One year after setting off “tsunami,” a victim talks of healing and continuing faith

WBFO Radio

February 27, 2019

By Michael Mroziak

It was his revelation of sexual abuse as a minor, at the hands of a Catholic priest, which began what Bishop Richard Malone later admitted was an overwhelming number of similar claims and complaints lodged against dozens of priests within the Diocese, dating back decades.

One year to the day his revelation touched off a “tsunami,” as it was later described,” Michael Whalen holds on to his Catholic faith but will finally do something he felt unable to do for roughly 40 years—attend Mass.

On February 27, 2018, Michael Whalen stood on the sidewalk along Main Street, near the intersection with Pearl and Edward Streets, across the street from the downtown offices of the Diocese of Buffalo. It was then and there, as part of a call to state lawmakers to pass the Child Victims Act, that Whalen first revealed in public the abuse he suffered as a child.

The priest who abused him, Father Norbert Orsolits, later confessed to molesting Whalen and dozens of others when approached by the Buffalo News.

One year later, Whalen was feeling upbeat when he met one-on-one with WBFO. He is a man who has found peace.

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