Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego

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Diocese of San Diego

Dioecesis Sancti Didaci

Diócesis de San Diego
Diocese of San Diego map 1.png

The Diocese of San Diego is a Latin Church ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Catholic Church in Southern California, United States. Its ecclesiastical territory includes all of San Diego and Imperial Counties in Southern California, with a Catholic population of approximately 1.4 million.[3] The diocese is a suffragan diocese in the ecclesiastical province of the metropolitan Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Leadership and religious institutes

On January 4, 2012, Bishop Cirilo Flores was appointed as coadjutor bishop with immediate right of succession to Bishop Robert Henry Brom, then already 75, who had served since January 1990. Bishop Brom had submitted his resignation when he turned 75, as all Roman Catholic bishops must, and Pope Francis accepted it on September 18, 2013, making Coadjutor Bishop Flores the Bishop of San Diego.[4] Bishop Flores died on September 6, 2014 after a stroke and a battle with cancer.[5] In March 2015, Pope Francis appointed Robert McElroy as the bishop of the diocese, and he was installed on April 15.[6]

There are 233 priests, 118 active (not retired) deacons, 213 religious sisters and 30 religious brothers in the diocese.[3]


The first Roman Catholic churches in the current territory of the Diocese of San Diego were two of the twenty-one "California Missions" (Mission San Diego de Alcala and Mission San Luis Rey de Francia). The area was first included in a diocese in 1840, with the creation of the Diocese of Both Californias (serving the entirety of the Mexican colonial provinces of Baja California and Alta California). After the conquest of Alta California by the United States, that diocese was divided, with the American portion becoming the Diocese of Monterey, later renamed the Diocese of Monterey-Los Angeles. In 1922, the diocese was again divided, with the southern portion becoming the Diocese of Los Angeles-San Diego.

The current diocese was created as a result of the division of the Diocese of Los Angeles-San Diego. The Diocese of San Diego was established on July 11, 1936, at which time it included San Diego County, Imperial County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County; the remainder of the former diocese then became the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

In 1978, the Diocese of San Diego was itself divided, with Riverside County and San Bernardino County becoming the Diocese of San Bernardino.

Currently, the Diocese of San Diego includes 99 parishes and 16 missions, serving San Diego County and Imperial County. In addition, the diocese includes 45 elementary schools, 5 high schools and 2 universities (University of San Diego and John Paul the Great Catholic University).

Clergy sexual abuse cases

On February 28, 2007, the diocese filed for bankruptcy protection after the diocese was unable to reach a settlement agreement with numerous plaintiffs suing over sexual abuse by clergy.[7] On September 7, 2007, the diocese agreed to pay $198.1 million to settle 144 claims of child sexual abuse by clergy, the 2nd-largest settlement payment by a Roman Catholic diocese in U.S. history.[8] Perpetrators included 48 priests and one lay coordinator of altar boys.[9] In September 2018, eight more priests were added to this list.[10] On December 17, 2018, Juan Garcia Castillo, who served as a priest at St. Patrick Parish in Carlsbad, was convicted of sexual battery for inappropriately touching a seminarian of his age and buying him alcohol at a local BJ's restaurants in Carlsbad, California, where he and the seminarian, together with another seminarian were having dinner.[11][12]

On December 11, 2019, it was announced that four victims of convicted, and now deceased, sexual abuser Anthony Edward Rodrigue would sue the Diocese of San Diego.[13][14] Their lawsuit began on January 2, 2020, along with 5 lawsuits targeting 5 other priests accused of child molestation and rape.[13][15][14] Due to all these more recent allegations, the Diocese of San Diego and 5 other California Dioceses established in 2019 a fund for clergy sex-abuse victims; by September 2021 this compensation program had already paid another $24 million in claims.[16]


Bishops of San Diego

  1. Charles Francis Buddy (1936–1966)
  2. Francis James Furey (1966–1969, coadjutor bishop 1963–1966), appointed Archbishop of San Antonio
  3. Leo Thomas Maher (1969–1990)
  4. Robert Henry Brom (1990–2013, coadjutor bishop 1989–1990)
  5. Cirilo Flores (2013–2014, coadjutor bishop 2012–2013)
  6. Robert W. McElroy (2015–present)

Auxiliary bishops

Other priest of this diocese who became bishop


High schools

* Formerly the University of San Diego High School
** Formerly Marian Catholic High School

See also


  1. ^ "Diocese of San Diego, Usa".
  2. ^ "Diocese of San Diego, Statistical Overview". Archived from the original on April 11, 2003. Retrieved December 31, 2009.
  3. ^ a b "About the Diocese of San Diego". Archived from the original on June 15, 2014.
  4. ^ "Pope Accepts Resignation of Bishop Robert Brom of San Diego; Co-Adjutor Bishop Cirilo Flores Succeeds Him". Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  5. ^ "San Diego Catholic bishop dies after battle with cancer". Los Angeles Times. September 7, 2014. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  6. ^ "U.S. Watch". Wall Street Journal. Associated Press. March 3, 2015. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  7. ^ Mark Sauer (February 28, 2007). "S.D. Catholic diocese files for bankruptcy". Union Tribune.
  8. ^ Allison Hoffman (September 8, 2007). "Diocese settles abuse claims for $198M". USA Today.
  9. ^ "Largest sexual abuse settlements by Roman Catholic institutions in the U.S."
  10. ^ "San Diego's Catholic diocese adds eight priests to list of sexual predators". San Diego Union-Tribune. September 14, 2018. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  11. ^ "California priest convicted of sexually assaulting San Diego seminarian". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  12. ^ "California priest convicted of sexually assaulting San Diego seminarian". Crux. December 18, 2018. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  13. ^ a b "Local Victims Join Civil Lawsuit Against San Diego Catholic Diocese". NBC 7 San Diego. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Child sexual abuse lawsuit to be filed next year against San Diego Diocese". December 12, 2019. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  15. ^ Hope, Heather (January 2, 2020). "Lawsuits filed against Catholic Diocese of San Diego on behalf of alleged sex assault victims". CBS News 8.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ "Fund for Clergy Sex-Abuse Victims in San Diego, 5 Other Counties, Paid $24M in Claims". Times of San Diego. September 2, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links

Coordinates: 32°46′00″N 117°07′59″W / 32.7667°N 117.1330°W / 32.7667; -117.1330