John R. Quinn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Most Reverend

John Raphael Quinn
Archbishop of San Francisco
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
ArchdioceseSan Francisco
AppointedFebruary 16, 1977
InstalledApril 26, 1977
Term endedDecember 27, 1995
PredecessorJoseph T. McGucken
SuccessorWilliam Levada
OrdinationJuly 19, 1953
ConsecrationDecember 12, 1967
by Luigi Raimondi, Francis James Furey, and Frederick William Freking
Personal details
Born(1929-03-28)March 28, 1929
Riverside, California
DiedJune 22, 2017(2017-06-22) (aged 88)
San Francisco, California
Previous post
Styles of
John Raphael Quinn
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleArchbishop

John Raphael Quinn (March 28, 1929 – June 22, 2017) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He was Archbishop of San Francisco from 1977 to 1995 and Archbishop of Oklahoma City from 1971 to 1977. He served as the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops from 1977 to 1980.

Early life and ordination[edit]

Quinn was born in Riverside, California, and ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of San Diego on July 19, 1953. Pope Paul VI named him auxiliary bishop of San Diego with the titular see of Thisiduo on October 21, 1967. He was consecrated on December 12.[1]

He became a regular contributor to America.[2]

Arch/Bishop of Oklahoma City[edit]

On November 17, 1971, he was appointed Bishop of Oklahoma City-Tulsa. When the diocese was split to form the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and the Diocese of Tulsa on December 13, 1972, Quinn became the first Archbishop of Oklahoma City.

The website of that Archdiocese reports that "he revealed his priorities by his actions: emphasis on priestly vocations, desire for better pastoral care of Spanish-speaking Catholics, re-establishment of a Catholic newspaper, appointment of a full-time youth director, and a reorganization of Catholic charities."[3]

Pope Paul VI named Quinn to participate in the 1974 World Synod of Bishops.[4]

Archbishop of San Francisco[edit]

Quinn's was a popular appointment by Pope Paul VI in 1977 and for almost his entire episcopate in San Francisco he enjoyed the support of priests and the lay faithful. In the early years of his time as Archbishop he was simultaneously president of the USCC NCCB, which often kept him away from the archdiocese.[5]

Quinn recognized that the Archdiocese was too large for effective pastoral governance and helped devise plans for the creation of the Diocese of San Jose, which was erected by Pope John Paul II on January 27, 1981.[6]


Irenicism and liberalism[edit]

Quinn was an irenic and liberal presence in San Francisco who, in the 1970s and 1980s, offering national leadership to Catholics in the United States on issues as diverse as U.S. women religious, the moral permissibility of nuclear weapons, sanctuary for Central American refugees, and working to overturn Roe vs Wade and restore legal protection to unborn children.

Óscar Romero[edit]

After the assassination of Archbishop Óscar Romero in March 1980, Quinn issued a statement lauding the murdered prelate as "a voice for the poor and the oppressed." Quinn later attended Archbishop Romero's funeral in San Salvador.[7][8]


In 1985, Archbishop Quinn initiated the Catholic Church's first institutional response to the AIDS epidemic and when John Paul II visited San Francisco in 1987, Archbishop Quinn arranged that he met with several AIDS patients, including a young boy.[9]

Loma Prieta earthquake[edit]

In the 1990s, Quinn turned his attention to the needs of the archdiocese after the Loma Prieta earthquake, which damaged many churches. The Archdiocese of San Francisco drew up a plan which would see the closure of a dozen parishes whose churches had been damaged in the earthquake. This plan drew the wrath of many priests, 41 of whom signed a petition to Quinn dissenting from his plan. Quinn sold the former archiepiscopal residence and in the summer of 1992 moved into the Cathedral rectory where he lived with his fellow clergy until his retirement.[5][10]

The Reform of the Papacy[edit]

Throughout his episcopate he maintained strong links with the Catholic Church in England visiting it regularly and maintaining strong personal links with the country. After his retirement from the full-time ministry he spent time at Campion Hall, Oxford where in 1996 he gave a celebrated paper on "The Claims of the Primacy and the Costly Call to Unity", a paper which was a first draft of his 1999 book The Reform of the Papacy.[11]

This call for the reform of the Roman Curia and a concomitant reduction in the power of that Curia has been interpreted by some conservative voices in the Church as an 'attack' on the papacy. Quinn repeatedly made it clear that he was not opposing the Vatican and in many ways his writings prefigured the views of Pope Francis.[12][13]

Selected works[edit]

  • The Reform of the Papacy (New York: Crossroad Publishing, 1999). A response to Pope John Paul II's request in the encyclical Ut unum sint in 1995 for suggestions on how to reform the papacy.
  • Revered and Reviled: A Re-Examination of Vatican Council I (New York: Crossroad Publishing, 2017). An exploration of the ways that Vatican Council I influenced the important issues of papal primacy and the infallible teaching magisterium of the Pope.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Past Bishops of the San Diego Diocese". Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  2. ^ "Archbishop John R. Quinn". America. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  3. ^ "One Becomes Two: 1972-1977 Archbishop John R. Quinn". Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  4. ^ "Archbishop John Quinn Obituary". Duggan's Serra Mortuary. Archived from the original on July 18, 2017. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Grimes, William (July 6, 2017). "John R. Quinn, Archbishop and Liberal Voice in Church, Dies at 88". New York Times. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "San Francisco archbishop's account of Oscar Romero's funeral". National Catholic Reporter. Catholic News Service. March 24, 2015.
  8. ^ Anderson, David E. (March 13, 1982). "U.S Catholic church and the politics of El Salvador". UPI. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  9. ^ Nolte, Carl (June 22, 2017). "Archbishop John R. Quinn, Catholic progressive, dies in S.F." San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Quinn, John R. "The Claims of the Primacy and the Costly Call to Unity". EWTN. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  12. ^ ""Impressed by Pope's Emphasis on "Synodality" in the Church"". La Stampa. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  13. ^ "Archbishop John Quinn in Interview". Retrieved April 20, 2016.

External links[edit]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Joseph Bernardin
President of the United States Catholic Conference and National Conference of Catholic Bishops
Succeeded by
John Roach
Preceded by
Joseph Thomas McGucken
Archbishop of San Francisco
Succeeded by
William Levada
Preceded by
First Archbishop (erected)
Archbishop of Oklahoma City
Succeeded by
Charles Salatka
Preceded by
Victor Joseph Reed
Bishop of Oklahoma City-Tulsa
Succeeded by
None (diocese split)
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of San Diego
Succeeded by