Bishop Cirilo Flores, an auxiliary in the Diocese of Orange, will eventually become Bishop of San Diego

Pope Benedict XVI has named Cirilo Flores, an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Orange, as coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of San Diego.

The appointment means that Bishop Flores will automatically become Bishop of San Diego when the current bishop, Robert Brom, retires. Bishop Brom is 73.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States, announced the appointment yesterday in Washington.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops provided the following biographical information about San Diego’s new coadjutor: 

“Cirilo Flores was born June 20, 1948, in Corona, California. He attended Corona Unified School District, St. Edward School and Notre Dame High School in Riverside, California. He received a bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, a doctorate from Stanford University Law School, Palo Alto, California, and a master of divinity from St. John Seminary in Camarillo, California. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Orange on June 8, 1991.”

“After ordination, he served as parochial vicar at St. Barbara Parish in Santa Ana, St. Joachim Parish in Costa Mesa, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Newport Beach, and Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in La Habra,” the USCCB biography continued. “He served as pastor of St. Anne Parish in Santa Ana and was a member of the diocesan finance council and the editorial board of the Orange County Catholic diocesan newspaper. On January 5, 2009, Pope Benedict appointed him auxiliary bishop of Orange. He was ordained a bishop on March 19, 2009.”

Bishop Brom has been San Diego’s bishop since 1990. In 1989, he was named coadjutor in San Diego, and a year later became bishop. Before that, he was Bishop of Duluth, Minn. Bishop Robert Brom was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Winona, Minn., in 1963.

According to the USCCB, the Diocese of San Diego covers 8,852 square miles, with a population of slightly over 3. 1 million people, of whom 981,877 are Catholic.

“Today in Rome, Pope Benedict has announced the appointment of the Diocese of Orange’s auxiliary bishop, Cirilo Flores, as the coadjutor Bishop of San Diego,” said a statement issued by the Diocese of Orange. “That means that when San Diego’s Bishop Brom retires, Bishop Cirilo will succeed him. Bishop Cirilo will be in San Diego January 6 to meet the diocesan pastoral staff and others.”

“I was very surprised when I received a call from the Holy Father’s representative, Apostolic Nuncio Carlo Maria Vigano, a few days before Christmas, advising me of my appointment to San Diego,” Bishop Cirilo said in a prepared statement. “I had thought that I might someday be transferred from Orange to another diocese; I am delighted to know that my next home will be San Diego.”

“I thank our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, for this wonderful and challenging assignment and I extend my gratitude to Bishop Robert Brom, who has been most supportive and welcoming,” Bishop Flores continued. “I look forward to working with Bishop Brom and assisting him during this time of transition, which will be a time for me to learn about the local church of San Diego and Imperial Counties.”

“As we did in 2007 when Bishop Jaime Soto was appointed to Sacramento, so today we joyfully give one of our favored sons, Bishop Cirilo Flores, to another California diocese,” said Orange Bishop Tod Brown in a statement posted on the diocesan website. “He has been a faithful shepherd and a trusted advisor to us here. He will be a blessing and an inspiration to all in San Diego.”

A Mass officially welcoming Bishop Flores to San Diego will be held on Monday, Feb. 13, the Diocese of Orange announced.



Posted Thursday, January 05, 2012 6:57 AM By VPMary
The Diocese of Orange will greatly miss the faithful stewardship of our beloved Bishop Flores. He is that kind of man with academic brilliance, uncommon integrity, and a humility like that of Christ. I will miss seeing his joyous smile. Certainly, the SD diocese scored BIG on Bishop Cirilo Flores’ assignment there. Thank you for your unceasing dedication to the Catholics here in Orange County Bishop Cirilo! God Bless

Posted Thursday, January 05, 2012 8:52 AM By Catholic Joe
My family is in the diocese of San Diego. I see he worked under Bishop Brown in Orange & attended St. John’s Seminary. Should we be worried??

Posted Thursday, January 05, 2012 9:27 AM By Kevin
Bishop Flores will be to San Diego what Bishop Soto has become to Sacramento — a blessing!

Posted Thursday, January 05, 2012 11:03 AM By A Lady
I echo Kevin’s comment. Bishop Flores will be a wonderful leader for the Diocese of San Diego. He is a kind man, very friendly and humble. He will be missed here.

