SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The head of San Diego's Catholic church said Monday the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI "surprised all of us, but not completely."
Robert Brom, bishop of the San Diego Diocese, said he joins Pope Benedict in asking for prayers for the cardinals who will be tasked with choosing a successor.
The 85-year-old pontiff announced at a meeting of cardinals at the Vatican that he would step down as leader of the Roman Catholic Church on Feb. 28, citing his advanced age and declining strength. He's the first pope to resign from office in about 600 years.
"From the beginning of his pontificate in 2005, Pope Benedict has quietly indicated on occasion that he would resign if the time should come that he did not have the strength to fulfill the duties required of him as the successor of Peter," Brom said in a statement.
The bishop said the church has been blessed for eight years with a "gifted theologian, a man in love with the Lord, and a selfless servant of the church and the world."
The 265th pontiff has been reducing his workload recently and was reportedly advised to avoid taking any more transatlantic trips.
The Vatican's communications adviser said it's hoped that a new leader for the church will be selected in time for Easter services.
Several school districts in the East County mountains canceled classes or pushed back start times Thursday due to inclement weather.
Lifeguards and firefighters Thursday morning rescued an uninjured man who became stranded on a cliff while trying to climb down the beachfront bluffs in Torrey Pines
A 19-year-old San Diego man was behind bars Wednesday in connection with last summer's stabbing death of a well-liked transient in downtown Ocean Beach.
There will be increased law enforcement presence on at least three San Diego County school campuses Thursday due to unsubstantiated shooting threats.
Clouds that could potentially produce rain showers were forming over the ocean early Thursday morning and could move over San Diego County later in the afternoon.
San Diegans got a chance to hear from the Public Utilities Department about concerns about their soaring water bills Wednesday evening.
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A La Jolla physician was killed Wednesday when his private plane plunged into a Kearny Mesa construction site shortly after takeoff from Montgomery Field.