Oscar Hugh Lipscomb

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His Excellency, The Most Reverend
Oscar Hugh Lipscomb
Archbishop Emeritus of Mobile
Archdiocese Mobile
Appointed July 29, 1980
Installed November 16, 1980
Term ended April 2, 2008
Predecessor John Lawrence May
Successor Thomas John Rodi
Ordination July 15, 1956
Consecration November 16, 1980
by John L. May, William Benedict Friend, and Raymond W. Lessard
Personal details
Born (1931-09-21) September 21, 1931 (age 85)
Mobile, Alabama
Previous post Chancellor of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mobile
Styles of
Oscar Hugh Lipscomb
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Archbishop

Oscar Hugh Lipscomb (born September 21, 1931, Mobile, Alabama) is the retired Roman Catholic Archbishop of Mobile, Alabama. Lipscomb's retirement was accepted by the Holy See April 2, 2008. He was the first Archbishop of Mobile and its eighth bishop.


Lipscomb attended McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in Mobile, then known as McGill Institute, where today an athletic complex is named in his honor. After graduating from McGill in 1949, he entered St. Bernard Junior Seminary and College, in Cullman, Alabama. In 1951, he entered the Pontifical North American College Seminary in Rome, and was there until his ordination in 1956. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Mobile-Birmingham on July 15, 1956, at the Basilica dei Santi Apostoli in Rome. He acquired an M.A.degree in History, in 1960, and a Ph.D. degree in History from Catholic University of America (CUA), in 1963.

Lipscomb served as a parish priest in Mobile and as an educator at McGill Institute and Spring Hill College. He was appointed chancellor of the Mobile archdiocese in 1966, and served in that capacity until he was appointed Archbishop of Mobile in 1980.[1] He was appointed Archbishop of Mobile on July 29, 1980, and consecrated on November 16, 1980, by his immediate predecessor, Archbishop John Lawrence May. The Diocese of Mobile was elevated to the Archdiocese of Mobile on the date Lipscomb was appointed its first archbishop.[2]

Archbishop Lipscomb came into the national spotlight in the United States in the early 1990s due to the controversy involving Rev. David C. Trosch, a priest of the Archdiocese serving in Magnolia Springs, a community in south Baldwin County, southeast of Mobile.[3] Rev. Trosch sparked the controversy by his anti-abortion statements advocating the theory of justifiable homicide in the case of killing abortion providers, and his attempt to place an advertisement in the Mobile Press-Register newspaper with his original cartoon showing a man pointing a gun at a doctor who was holding a knife over a pregnant woman.[4] Lipscomb offered Trosch "the alternative of publicly abiding by (the Archbishop's) judgment on this erroneous teaching or relinquishing his public position in the church." [4] Lipscomb removed Trosch from his pastoral assignments in August 1993 and suspended him from pastoral duties in a disciplinary action which was less strict than a censure, allowing Trosch to continue saying Mass but limiting him to having "no public persona in the Church."[3] Rev. Trosch 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 Archbishop Lipscomb.[5]

For many years, Lipscomb was a member of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Catholic Week, Official Weekly Publication of the Archdiocese of Mobile, Vol 74, June 5, 2009, Special Edition commemorating Archbishop Lipscomb's retirement
  2. ^ Catholic Directory of the Archdiocese of Mobile, Vol. XXIV, 2003, pg. 7
  3. ^ a b 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 Taken October 21, 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Priest Is Scolded on Abortion Ad," New York Times, Published: August 18, 1993, http://www.nytimes.com/1993/08/18/us/priest-is-scolded-on-abortion-ad.html Taken October 21, 2012.
  5. ^ 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 Taken October 21, 2012.

External links[edit]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
John Lawrence May
Archbishop of Mobile
Succeeded by
Thomas John Rodi