For the most part, I’ve been somewhat successful at leading my life since last year’s public announcement in March 2018 of sex abuse by over 100 priests in the Buffalo, New York area. I’m not a victim, but some of my grade school classmates were. Buffalo’s citizens have been waiting for the FBI and the Vatican to substantiate accusations against living priests on this list.
When I review where I was in the Catholic church and school in which I was raised, I was in close proximity with Monsignor Joseph Scheider (who has been dead for many years now) and was alone with him several times. I wasn’t his target. I shudder now to realize I was his patsy, his cover-up, when he picked me to attend his brother’s funeral. I sat next to him in his Cadillac and I represented the entire school of 1st to 8th grades at the funeral parlor. Back then, I didn’t know why he chose me, but now I know it was because I was an average kid, a girl, one who would not draw attention to his actions against the boys in our school.
I witnessed Monsignor Scheider’s violence toward one 6th grade boy. I witnessed his bullying and was a victim of his threats and his humiliation. Scheider instilled fear in students from 1st grade to 8th grade and high school.
Monsignor Scheider also signed my 8th grade gradation diploma in 1970.
When I met my natural father for the very first time in 1974, he showed me my deceased natural mother’s Christian Doctrine diploma from when she was 19 or 20 years old in 1944 or 1945. I was shocked that a priest by the name of Joseph Scheider singed it. Twenty five years later, that same priest became Monsignor and he signed my 8th grade diploma. Back in 1974, I thought that this was a coincidence and another link to my deceased mother. Now though, I feel sadness and regret that I cannot talk with my natural mother about this. Did Scheider show signs in his early years of priesthood of what he would become? What did my mother know? He didn’t touch her, did he?
Last June (2018), local News announced, in batches, the names of living priests. Again, I was shocked to see the name Fr. Dan Palys. He was a loved leader of our high school Youth Group, and again, I was alone with him on more than one occasion: counting donation money in Sunday envelope collections, youth activities, and later on, Fr. Dan officiated at my wedding. He even came to our house to give emergency food and food vouchers. He blessed our young children, hugged them. I look back at that and now cringe that Fr. Dan touched my children in seemingly innocent caring.
What did Fr. Dan know about Monsignor Scheider?
Since last year, I’ve been unable to visit aging Fr. Dan where he resides in a senior living residency. I’m shattered, sad, and filled with rage and disgust. One of my former classmates encouraged me to visit Fr. Dan to look him in the eye and demand the truth. But I couldn’t visit him for fear I wouldn’t be able to determine if he was lying or not. My emotions would win out. I loved Fr. Dan and trusted him.
And now this.
I will never visit Fr. Dan Palys.
News broke yesterday that accusations against him have been substantiated.
Why doesn’t the FBI charge the priests whose accusations have been substantiated?Why aren’t these priests in jail? Why is the Vatican seen as having the final determination?
Buffalo bishop returned priest accused of abuse to ministry after ‘thorough’ investigation. Others call it ‘a sham’