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August 22, 2017

Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church: In the Spotlight


Phil Saviano is a victim of child sexual abuse by a Massachusetts Catholic priest in the 1960s. In 1992, at the age of 40, he went public about his abuse, generating national headlines. Through pursuit of a civil suit, he gained evidence that least 7 bishops in four states had known that his abuser, Fr. David Holley, was a child molester. After settling his lawsuit with no confidentiality restrictions, he established the New England Chapter of SNAP, the national support network. Through SNAP, he formalized his outreach to other victims of child clergy abuse, and assumed a role of expert and media spokesperson on the issue. Phil’s year 2001 contributions to the Boston Globe’s landmark investigation of clergy abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston, MA are portrayed in the movie “Spotlight,” the Academy Award Winning Best Film of 2016. 

Mike Rezendes is a member of the Boston Globe Spotlight Team and shared a 2003 Pulitzer Prize for revealing the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. In more than two decades with the Globe, Mike has investigated a wide array of additional subjects, including the September 11 attacks, health care costs, and prison suicides. While working with the Spotlight Team, Mike was also a Pulitzer Prize finalist twice, once in 2007 for an investigation of the debt collection industry, and again in 2017 for an exposé of the mental health care system in Massachusetts. Mike is a co-author of two books: “Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church,” and, “Sin Against the Innocents: Sexual Abuse by Priests and the Role of the Catholic Church.”

Counselor Shari Botwin joins our host Kristin Sunanta Walker.

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