Retired Phoenix bishop Thomas O'Brien dies at 82

Phoenix Bishop Thomas O'Brien speaks during the Diocesan Synod at the Ss. Simon & Jude Cathedral in Phoenix, Dec. 12, 2002. (Source: AP via CBS News)

Bishop Thomas J. O’Brien, a retired bishop of Phoenix, died Sunday morning at the age of 82.

The Diocese of Phoenix announced the news on their Facebook page Sunday morning.

"In his later years, he had been suffering from ongoing health complications related to Parkinson’s disease," The Diocese of Phoenix said in a statement.

[RELATED: Ex-Catholic bishop of Phoenix accused of sex abuse of boy]

The Diocese of Phoenix is asking the public to pray for "the repose of his soul, and may he rest in peace."

O’Brien served as bishop of the diocese in Arizona’s most populous city from 1982 to 2003.

An investigation by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in 2002 revealed O’Brien had protected suspected pedophile priests.

He was granted immunity from prosecution after signing a document admitting his part in cover-ups of alleged sexual misconduct by diocesan priests.

O’Brien resigned as bishop after he arrested in the death of a pedestrian in a June 2003 hit-and-run accident.

He was convicted of leaving the scene of a fatal accident and sentenced to four years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service.

Full statement: Bishop Thomas J. O’Brien, retired bishop of Phoenix, died this morning at 6:11 a.m. In his later years he had been suffering from ongoing health complications related to Parkinson’s disease. He was 82. Please pray for the repose of his soul, and may he rest in peace.

More information will be forthcoming.City of Phoenix City Councilman, Michael Nowakowski released the following statement on O'Brien's death. It is with a heavy heart that I inform the community that Bishop Thomas O’Brien passed away this morning at 82 years of age. As his Director of Hispanic Ministry for eight years, I witnessed his advocacy for the Hispanic community that ensured ministries and services for the Spanish speaking. His gentle spirit will be missed. The Nowakowski family wishes to convey our deepest sympathy to the Diocese of Phoenix, his family and friends. May Bishop O’Brien rest in peace.Stay with Arizona's Family for more on this developing story.

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