April 16, 2005

SNAP activist takes message to Italy, Europe

Telegram & Gazette


Phil Saviano, a former East Douglas resident who was instrumental in forming the New England Chapter of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is heading to Rome today to talk to people in Italy and Europe about how the clergy abuse scandal in the Catholic church affects victims.

The cardinals of the Catholic church will enter a secret conclave at the Vatican Monday to elect a new pope. Mr. Saviano said his organization intends to keep up its presence in Rome during the conclave. Mr. Saviano said he is leaving today for London and will take another flight into Rome, arriving tomorrow afternoon.

He expects to join BillGately of Plymouth, current co-leader of the regional SNAP organization, and other activists for the duration of the conclave. Mr. Saviano, who lives in the Boston area, is Web master for the organizationís Web site at www.snapnetwork.org.

Barbara Blaine of Chicago, who founded the national SNAP organization, and Barbara Dorris, the national outreach coordinator for SNAP, were in Rome during the past week to publicize their objection to the church hierarchy allowing Cardinal Bernard F. Law to say one of the nine Masses for the late Pope John Paul II.

Cardinal Law left the Boston Archdiocese for a post in Rome after acknowledging that he had transferred abusive priests from parish to parish.

Being of Italian heritage might help him establish rapport with the Italian media, Mr. Saviano said, so that he can explain the groupís positions on clergy sexual abuse.

While the scandal has been open in the United States and some other countries, very little has been done to expose the problem in much of Europe, he said.

Posted by kshaw at April 16, 2005 07:54 AM