Phil Saviano: 'My Abuser Was My Confessor'

Download Audio
Phil Saviano, regional coordinator for the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, in 2002. (Steven Senne/AP)
Phil Saviano, regional coordinator for the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, in 2002. (Steven Senne/AP)

Part four of our “Spotlight” series, in advance of the film’s release Friday.

The critically acclaimed film, "Spotlight", tells the story of the Boston Globe's 2002 investigation of what later became the world-wide clergy sex abuse crisis.

We've talked to members of the original Globe team, to a lawyer, and a priest. Now, we hear from someone who represents the most important group of people in this story: the survivors.


Phil Saviano, founder of the New England Chapter of SNAP, the Survivors' Network of Those Abused by Priests.

More In This Series

Radio Boston: A ‘Spotlight’ Shines On Reporters Who Broke The Clergy Sex Abuse Story

  • “In 2002, an investigation by The Boston Globe’s Spotlight team revealed widespread sexual abuse that had long remained concealed within the Catholic Church.”

Radio Boston: The Longtime Advocates Behind ‘Spotlight’

  • “The film ‘Spotlight’ tells a story that broke in 2002, but started years earlier. Before the Spotlight team investigated allegations of clergy sexual abuse, others — like attorney Mitchell Garabedian and Father Thomas Doyle — were already trying to get justice for the victims.”

Radio Boston: ‘Spotlight’ And A History Of Newspaper Movies

  • "On Friday, Bostonians will finally be able to see the new film, “Spotlight,” which details how a group of investigative journalists at the The Boston Globe’s uncovered a Catholic church sex abuse crisis that affected the real lives of many people still living around Boston. But perhaps another reason there’s been so much buzz around this film is because it’s also — at its heart — a newspaper movie."


WBUR ARTery: ‘Spotlight’ — A Morality Tale For Our Cynical Times

  • "That the filmmakers get most of the little things right only underlines that they got the big story right, too. “Spotlight” is a heroic story in an unheroic time — a time in which hyper-irony, political polarization and relativism are the currency of the day. As Mark Edmundson writes in his new book, 'Self and Soul,' 'Nothing is in worse repute [today] than the ideal.'"

The Boston Globe: Church Allowed Abuse By Priest For Years

  • “Since the mid-1990s, more than 130 people have come forward with horrific childhood tales about how former priest John J. Geoghan allegedly fondled or raped them during a three-decade spree through a half-dozen Greater Boston parishes.Almost always, his victims were grammar school boys. One was just 4 years old.Then came last July’s disclosure that Cardinal Bernard F. Law knew about Geoghan’s problems in 1984, Law’s first year in Boston, yet approved his transfer to St. Julia’s parish in Weston. Wilson D. Rogers Jr., the cardinal’s attorney, defended the move last summer, saying the archdiocese had medical assurances that each Geoghan reassignment was 'appropriate and safe.'"

This segment aired on November 6, 2015.


More from Radio Boston

Listen Live