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Oscar Hugh Lipscomb Edit Profile

archbishop , bishop , Catholic priest

Oscar Hugh Lipscomb, American Archbishop. Ordained priest Roman Catholic Church, 1956; consecrated bishop Roman Cath.Ch., 1980.


Lipscomb, Oscar Hugh was born on September 21, 1931 in Mobile, Alabama, United States. Son of Oscar Hugh and Margaret (Saunders) Lipscomb.


Lipscomb attended McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in Mobile, then known as McGill Institute, where today an athletic complex is named in his honor. 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's retirement was accepted by the Holy See April 2, 2008. He was the first Archbishop of Mobile and its eighth bishop. 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. 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. He was appointed Archbishop of Mobile on July 29, 1980,and consecrated on November 16, 1980, by his 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.

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. 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.

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." 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." 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.


  • Ordained priest Roman Catholic Church, 1956. Consecrated bishop Roman Cath.Ch., 1980.


  • Other Work

    • Contributor articles to professional journals.


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


Chairman NCCB Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, 1993—1996, Catholic Common Ground Initiative, since 1996, chairman committee on the liturgy, 1999—2002. Member Mixed International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, since 1999, Vox Clara commission Congregation for Divine Worship, Rome, since 2002. Chairman board directors Mobile Museum, 1966—1988, Alabama Department Archives and History, since 1979, chairman, since 1999.

Chairman board directors Catholic University American, Washington, 1983—1998, Spring Hill College, Mobile, since 1982. Chairman board governors North America College, Rome, 1982—1985. Member of American Catholic History Association, Alabama History Association, Southern History Association (president 1971-1972, executive committee 1981-1988), History Mobile Preservation Society, Lions.


Oscar Hugh Lipscomb

Margaret (Saunders) Lipscomb