Two important Catholic priests who shaped my life accused of child sex abuse

This is a public rant, set off by news of another 4 priests from the Buffalo, New York area who sexually abused minors.

At first, you may wonder why I’m posting this on my adoption blog. Well, read this and find out.

Here is my comment left in the Comment Section of the Buffalo News article:

The first published list named Monsignor Joseph Schieder who was Monsignor at St. Andrew’s Church in Kenmore in the 60s. I was in 3rd grade when he came on board. He was a bully who beat up on my class mates. When the news hit in March, I went to the church office, grief stricken. I praised Fr. Dan, who came into St. Andrew’s either in 1969 or 1970. He led our youth group, took us to see Jesus Christ Superstar and rock opera Tommy. He took us out for pizza and on weekend retreats. He brought in representatives from other religions who explained their religions and food and culture. Later on, when I married outside the Catholic Church, I asked him to officiate along with our minister. Ten years later, I asked him for advice on my broken marriage and divorce. With all of that on my mind in March, I asked if I could have his address. I wrote him a note to thank him for all he has done for me, my family. He wrote back.

Now, my shock and horror to see his name on this new list…

I left the Catholic Church in the late 70s for many good reasons. Now, I want nothing to do with this crooked establishment. My grade school years and high school years, and most of my lifetime, are now tainted by the revelation that two priests who shaped my life are sex abusers of children. I wonder: which one of my classmates were their targets?

Mitchell Garabedian, the lawyer who has represented 2,000 priest sex abuse survivors nationwide, and who was featured in the movie SPOTLIGHT, should receive an award for going after these men. And so should the lawyers here locally who are handling this. All of these priests belong in jail – and I don’t care how old they are. I’d also like to see exactly what the allegations are and when and what parishes are involved.

The Catholic Church has failed us. This church harbors hate towards many: the nuns twisting boys’ ears in front of us when we were in 2nd grade, treatment of women overall, the “othering” of any group the church deems unworthy (gays, immigrants), is disgusting. The church has a history of mistreating pregnant women particularly, and its disdain of people born as illegitimate bastards (the movie PHILOMENA and the Catholic church in Ireland’s horrendous separation of mothers and their babies, is but one example). The Catholic Church opposes adoptees’ access to our sealed birth certificates (because, don’t-cha know, the Church now must protect the reputation of these “fallen” women who gave birth out of wedlock, yet, the Church doesn’t care about adoptees’ civil and human rights to know the truth of our births. How many priests are actually fathers named on these revoked and sealed birth certificates?). The Catholic Church even had a hand in permanently separating me from my family after the death of my married mother when I was an infant. The priest told my father “the baby needs two parents…” and then my father gave me away to adoption.

I have zero respect for anything Catholic. I will never set foot in a Catholic Church ever again.

And now, a beloved priest who shaped my life has just been publicly accused of child sex abuse. Fantastic. Fr. Dan Palys – I am ashamed of you.

Here is a photo of Monsignor Joseph Scheider: may he rot in hell:

Here is a photo of Dan Palys:

four-priests-1260x800

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Here is yesterday’s article in the Buffalo News:

Buffalo Diocese puts four more priests on leave over sex abuse claims

Published June 28, 2018

Here is the full article showing photos of the accused priests published March 20, 2018:

The accused priests of Buffalo– photos from the 1983 Diocese Directory

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I hate that I was forced to go to Catholic school and church. Just minutes ago, local NPR announced your name, Dan Palys, along with the others released yesterday, is on its way to Rome. You deserve more than a leave from the church. I hope you go to jail.

Oh yes, one more mark against the Catholic Church. If lying is a sin, then why did a priest falsify my baptismal certificate? Oh yeah, I forgot. Because the priest answered the higher authority of the law. He followed the request from my adoptive parents’ attorney who wanted proof that I, as Joan Wheeler, was baptized. So, the parish in which I was baptized followed the letter of the law – not religion – to accommodate my name change via adoption so that my adoptive parents could send me to Catholic School.

