Accusation Against Fr. Dan Palys Substantiated

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’

Bishop Malone returns one priest to ministry, two others remain on administrative leave
Posted: 3:55 PM, Jul 26, 2019
Updated: 3:55 PM, Jul 26, 2019

Diocese whistleblower says she would testify against bishop

Bishop Malone appeared in national interview on ABC’s Nightline
Posted: 6:33 PM, Jul 26, 2019
Updated: 6:33 PM, Jul 26, 2019

See also:

 

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

CBS 60 Minutes on Buffalo WhistleBlower Who Released Documents Against Buffalo Catholic Bishop Malone’s Cover-Up of Priest Sex Abuse

Well, my home city of Buffalo, New York has, once again, made national news in a dark way. This really is world-wide news. And one woman, Siobhan O’Connor, is the whistle-blower we can all thank for her courageous decision to contact a TV News reporter.

Here is the printed article that tells the story:

Whistleblower says bishop knew of sexual abuse allegations, but did nothing

For the first time on television, the former executive assistant to Buffalo’s Bishop Richard Malone explains why she decided to speak out against the bishop for not taking action against priests accused of sexual abuse

Click on the above link to also view the CBS 60 Minutes video interview.

What follows here is a behind the scenes look. First the printed article, and the video, both at this link:

Why Bishop Malone’s assistant became a whistleblower

How did a faithful assistant become a moral objector? For Siobhan O’Connor, the process was gradual — but soon became imperative

Many of you may wonder why I am putting this on my blog about adoption. The answers are because two priests (one on the first list of 42 priests released in March 2018, and the other on a list of 4 priests revealed in June) were influential during my grade school and high school years. Not only that, but I worry about my classmates, my schoolmates, who were victims. I was not a victim, but I saw violence perpetrated by Monsignor when I was 12 years old. That incident told me there was something radically wrong with that man.

Moreover, I was a child when Monsignor reigned with terror from 1964 to 1970. He was still there when I was in high school. And then, Fr. Dan came in. Even though I was not a victim, I was there, in that grade school, in that church, and I was there in high school when we met for Catholic Youth Organization. I was there when sexual predators molested my friends.

Twenty years before Monsignor was assigned to my church, he was a priest at a church in Buffalo where my natural mother attended both the church and high school.  Monsignor signed my mother’s high school diploma. Twenty years later, he signed my 8th grade diploma. There is no way for me to know if he molested my mother. I can’t ask her; she’s dead. From all that I know now, Monsignor was not after girls and women. He was after boys. Still, it is hard for me, an adoptee, to go through my trauma-filled life, my reunion with my natural father and other blood relatives, grieve the loss of my mother by her untimely death when I was an infant, settle with that, and now look back in horror.

Did Monsignor touch my mother?

You may be wondering what I mean by “what I know now”. Well, since June, I’ve been in daily contact with a schoolmate whom I haven’t seen in 48 years, when I graduated from 8th grade at age 14. He wrote to me via my email contact form at this website. We met for the first time as kids in 1964. Think about that. We were young children in 1964.

About one month ago, by an unusual occurrence, I heard the name of a friend of mine from 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. I called him and asked what he knew. His answers were shocking.

I cannot tell anything else here. I am protecting these men’s privacy. We are dealing with this as best we can.

My first blog post about this topic is not only being read in Buffalo and surrounding areas, but all across this nation, and the world. My website tracker tells me this.

I stand with my classmates and schoolmates in solidarity. And I stand with Siobhan O’Connor, and all whistle-blowers, who hold up truth to a higher power that is greater than the Catholic church.

 

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)