Archbishop Quinn also served as Archbishop of Oklahoma City from 1971 to 1977 and the president of the United States Catholic Conference and National Conference of Catholic s from 1977 to 1980. He was named by Pope Paul VI, auxiliary bishop for San Diego and titular bishop of Thisiduo on October 21, 1967, and consecrated December 12. On November 17, 1971, he was appointed 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.
In 1977, Quinn was reassigned to become the 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 laymen. 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.
Early in his career in San Francisco, Quinn recognized that the Archdiocese was too large and he was instrumental in devising plans for the creation of the Diocese of San Jose which was erected by Pope John Paul II on January 27, 1981. The first bishop of the new diocese was Pierre DuMaine who had until then been an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
Links between the two adjacent dioceses remain strong, as the second (and current) of San Jose is the former San Francisco auxiliary Patrick Joseph McGrath.
Oscar Romero Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome epidemic Loma Prieta earthquake.
Irenicism and liberalism.
Quinn was an irenic and liberal presence in San Francisco who, in the 1970s and 1980s, offered national leadership to Catholics in the United States on issues as diverse as United States. 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.
After the assassination of Archbishop Oscar 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.
In 1985, Archbishop Quinn initiated the Catholic Church"s first institutional response to the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome epidemic. Catholic Charities San Francisco is currently the largest provider of housing to people with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome on the West Coast.
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
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.