Honolulu Diocese ‘distressed’ by Sex Abuse Allegations
Honolulu Civil Beat
April 24, 2014
Vicar General Gary Secor of the Roman Catholic Church in Hawaii issued a response late yesterday to a sex abuse lawsuit filed against the Honolulu Diocese and former Vicar General Marc Alexander.
Today the Diocese of Honolulu learned of the filing of a lawsuit against Marc Alexander and the Roman Catholic Church in the State of Hawaii alleging that he abused a female minor about 1984. We are distressed by this allegation. Notwithstanding a much-publicized previous allegation about inappropriate conduct with an adult woman, this is the first time that anyone has alleged that she was abused by Marc Alexander when she was a minor.
When such an allegation is reported to the Diocese, we take it very seriously and thoroughly investigate it. No credible allegation is disregarded and, when abuse of minors is alleged, appropriate reports are made to public authorities as well. When an allegation is first brought to our awareness through the legal system, we also work within that process to find the truth of the matter. Either way, if the allegation is found credible, the cleric is permanently removed from ministry, no matter when the abuse took place.
Marc Alexander was either a seminarian or a deacon in 1984. He was ordained a priest in October, 1985, served in various parishes and ministries, and was Vicar General of the Diocese of Honolulu from early 2006 until he was suspended from priestly service in January, 2011. He has not served as a priest in this Diocese or anywhere else since that time. He is without authorization to exercise the priestly ministry here or elsewhere, but until now the reason for the suspension had nothing to do with any alleged sexual abuse of a minor.
When we learned of Marc Alexander’s relationship with an adult woman, the Diocese acted on the information it had, sought counsel and advice, and gave him the chance for professional evaluation and assessment at the Saint Luke Institute near Washington, DC. Although many associate the Institute with treatment of priests accused of abusing minors, in fact, it provides a broad range of medical and psychological services for clergy and religious for a variety of situations.
Plainly, all abuse is wrong. Any abuse of minors by priests and religious is wholly unacceptable. It violates the laws of God and society. It is also abuses the trust of the people to whom they minister. We are firmly resolved to address and remedy all instances of abuse for which we have responsibility. We take all claims of abuse seriously and work collaboratively with law enforcement, child protection and medical resources to address all instances. We ask anyone, regardless of when, where and by whom that person has experienced abuse, to report the abuse and seek assistance.