Phil Saviano: Boston Phoenix Local Hero
The year was 1992, and Phil Saviano had yet to become a prominent leader in the movement for legal justice for victims of clergy sexual abuse. Back then, the Jamaica Plain resident was having trouble just leading his life. An AIDS patient, Saviano had grown emaciated and anemic. And although he was taking the antiviral drug AZT, he was biding his time. He had planned a funeral and drawn up a will. He had even procured a bottle of sleeping pills – in case he wanted to “check out.”
Amid this tango with mortality, he experienced a life-changing moment. On December 17, 1992 – Saviano remembers the date as if it were yesterday – he was reading the Boston Globe when he spotted something that startled him: an article about a former Massachusetts priest molesting children in New Mexico.