mobile clarified at the time of Trosch's death that he had never officially censured Trosch, but that Trosch had been restricted from acting in a pastoral capacity in August 1993 and had "no public persona in the Church."[8] However, Archbishop Lipscomb said that Trosch "was not a bad person" and "died in God's grace".[8]

Trosch was a noted supporter of anti-abortion activist Paul Hill who was executed on September 4, 2003 for murdering Dr. John Britton and his bodyguard James Barrett.[9] Despite his immediate defense of Hill, Trosch denied having ever met Hill; however, it later was revealed that the two had dined and prayed together, and even signed the same document justifying lethal force against abortion providers.[10][11]

Trosch died on October 12, 2012 in an Alabama nursing home from an extended illness.[12][8] Approximately 30 to 40 people attended his funeral.[8]

He maintained a website under the name of a non-profit organization called "Life Enterprises Unlimited" based in Mobile, Alabama until the time of his death, in which he criticized many people whom he characterized as "hell-bound sinners", including the Archbishop who disciplined him.


  1. ^ "In Memory of Rev. David Trosch" Obituary, Dignity Memorial: Radney Funeral Home, Mobile, Alabama. http://obits.dignitymemorial.com/dignity-memorial/obituary.aspx?n=David-Trosch&lc=4405&pid=160483813&mid=5273763&locale=en-US Archived 30 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine Taken October 25, 2012.
  2. ^ "Reverend David Charles Trosch" Obituary. Mobile Register. al.com http://obits.al.com/obituaries/mobile/obituary.aspx?n=david-charles-trosch&pid=160396399&fhid=10306#fbLoggedOut Taken October 21, 2012
  3. ^ Clarkson, Frederick (1997). Eternal hostility: the struggle between theocracy and democracy. Monroe, Me. : Common Courage Press. p. 143. ISBN 1-56751-088-4.
  4. ^ a b "Priest Is Scolded on Abortion Ad". The New York Times. August 18, 1993. Retrieved 26 September 2010. In an interview published Sunday in The Register, Father Trosch said he designed the advertisement, which shows a man pointing a gun at a doctor who is holding a knife over a pregnant woman. Two words accompany the picture: "Justifiable homicide."
  5. ^ Holmes, Parker (15 August 1993). "Priest says killing abortion doctors 'justifiable homicide'". The Mobile Register. Archived from the original on 27 July 2006. Retrieved 25 November 2006..
  6. ^ Goldberg, Laura (August 18, 1993). "Priest scolded over ad / Violent view on abortion blasted (retrieved from Lexis-Nexis Academic)". USA Today.
  7. ^ Manegold, Catherine (1 January 1995). "Anti-Abortion Groups Continue Radical Talk". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2010. The Rev. David C. Trosch, a Catholic priest from Alabama who has been relieved of his duties by the church for his radical defense of the "justifiable homicide" of abortion providers, mailed a letter to members of Congress last July, predicting "massive killing of abortionists and their staffs."
  8. ^ a b c d Sharp, John, "Retired Archbishop Lipscomb recalls anti-abortion priest," Mobile Register al.com, http://blog.al.com/live/2012/10/retired_archbishop_recalls_ant.html Archived 16 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine Taken October 21, 2012.
  9. ^ Warren, Marcus (September 4, 2003). "Anti-abortion killer goes to death defiant Unrepentant ex-preacher felt 'honoured' by his execution for the murder of a doctor and his bodyguard (retrieved from Lexis-Nexis Academic database)". The Daily Telegraph.
  10. ^ Howlett, Debbie (January 10, 1995). "'Courage' or crime? / Incidents, reports spark FBI probe (retrieved from Lexis-Nexis Academic database)". USA Today.
  11. ^ Bader, Eleanor J. (2001). Targets of Hatred: Anti-Abortion Terrorism. New York, NY : Palgrave for St. Martin's Press. p. 218. ISBN 978-0-312-23925-1.
  12. ^ Coleman, Frances. "An obscure ending for a notorious priest (Frances Coleman column)" Mobile Register. al.com, http://blog.al.com/press-register-commentary/2012/10/an_obscure_ending_for_a_notori.html Archived 17 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine Taken October 21, 2012.