Phil Saviano, a clergy sex abuse survivor and whistleblower who played a pivotal role in exposing decades of predatory assaults by Catholic priests in the United States. Mr. Saviano died this past Sunday of cancer at the age of 69. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/phil-saviano-dead_n_61a3e7a7e4b044a1cc1689ae?utm_campaign=share_email&ncid=other_email_o63gt2jcad4. He tirelessly leaned on police and prosecutors to bring charges against pedophile priests, and fought the Vatican’s refusal to be transparent about their criminal clergy and the enormity of the scandal.
The priest who heard an 11-year-old Saviano’s confessions in the church confessional and later forced him into sex acts, died in a New Mexico prison in 2008 while serving a 275-year sentence for molesting eight boys. Saviano’s story figured prominently in the Oscar-winning “Spotlight” (2015) about The Boston Globe’s investigation that revealed how scores of priests molested children and got away with it because church leaders covered it up.
If you haven’t watched “Spotlight,” you need to. https://www.tvguide.com/movies/spotlight/2000110458/. I am going to watch it again tonight and cheer Phil Saviano’s bravery and compassion. Not being afraid to speak up was a very big gift to the world, indeed.