[Photo above: Phil Saviano in 2020. Andrew Medichini / Associated Press]
Rejecting a confidentiality agreement, he inspired others to tell their stories
Phil Saviano was near death from AIDS three decades ago and thousands of dollars in debt when the Worcester Diocese tried to silence him with a settlement that would have prevented him from publicly revealing that he had been sexually abused by a priest when he was a boy.
“I just couldn’t agree to it,” Mr. Saviano told the Globe in 1995. “I knew if I did I would just be contributing to their campaign to look away and shut everybody up.”
By refusing to sign a confidentiality agreement, he received a smaller settlement that placed him in further financial peril. But his principled stand became a landmark moment in victims’ efforts to expose the Catholic Church’s worldwide history of covering up the abuse of children.