Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego

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Diocese of San Diego

Dioecesis Sancti Didaci

Diócesis de San Diego
Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego.svg
CountryUnited States
TerritoryCounties of San Diego, Imperial
Ecclesiastical provinceProvince of Los Angeles
MetropolitanSan Diego, California
- Catholics

DenominationRoman Catholic
Sui iuris churchLatin Church
RiteRoman Rite
EstablishedJuly 11, 1936[2]
CathedralSt. Joseph Cathedral
Patron saintSt. Didacus of Alcalá
Current leadership
BishopRobert W. McElroy
Metropolitan ArchbishopJosé Gómez
Auxiliary BishopsJohn P. Dolan
Vicar GeneralJohn P. Dolan
Emeritus BishopsRobert Henry Brom
Diocese of San Diego map 1.png
St. Joseph Cathedral

The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego is a particular church of the Latin Church of the Roman Catholic Church in the western region of the United States. Its ecclesiastic territory includes all of San Diego and Imperial Counties in Southern California, with a Catholic population of approximately 1 million.[1] The diocese is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Leadership and religious membership[edit]

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.[3] Bishop Flores died on September 6, 2014 after a stroke and a battle with cancer.[4] In March 2015, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Robert McElroy as the bishop of the diocese.[5]

There are 233 priests, 118 active (not retired) deacons, 213 religious sisters and 30 religious brothers in the diocese.[1]


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 Settlements[edit]

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 alleged clergy abuse.[6] 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.[7]Perpetrators included 48 priests and one lay coordinator of altar boys.[8]


The lists of ordinaries of the diocese and their years of service:

Bishops of San Diego[edit]

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

Auxiliary Bishops[edit]

High schools[edit]

* Formerly the University of San Diego High School
** Formerly Marian Catholic High School
*** Catholic school not associated with Diocese, formerly known as Sierra Madre Academy

K-8 schools[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^ "Diocese of San Diego, Statistical Overview". Archived from the original on 2003-04-11. Retrieved 2009-12-31.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "U.S. Watch". Wall Street Journal. Associated Press. 3 March 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  6. ^ Mark Sauer (February 28, 2007). "S.D. Catholic diocese files for bankruptcy". Union Tribune.
  7. ^ Allison Hoffman (9/8/2007). "Diocese settles abuse claims for $198M". USA Today. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ "Largest sexual abuse settlements by Roman Catholic institutions in the U.S."

External links[edit]

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