St. Augustine Diocese says retired priest under investigation

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. While parishioners were celebrating the Christmas holidays, the diocese of St. Augustine quietly announced several charges against a retired priest.

Father David Terrence Morgan (71) was a patriarchal pastor in the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine when he left in July 2018 after a six-month sabbatical. According to reports, Morgan was a religion teacher at Bishop Kenny High School in the 1980s.

The diocese of St. Augustine published more than two years after his sabbatical in the parish bulletin that allegations against Morgan had been raised. The diocese wrote that the allegations were a “semblance of truth”, based on an initial review. The remark posted on December 27 reads that “debt has not been established.” The diocese said the allegations were reported to the police and the allegations are being investigated under church law.

After leaving in the summer of 2018, he was never again listed as a congregation staff member.

In the July 2018 announcement, Morgan wrote: “With Bishop Estevez’s permission and encouragement, I’ll begin an intense one-semester retirement / sabbatical this month,” adding that he will lead “spiritual director and professional counselors to the next phase. of my life. ”

The diocese of St. Augustine did not want to say whether Morgan’s Sabbath leave coincided with the diocese becoming aware of the allegations against the priest. Following requests by email, the diocese would not specify how many allegations Morgan is facing or the nature of the allegations.

News4Jax requested police reports from the sheriff in Jacksonville.

“We will not disclose additional information to the bulletin announcement until the canonical investigation has been completed,” Kathleen Bagg, diocesan communications director, said in an email.

The announcement points to the 14th priest who publicly confirmed to the diocese that he was facing allegations, although the church warned that he did not consider Morgan guilty of anything.

Emails and calls to Morgan were not immediately returned Monday.

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