Posted Thursday, January 05, 2012 2:17 PM By Timothy
981,877 reported catholics in the San Diego Diocese! Imagine if they all attended worship services every sunday, the local parish churches would be busting at the seams. How would the spillage be contained and blessed with the sacraments? Where would all the needed priests come from? Or would the diocese just rely on lay people to pick up assisting the priestly responsibilities of a tripling of worship service attendance? Actually this scenario of complete attendance and participation would be a better problem to solve than trying to rescue the 100s of thousands of lost sheep and bring them back into the church. I would think any good bishop would want to make such a goal his highest priority following our Lord’s words in Luke 15:4 “What man of you that hath an hundred sheep: and if he shall lose one of them, doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert, and go after that which was lost, until he find it?” Please pray for a restoration the Holy Mother the Church and priestly vocations to save all of the lost sheep.

Posted Thursday, January 05, 2012 5:08 PM By Maryanne Leonard
Timothy, I share your views completely and wondered how they identified exactly 981,877 Catholics in the Diocese of San Diego. So many people will say they are Catholic, primarily because they are descended from Catholic parents but some are not even baptized, let alone catechized. Then we have so many fallen-away Catholics, Catholics who think and act like Protestants or agnostics, Cafeteria Catholics, people who still think and maybe occasionally pray like Catholics but who haven’t been to Mass in years – maybe decades – who is a Catholic? Whoever says they are a Catholic? My brother, who hasn’t been inside a Catholic church since he left the 1st grade in parochial school but has no other religion with which to identify himself? If we were to see nearly a million Catholics suddenly attend Mass every Sunday in the Diocese of San Diego, we would again see a lot more Masses being celebrated, many more temporary quarters being leased, a lot more Catholic churches and schools being built again, and a great number of new seminarians, all challenges which the Church is well equipped to handle. I am old enough to remember when this was happening, and when we kids were 3 to a desk in Catholic schoolrooms of 72 per teacher, best students in the center of the seat, new churches going up all over the state. I don’t expect that to happen, but what a wonderful world we would have were it to come to pass again. Let us pray.

Posted Thursday, January 05, 2012 11:01 PM By VirgoPotens
Timothy, let’s start the restoration by referring to it as The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, rather than “worship services.” Protestants have “services,” we have Mass!

Posted Friday, January 06, 2012 4:57 AM By ED
Hopefully Bishop Flores will be orthodox and full of zeal for the salvation of souls, we need more than an administrator who keeps the diocese running smoothly.

Posted Friday, January 06, 2012 7:49 AM By Padre Norberto
When Jesus the Christ lived in Palestine and (for a short time in exile) in Egypt), celebrated His final meal with His apostles, died as a criminal on a Cross, rose from the dead 3 days later, and sent His disciples to announce the Good News to all creation, He lived in an empire ruled by pagans. Only after a little more than 300 years did His church become legal. We’re in a mostly-pagan U.S.A. in 2012 A.D., but He has NOT abandoned His disciples. Per crucem ad lucem (=Por la cruz a la luz.).

Posted Friday, January 06, 2012 1:16 PM By k
Padre Norberto, the USA is not a pagan nation; most of its people are Christian. Although many live as secularists, when they have a problem they turn to Jesus. I live in an area of the country where you cannot drive 5 minutes in any direction without seeing a yard sign, church sign or billboard that glories God. They are not Catholic, though. Even our President said “Jesus Christ is Lord.” in a public forum.

Posted Saturday, January 07, 2012 8:01 PM By Anne T.
K, Padre Norberto is right. Even Senator Huckabee said tonight something similar to this, “If we think we are still living in a Christian country we are living in Fantasy Land.” Any country where killing ones children is legal and same-sex marriage is even considered, along with having near pornographic television programs is no longer a Christian nation in the truest sense of the word.. Many other priests, bishops and laymen and woman have said the same thing.

Posted Sunday, January 08, 2012 8:08 PM By Anne T.
Oops! I should have said “killing one’s children in abortion” .

Posted Sunday, January 08, 2012 9:22 PM By JLS
k, the USA is in no way a Christian nation. Any Christian claim of the USA ended when it threw out the baby with the bathwater, officially in 1973. When is the last time the US govt performed a Christian act? Let’s see: 1. It has been starting wars to maintain and gain control of world energy resources … ask yourself if this is what Christianity does; 2. The Courts and Congress of the USA have been steadily railing against elementary Christian values; 3. the USA govt has forced the silence in public school curriculum of Christianity.

Posted Monday, January 09, 2012 3:49 PM By Abeca Christian
Padre Norberto I agree with your comments! Sadly You are right, and JLS is right too because what use to be a Christian nation is now becoming a nation for abortion and for “gay” activism. So I would have to side with Padre. If this was more of a Christian Nation, we would not have allowed Obama into office, the reality speaks louder!

Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2012 1:52 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
Catholic Joe, 8:52 AM, This will be my 3rd attempt to answer your honest question. As a long time current member of the Diocese of Orange, The answer is YES! God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2012 3:42 PM By Abeca Christian
We should be worried? Wow! I’ll pray for us because I live in San Diego. I’ll pray for this bishop, I hope he is more conservative and holy as our Pope has called them to be.

Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2012 3:54 PM By APStemp
As a ten year resident of SD, I can say that H.E. Cirilo will need many prayers. Vocations in the diocese are almost nil (about a dozen total in all stages of formation) and the priests average about 60+ years of age. The vast majority of S.D. priests will be retiring before any realistic increase of vocations can take place, St. Joseph, ora pro nobis.

Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2012 4:21 PM By k
So you guys are saying, it’s the government that is pagan?

Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2012 5:38 PM By Abeca Christian
For clarification even though you may have or find a few Christians here and there but if even if Christians are adopting pagan practices such as abortion, contraception, gay lifestyles etc etc, then that country will start to be less Christian. The voting record that is winning today are the most liberal ones. Sad to add that many of the politicians that are advocating immoral policies are claiming to be of Catholic background. It could be possible that once we were a Christian nation, with common sense, common decency now we are less.

Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2012 7:30 PM By JLS
k, a Christian nation does not abort 4000 babies each day. A Christian nation does not institutionalize sodomy. What about the USA, k, makes it a Christian nation?

Posted Wednesday, January 11, 2012 11:13 AM By k
Where I live there is a stark contrast between the America portrayed by the media and the America we live in. We have one atheist who complains about things like “In God We Trust” in the schools and the school board unanimously votes to allow it. We have the 10 Commandments at the Courthouse-everyone wants it that way. We have yardsigns such as Jesus is the Reason for the Season and the 10 Commandments. We have bumperstickers-too many to mention. We have Church signs that remind people to go to church and Billboards that remind people to pray. So there is a sense that Christians need to be visible and outspoken: there is a sense of embattlement because of what we see in the media. People go to church Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday evening (not the Catholics). They have youth programs from toddler on where they learn Bible verses (not the Catholics). They have adult Sunday School. Community involvement is high, as is tithing. When we moved here, we were told that we were in the only part of the country where the IRS did not audit people who claim to give over 10% of their income to charity on their income taxes. We always vote pro-life. We do not have pro-choice politicians in either party until you get to the state level. We have amended the state constitution to say that marriage is between a man and a woman. You guys live in California-I understand that it is different there. You are doing a lot being on the web. California is considered the primary state that is dragging down the rest of the country because it has so many electoral votes and it always votes Democrat and the Democrats are currently seen as promoting a social agenda that is hostile to Christianity. Much of the media is seen as having an anti-Christian bias. People respect the right of other religions to worship, here. But they take seriously their duty to tell them the truth about Jesus and take every opportunity to do so.

Posted Wednesday, January 11, 2012 3:57 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
k, Don’t you think your statement “not the Catholics” is overbroad. Many Catholics celebrate daily Mass, Catholics also have youth programs. As a matter of fact, when I was a youth, Catholics had the only youth program to speak of, it was CYO, Catholics also have Bible studies only we use the whole Bible not the one missing 7 books, and last but not least, many Catholics tithe. God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Wednesday, January 11, 2012 5:43 PM By Abeca Christian
In California Christians speak less, their voice, speech is suppressed for fear of being labeled a bigot etc or fear of being sued or harmed and their presence is hidden due to politically correctness and yes the famous one “lets not offend anyone”. Or most of whom we call Christians are just the ones that are popular that makes them feel good about themselves, those mega churches that meet the modern day fallen away Catholics and yes the famous “look the other way” when we see injustice and immoral behavior, because they are human and nice. It’s OK the kids will ignore it too or even join them because after all we have to give unconditional love or we are too busy to do anything about it. Or let someone else do it, how about we don’t want to be too confrontational. How about lets blame the conservative parents. Its the to each his own mentality and everything goes. It’s now wonder I just rather take my family and just mind my own business now, I have my family to care for now, been fighting the good fight for others and for my own, and it feels like sometimes we are alone. God help us.

Posted Wednesday, January 11, 2012 10:45 PM By k
Mr. Fisher, I am corrected. There is daily Mass. Our youth programs are really not very good but they have started to improve them because parents were sending their kids to the other Churches with better programs. Many adult Catholics attend the non-Catholic Bible studies at other churches and some groups have brought them into our Catholic Church. We have brought in better ones like Jeff Cavins and Scott Hahn. I do not know what others contribute. I believe in tithing but our last pastor preached against it. Abeca, when I lived in Orange County I loved when the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witness’ came to call because they were people you could talk about the Bible with. I don’t know that I convinced them of anything and they did not convince me but they seemed to enjoy the discussions. There are ways to evangelize that are not offensive. Offering prayers is often the best. I know someone who is a non-practicing Bhuddist. They borrowed a friend’s car who had a Sacred Heart Auto League picture in it. They had a near miss incident at a stoplight and believed immediately that the Sacred Heart was the protection. They asked for one for their car. Giving rosaries or chaplets or little prayer cards are good. People don’t mind when someone is showing concern for them; it is when they feel put down or judged or manipulated. Unfortunately, Christians have a bad name in a lot of places. I know you have a real concern and love for others. Affirmation is important and above all, people need love.

