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Diocese of St. Augustine investigating abuse allegations against retired priest

The diocese said the Church reached out to law enforcement to also investigate the allegations against Father David Terrence Morgan.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — The Diocese of St. Augustine is investigating abuse allegations against retired priest Father David Terrence Morgan, according to a bulletin by the diocese to parishioners.

The diocese said the Church reached out to law enforcement to investigate the allegations, in addition to conducting its own investigation, which the bulletin states found "the allegations have a semblance of truth based on an initial review, but guilt has not been determined."

The Diocese of St. Augustine spokesperson told First Coast News its investigative findings were passed on to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome for further investigation. It would not specify how many allegations Morgan is facing or the nature of the allegations, and said it would not comment while the investigation is ongoing. 

However, the spokesperson did confirm Morgan served in different parishes and counties during his time with the diocese, which includes 17 counties in Florida. Additionally, Morgan is retired and does not have the facilities to serve during the investigation. In other words, he is not assigned anywhere and cannot fill in as a priest/celebrate mass in public.

Anyone who may have been abused by Morgan should call their local law enforcement or the Florida Department of Children and Families at 1-800-962-2873. People may also call the Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator, Tina Nugent, at (904) 208-6979 or email inquiries@dosafl.com.

The announcement marks the 14th priest that the diocese has publicly confirmed is facing allegations, though the Church has not found Morgan guilty of anything at this time.

The following is the full bulletin the Diocese of St. Augustine sent to parishioners:

Allegations have been raised against Father David Terrence Morgan, a
retired priest of the Diocese of St. Augustine. The allegations have a
semblance of truth based on an initial review, but guilt has not been
determined. This matter has been shared with the appropriate law
enforcement authorities and is currently under canonical investigation.
If you or someone you know has been harmed by Father David Terrence
Morgan or anyone representing the Catholic Church, call law enforcement
or the Florida Department of Children and Families at 1-800-962-2873.
You may also contact the Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator, Tina
Nugent, by calling (904) 208-6979 or email inquiries@dosafl.com.