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Former trial lawyer turned Catholic priest Cirilo Flores has been named "Coadjutor" the Diocese of San Diego. Flores will co-head the diocese with 74-year-old Bishop Robert Brom until the latter retires at age 75.

The decision to bring Flores to San Diego from his position as auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Orange was announced today, passed down from the Vatican, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Flores obtained a law degree from Stanford Law and then spent the following ten years as an attorney before entering Camarillo's St. John's seminary in 1986.

The incoming bishop will be responsible for overseeing 982,000 parishioners, 99 parishes, and 53 Catholic schools. He is taking over a diocese that in 2007 filed for bankruptcy after paying $200 million settlement to 144 people who claimed they were sexually abused by clergy members.

In a statement from the Vatican, Flores was reported as saying: "I ask God's grace that I may be a good shepherd sharing the good news of God's mercy and love. As I begin my ministry in the diocese of San Diego, I ask for your prayers; I assure you of mine."

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