LONDON, Ont. - Father Charles Sylvestre, a former southwestern Ontario priest who recently pleaded guilty to decades of sexual abuse, has died at the age of 84.

A statement posted by the Diocese of London on its website says Father Charles Sylvestre died at midnight.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been finalized. The diocese says it expects it will be a private ceremony.

Sylvestre pleaded guilty in August to indecently assaulting 47 female victims over three decades while serving at parishes in Chatham, Pain Court, Sarnia, London and Windsor.

He was sentenced to three years in prison in October.

The diocese statement says it continues to "feel grief and shock at the revelations of his (Sylvestre's) actions.'' It further states that it "deplores all instances of sexual abuse and sexual impropriety, especially by clergy or anyone in the Church's employ.''