Who told me that? Fr. Dan Palys. When my then-fiancé and I went to him for pre-marriage counseling, I asked him why a priest would falsify a new baptismal certificate for a child who had already been baptized. Fr. Dan asked me not to blame the priest. He said that the priest was under legal obligation to follow adoption law to provide a baptismal certificate in my new adoptive name. I insisted that the priest lied on an official church document. Well, that little white lie didn’t matter because adoption overrode the truth.

Not that I care about my baptism.

All I care about is that the facts of my personal history are not changed. But the lies that the priest certified as true on a new baptismal certificate for me changed the facts of my religious baptism. Joan Wheeler was never baptized. Doris Sippel was baptized. Yet, the new baptismal certificate said Joan Wheeler was baptized. This false document was to be proof that I, as Joan Wheeler, was sanctioned by god to attend Catholic Church and to receive the sacraments.

Please note: that the priest who baptized me is not the same priest who falsified the new baptismal certificate. You can see both documents here:

My Revoked and Sealed Birth Certificate and its Replacement Issued After Adoption – Proof that New York State Vital Statistics Department Uses False Facts on Official Birth Records

Several points of absurdity here: If I were to follow the Catholic religion exactly, I would be sinning by participating in the sacraments under a name in which god did not recognize me as. In baptism, a child is named and presented to god in a sacred ceremony. A child can be baptized only once, in the eyes of god. So I should have only one baptismal certificate, right?

Moving on. My adoptive parents sent me to the best Catholic grade school and high school in the area, or so they thought. In addition, when my father gave me up to them in adoption, he stipulated that both he and my mother were Catholic. I was baptized at my dying mother’s bedside. My father wanted me to be raised Catholic.

And I was.

Lotta good that did. Now, my grade school years and high school years are tarnished because of two priests who served back to back (maybe they liked it that way) terms of service, one right after the other.

I’m so glad my parents are dead (all 4 of them), so that they won’t have to know about this.

Oh, another thing. When I met my father for the first time, he introduced me to my dead mother through her photos and life on paper. One paper was her high school diploma. Guess who signed it? A new priest by the name of Joseph Scheider. Twenty-some years later, when he presided over my 8th grade graduation, he signed my diploma, too.

He never touched me. Did he touch my mother?

I’ll never know.

Child sex abuse. Two important Catholic priests who shaped my life.

Thank god I am an ethical atheist.

(The above was edited and expanded this morning, July 1, 2018, and again on July 3rd)

3 thoughts on “Two important Catholic priests who shaped my life accused of child sex abuse

  1. I too know Father Dan. He was a big part of my life and my families lives when he was at Christ The King Church. He was also a big part of the lives of the rest of the families at the parish. My mother has reached out and was also told by another priest who knows him that his case is based off of one allegation well over 30 years ago…before we even knew him. She was told that its baseless and he is devastated by it. These allegations do not represent the man that we know. While I know that people can easily deceive others, I just can’t believe that this allegation is true.

    1. Thank you for commenting.

      I do not know what to believe. I am sure that Fr. Dan, the priest I knew, is devastated. Someone else told me the same info that you did. I began to feel that he was falsely accused. But then, the Catholic Church threw him under the bus, posted his name and photo in the News. What does that say? I wonder, is this being investigated by the police, or just the Catholic Church and the Vatican? If he is innocent, I will not only post a public apology, but will somehow make amends and a personal apology.

  2. In this letter dated June 29, 2018, Fr. Paul Dillon Seil reveals that a single accusation from about 30 years ago has resulted in Fr. Dan Palys’ suspension from public ministry until a determination finds either guilt or innocence. This letter indicates that all priests and Church employees must pass background checks and comply with training for rectification to work with children each year. A copy of Fr. Dan’s handwritten letter is attached.

    I am posting this here to give Fr. Dan Palys a chance. My heart is broken. I want desperately to believe in you, Fr. Dan. If you are proven to be innocent, I will issue a public apology. And I will humbly ask to visit you to apologize in person to you.

    I do not know what to believe.

    http://www.saintbopny.org/uploads/1/3/3/1/13310287/frdanletter180629.pdf

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