Victim Reacts to List of Priests Released Tuesday
By Kelly Dudzik
WGRZ 2 On Your Side
March 20, 2018
Buffalo – Victims are reacting to the Buffalo Catholic Diocese releasing the names of priests accused of sexual abuse.
Michael Whalen went public with his accusations against Norbert Orsolits last month. Orsolits admitted to the Buffalo News that he abused dozens of boys. His name is on the list released by the diocese Tuesday.
"I think they just did this because they're trying to do this transparency thing, but I think there's more. Dozens more," says Whalen.
Since Whalen came forward, he's heard from at least two dozen people from all over the country who say they, too, were abused by priests.
"A man who was 68-years-old who called me, and me and him crying on the phone together, and him telling me his story about how he was raped by two priests in the rectory. He had to live in the rectory, and stories like that it's just so heartbreaking, I mean, here he is 68-years-old, and I'm the first person he told because I came out a couple of weeks ago," says Whalen.
One man emailed 2 On Your Side before the list came out saying he was touched and kissed inappropriately when he was an altar boy in the late 70s and early 80s by Father Basil Ormsby of St. Theresa Church in South Buffalo. We are honoring his wish to remain anonymous. He says, "I knew I was uncomfortable with it but never said because my mom loved him as a priest and trusted him. Everyone trusted him."
Father Ormsby is on the list of 42 priests released Tuesday.
Whalen hopes people continue speaking up.
"How has this changed your faith? Do you go to church anymore?" asked 2 On Your Side’s Kelly Dudzik.
"I haven't gone to church since this happened," says Whalen. "When I was a kid I was taught to believe that this priest is like the second hand of God, you know, you're supposed to trust him, he's like one of these powerful people. And now I just see they're just men and a lot of them hurt kids, so my faith is there, but I don't go to church."
Whalen would also like lawmakers in Albany to pass the Child Victims Act, which would make it easier for adults who were victims of abuse as children to take legal action.
It faces opposition from the Catholic Church. The Buffalo News reports that Bishop Malone was in Albany Tuesday lobbying against the Child Victims Act.