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Rome Reports

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Outspoken survivor of clergy sex abuse, Phil Saviano, dies at 69

One of the most outspoken survivors of clergy sex abuse, Phil Saviano, has died at 69 years old. 

He provided key information for the Boston Globe's investigation which revealed the Catholic Church's pattern of covering up sexual abuse of minors committed by the clergy. 

In 2019, Saviano traveled to Rome among a group of survivors advocating for increased transparency in the Church's handling of abuse cases. 

"If there was ever a good time for transparency now is it, and maybe, if you do it properly, some of the Catholics, who are at this point bailing out of the sinking ship, might reconsider and come back, but you have to give concrete signs that you're coming up with a good plan to address this, and it can't be just talk you've really got to put it into action."

Simultaneously, Pope Francis met with the presidents of all episcopal conferences to address the topic of abuse. 

"The holy people of God look to us and expect from us not simple and discounted condemnations but concrete and effective measures. We must be concrete."

Saviano was molested by his parish priest in Massachusetts when he was 11 years old, and spoke out about the abuse nearly 30 years later. He died at 69 due to complications from gall bladder cancer.