The Diocese of St. Augustine has an independent Review Board that functions as a confidential consultative body established by the bishop to review allegations of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.
The Review Board is comprised of lay men and women not employed by the diocese, and one priest representative, with expertise in civil and canon law, criminal investigation, psychology, medicine, and victim advocacy. Members of the board are appointed by the bishop and serve a three-year term, which can be renewed at his discretion.
The Review Board assists the bishop in assessing allegations and determining fitness for ministry for those accused. The Review Board meets quarterly or more as needed. The Review Board also consults with the bishop on diocesan policies and procedures for dealing with the sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.
It is important to note the Review Board does not investigate allegations of sexual abuse. Allegations are reported to law enforcement or the Department of Children and Families. If law enforcement decides not to investigate a claim, the diocese will conduct an internal review of the matter so that justice is served, and healing can take place.
The Diocese of St. Augustine places no deadlines or time limits on reporting the sexual abuse of minors by clergy, religious, seminarians or other church personnel and volunteers. Be it five, 15 or 50 years later, our diocese accepts and responds to all reports.
In 1989, Bishop John J. Snyder established a Response Team to review allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy. This committee was renamed the Diocesan Review Board in 2003 after the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People was promulgated in 2002 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Members of the Diocesan Review Board
The Honorable Mark Borello – Chair
Justin D’Arienzo, Psy.D., ABPP
Jerilynn M. O’Hara
Belkis Plata, B.C.S.
Theresa E. Simak
Father Jason Trull