Senate Concurrent Resolution 8 is making its way through the Hawaii Legislature. This resolution asks Hawaii’s attorney general to conduct a statewide investigation of sexual abuse of minors by clergy of the Diocese of Honolulu. This study would be similar to an investigation done in Pennsylvania which brought out more that 300 predator priests and a minimum of 1,000 victims.

Diocese of Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva’s testimony against the resolution contained “shock” that it received a hearing, pointed fingers at family members as a greater source of sexual assault of keiki, and — the biggest misstep of his testimony — implied that the Roman Catholic Church has cleaned up its act when it came to its historic systemic sexual assault of keiki.

Silva stated that SCR 8 wasn’t needed since they have paid the survivors that came forward during the periods the statute of limitations was lifted for those that were sexual assaulted as children.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in downtown Honolulu. A new report details accusations against local clergy. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The Diocese of Honolulu has never turned over a single priest to the authorities for prosecution. It has offered counseling provided by the same pool of priests tainted by sexual predators. It has shown little to no remorse for the damage that the sexual assault of keiki by its priests has caused the survivors, their families and the community.

The main reason why SCR 8 is needed is the 2018 report by Jeff Anderson & Associates, “Clerical Sexual Abuse in the Diocese of Honolulu.”

It detailed the accused clergy in the Diocese of Honolulu from 1959 to present. It showed the methodical way the Diocese of Honolulu protected the rapists, putting thousands of keiki at risk over the decades and in the process allowing the systematic raping of untold number of survivors.

According to the report, Hawaii became “a dumping ground for troubled clerics from the mainland”:

“… late Joseph Ferrario, who served as a Sulpician priest in the diocese beginning in 1957 and as bishop from 1982 to 1993, was an abuser himself. ‘He had been a problem for a number of years, and yet he was elevated to the position of bishop,’ Gallagher said, adding that ‘nothing significant was ever done’ about the reports because of the culture of secrecy in the church.”

SCR 8 is required because Marc R. Alexander, former Vicar General Diocese of Honolulu and accused sexual predator listed in the report, is the current executive director of Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s Office of Housing. Alexander rose to power under ex-Bishop Ferrario.

Alexander being appointed executive director by Mayor Caldwell tells survivors that alleged sexual assaulters can be protected.

Silva stating the Diocese of Honolulu cleaned up its act might be laughable if it wasn’t dishonest. Alexander resigned as vicar general and as state homeless coordinator, but that didn’t stop Mayor Caldwell from hiring him.

Alexander has no business being in charge of one of our most vulnerable populations, our homeless. How many more Marc R. Alexanders are there out there? Only passing SCR 8 will answer this question and help protect our keiki and our entire community.

The darkness that the Diocese of Honolulu allowed to envelope our islands is beyond heart-wrenching. Only light can drive out darkness and the investigation that SCR 8 calls for is the exact light that the survivors of clergy sex abuse deserve and all of Hawaii needs to drive out this darkness.

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