|POPE ACCEPTS RESIGNATION OF MOBILE ARCHBISHOP OSCAR LIPSCOMB, NAMES BILOXI BISHOP THOMAS RODI TO SUCCEED HIM|
WASHINGTON—Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Archbishop Oscar H. Lipscomb, 76, from the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Mobile, Alabama, and transferred Bishop Thomas J. Rodi, 59, up to now Bishop of Biloxi, Mississippi, to succeed him.
The resignation acceptance and transfer were announced in Washington, April 2, by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Archbishop-elect Rodi was named bishop of Biloxi May 14, 2001. Previously he had been chancellor and vicar general of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. As a bishop he has served on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Administrative Committee and the USCCB Committees on Canonical Affairs, Home Missions, and the Protection of Children and Young People.
Thomas John Rodi was born March 27, 1949 in New Orleans. He attended Catholic elementary and secondary schools in his native city, Georgetown University in Washington, and Tulane University School of Law in New Orleans (1971-1974), where he earned a doctor of law degree. He entered Notre Dame Seminary in 1974 where he pursued theological studies and obtained a master of divinity degree. In 1986, he earned a licentiate in canon law from The Catholic University of America.
He was ordained a priest May 20, 1978.
From 1978 to 1989 he served as an assistant and an administrator in several parishes in the New Orleans archdiocese. He was director of the archdiocesan office of religious education from 1978 to 1979, executive director for pastoral services from 1989 to 1992, and was appointed chancellor of the archdiocese in 1992. He was named vicar general and moderator of the curia in 1996.
He also served in various capacities in the Metropolitan Tribunal of the New Orleans Archdiocese, including Defender of the Bond and Pro Synodal Judge.
The Mobile Archdiocese includes 22,969 square miles. The total population of the diocese is estimated at 1,680,384 people, with 67,351 of them Catholic.