Clergy abuse victim weighs in on Catholic Church investigation

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More and more clergy abuse survivors have stepped forward from the investigation into the Catholic Church about clergy abuse.

One of those survivors is Andy Russell.

Russell was a freshman at Lumen Christi Catholic School in Jackson and says he was just fourteen years old when Father James Rapp sexually abused him back in the 1980s.

“He’s a monster,” said Russel, “I struggle to find the words to describe him, after going through so much of destruction that that man has caused.”

Russell says he was still in high school when he decided to speak up and tell the head of the school about the abuse.

“I ran to the principle at the school of Lumen Chrisiti which was running right to another wolf,” said Russell.

Russell ended up getting kicked out of Lumen Chrisiti his sophomore year and transferred to Jackson High School.

“Instead of father Rapp being taken out of the school and being dismissed or the law being called, I was dismissed,” said Russell.

Father James Rapp is currently in prison and was sentenced in Oklahoma after he was transferred out of Lumen Christi.

Even with Rapp behind bars serving a 45-year sentence, he says there’s more people responsible for this cover up.

“Hopefully the people responsible for the covering up will be exposed, because I think the cover up is just as damaging as the abuse,” said Russell.

Russell says starting this state-wide conversation of clergy abuse is a step in the right direction but hopes the conversation will continue.

“What are we going to do tomorrow, what are we doing to do on Sunday, what are you doing to  do when you walk into church on Sunday? Are you going to kneel down and pray in silence because silence has done nothing for too long,” said Russell.

6 News will continue to follow the Attorney General’s investigation into the Catholic Church and will let you know if there are any updates.

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