Within days of Whalen’s account of being abused, a pair of brothers told The News that Orsolits also had abused them as youngsters. Orsolits confirmed in an interview that he had sexual contact with both brothers. Orsolits was accused of abuse in 16 separate Child Victims Act lawsuits, with abuse allegations stemming back to the earliest days of his priesthood and into the early 1980s.
Michael Whalen said he’ll never entirely shake the abuse he experienced, but each time he tells his story he lets go of it a “little
Whalen said in 2019 that had forgiven Orsolits. On Sunday, he said that he had an opportunity to talk with Orsolits before he died.
“I wish I was able to sit face to face with him just to ask why,” he said. “I pray that in his final days that he made peace with himself and if he made peace with God. Everyone I talked to today asked me why I would pray for him to make peace with himself and God. Way too much hate in the world today. He will answer to God he will be judged.”
Despite his admissions, Orsolits never apologized to his victims and he repeatedly maintained that he had been reformed following two stints at Southdown.
Ordained in 1965, Orsolits’ first assignment was at St. Joseph Church in Bliss. He then served at All Saints in Buffalo, St. John in Alden and St. John the Evangelist in South Buffalo. He worked in 13 parishes in all until 1988, when he was named chaplain at Buffalo General Hospital and placed into what diocese officials called “guarded ministry.” He was removed from priestly ministry in 2004 and forbidden to celebrate Masses publicly, but diocese officials gave no public explanation at the time.