O'Brien, Thomas J.

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O'Brien, Thomas J. Gender: M
Thomas Joseph O'Brien
born on 29 November 1935 at 22:23 (= 10:23 PM )
Place Indianapolis, Indiana, 39n46, 86w09
Timezone CST h6w (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_sagcol.18.gif 07°02' s_mo.18.gif s_capcol.18.gif 26°49 Asc.s_leocol.18.gif 26°20'


American clergyman of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Bishop of Phoenix, Arizona from 1982 to 2003. He was involved in a sexual abuse scandal and became the first American Catholic bishop to be convicted of a felony.

On 9 November 1981, O'Brien was appointed the third Bishop of Phoenix by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on 6 January 1982 from John Paul II himself, with Archbishops Eduardo Martínez Somalo and Lucas Moreira Neves, OP, serving as co-consecrators, in Rome. He was formally installed as Bishop of Phoenix on 18 January 1983, and selected as his episcopal motto, "To Build Up the Body of Christ."

During his tenure, O'Brien earned a reputation as a successful fundraiser, builder of schools, and advocate for the poor. He was also instrumental in persuading John Paul II and Mother Teresa to make their respective visits to Phoenix in 1987 and 1989. Within the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, he formerly chaired the Committee on Marriage and Family.

In 2002, Maricopa County prosecutors initiated a grand jury investigation into charges of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in the diocese of Phoenix. Bishop O'Brien was a target of that investigation for allegedly covering-up allegations against other priests. The prosecution ended when the bishop admitted he had sheltered abusive priests. O'Brien agreed to cede his authority over diocesan sexual abuse policy in exchange for immunity from indictment for obstruction of justice. On 4 August 2017, it was announced that a civil lawsuit was filed against O'Brien over allegations that he sexually molested a boy on several occasions at parishes in Phoenix and Goodyear from 1977 to 1982.

On 14 June 2003, less than two weeks after signing the sexual abuse agreement with prosecutors, O'Brien struck and killed 43-year-old Jim Reed in a hit-and-run car accident. O'Brien was arrested for leaving the scene of an accident and released on $45,000 bond. He resigned as Bishop on 18 June 2003.

On 17 February 2004, O'Brien was found guilty of leaving the scene of a fatal accident after a three-and-a-half-week-long trial. On 26 March 2004, he was sentenced to four years' probation and 1,000 hours of community service, and required to surrender his driver's licence for five years.

In November 2011, the Catholic Community Foundation of Phoenix announced that it was giving O'Brien its faith honoree award. When news of the intended award became public, a controversy emerged over the decision. A few days later, O'Brien declined the award, and the foundation, stating that it did not anticipate the adverse public reaction, wrote an apology to the community.

O'Brien died on 26 August 2018, aged 82, in Phoenix.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Other Crime 14 June 2003 (Struck and killed a man in a hit-and-run car accident)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Fired/Laid off/Quit 18 June 2003 (Resigned as Bishop)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Crime : Trial dates 17 February 2004 (Found guilty of leaving the scene of a fatal accident)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Crime : Trial dates 26 March 2004 (Sentenced to 4 years' probation)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Sy Scholfield provided birth certificate.


  • Passions : Criminal Perpetrator : Social crime/ delinquent (Found guilty of leaving the scene of a fatal accident)
  • Passions : Criminal Perpetrator : Social crime/ delinquent (Sheltered sexually-abusive priests)
  • Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs (Age 82)
  • Vocation : Religion : Ecclesiastics/ western (Bishop of Phoenix, Arizona, 1982-2003)