Phil Saviano, the “mole” of the Boston Globe investigation that revealed decades of sexual abuse by US Catholic clergy against thousands of minors, has died at the age of 69 of gallbladder cancer.
This was announced by his brother Jim, who took care of him. His story is told in the Oscar-winning film Spotlight (2015), which focuses on the journalistic investigation that earned the Boston newspaper the Pulitzer for public service in 2003. Saviano played a central role in illuminating the abuse and cover-up scandal. ecclesiastical leaders which led to the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law and to compensation agreements by the Catholic Church in favor of hundreds of victims. It was he who provided the Boston Globe investigative team with crucial sources, research materials, and the names of several accused priests.
He himself had survived the violence of a priest, David Holley, for 11 years, who forced him into sexual acts on his way to confession. Saviano then founded an organization for the victims of clergy abuse.