PHOENIX — Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, who has overseen the Phoenix Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church since 2003, has submitted a request to retire to Pope Francis upon reaching his 75th birthday, the age limit for bishops.
The diocese official said the pope hasn't yet acted on the request that Olmsted submitted Jan. 21, his birthday.
The office said the pope can accept the resignation “at his leisure" in that in the meantime the diocese “will be in a time of prayer and anticipation" while waiting for the appointment of the next bishop. Olmsted is the fourth person to serve as the bishop of the diocese.
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How big is Maricopa County?:
Maricopa County is the United States’ 4th largest county in terms of population with 4,485,414 people, according to the 2020 Census.
The county contains around 63% of Arizona’s population and is 9,224 square miles. That makes the county larger than seven U.S. states (Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New Hampshire).
One of the largest park systems in the nation is also located in Maricopa County. The county has an estimated 120,000 acres of open space parks that includes hundreds of miles of trails, nature centers and campgrounds.
The county’s seat is located in Phoenix, which is also the state capital and the census-designated 5th most populous city in the United States.
The county was named after the Maricopa, or Piipaash, Native American Tribe.