Posted Friday, January 13, 2012 2:17 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
k, Before the modernist took over, CYO was one of the best. I remember a notice from that much unjustly maligned Cardinal Mcyntire that he sent to the CYO leadership forbidding any parties during Lent, and stating that only Catholics who are free to marry in the Church can be members, and we loved him for it. Now most so called Catholic Youth and Young adult groups allow anyone no matter what their marital status is. Catholics who attend a non-Catholic bible study, better know their own Faith well or they can be sucked in by misinterpretations. My own cousin became a protestant minister because he read “Jesus and His brethren” incorrectly. One of the first things they need to know is that the KJV is missing seven books. God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Friday, January 13, 2012 5:46 PM By k
Some are sucked in by misinterpretation, some know the faith well enough to defend it. I attended a Catholic Bible Study held by a group of parishioners who usually use Christian Bible Studies. Each participant had their own interpretation-which is not unusual in Baptist bible study “What does this passage say to me?”

Posted Friday, January 13, 2012 5:53 PM By JLS
k, it is not only difficult to live in California; it is difficult to leave it … they’ve got us trapped.

Posted Friday, January 13, 2012 5:58 PM By JLS
Kenneth, this question is an actual straight forward one, no tricks, no devices: Why is it critical about those seven missing books? What is there that is critically necessary, that is not in all the other books? I have no dispute or anything; it’s that you keep saying it, and I wonder? Yes, I could spend the time and go and read them over (again, as I did way back a ways) … they simply are not as distinct in memory as perhaps they should be. So, a simple answer would suffice for me. Thanks.

Posted Friday, January 13, 2012 10:43 PM By Maryanne Leonard
Kenneth, you are right, and I remember those days. Things were much stricter then, but there was a certain comfort in knowing our catechism well and seeing the Church priests all support Catholic principles and knowing exactly what was expected of us as Catholic girls. I’ve read that children feel more secure when a household is run with rules that are enforced, judging by how much better things were in the Church when Catholic principles were held to firmly, it seems likely to be true. I also have a cousin who is a Protestant minister, but he was raised Protestant. I feel so sorry for him because when I go to family reunions, marriages or funerals, he is always called upon to be the minister (they have a worship service before the reunions), and it is so easy to see how much the Protestants are missing, not just seven books. Our faith heritage is so phenomenally rich, and the poor Protestants have no idea what they are lacking. I pray that one day our entire Christian family will be reunited under one Holy Roman Catholic Church and rejoice that many of our Anglican brothers and sisters are coming home after 500 years.

Posted Saturday, January 14, 2012 8:04 AM By Bob One
Maybe this Bishop will understand why people join churches. There is a lot of research that says that people join a parish, Catholic or not, because of the services it offers, great youth programs, uplifting music, small groups that are interesting, help with AA, et. If we can get them in the door, then we can teach them the faith. In our area, CYO is a big sports organization. It is used as an outreach program, so non Catholics are more than welcome.

Posted Saturday, January 14, 2012 12:51 PM By Canisius
@ Bob One it is your reasoning and that of that of so called research you mentioned why the Church has been stripped of its Catholic Identity. CYO and youth programs will not lead to the salvation of souls which is something you seem to completely miss. Parishes have been playing with these novelties for over 30 years, and what do we have? parish closings and massive drops in Mass attendance. No, the only thing that will get people in the door, as you say, is an unabashed and unapologetic return to the Catholic identity and to the Truth of the Faith. No more compromising with the world and its agenda.

Posted Saturday, January 14, 2012 8:30 PM By JLS
Just drove by a Catholic Church, and had to spin the car around and drive by it again for a closer look. Later I checked and what I saw through the large glass doors was during the time schedule for the Spanish Mass on Saturday evening. The pews looked full from the overflow parking. A large video screen, about six feet by five feet or more, was set up in front of the sanctuary, and the image at the time I looked was a full screen shot of a woman facing the viewer and talking.

Posted Saturday, January 14, 2012 8:34 PM By JLS
Last time I attended Mass there a few years ago, all during the Mass there were three nuns standing directly behind the altar and looking at the congregation. Reminded me of when I was in kindergarten … guess modern man is a bit short on maturity these days and is best treated like a child.