Story on Manitoba prison ministry lauded
Re: “Paying attention to the invisible,” Sept. 10, page 17.
Many thanks for the fine article about our prison ministry program.
On Oct. 3, Dorianna Toews, a new member of our team and a member of River East Mennonite Church in Winnipeg, and I led two groups of about 20 women in a Thanksgiving-focussed Bible study. As we opened with favourite songs, there was more emotion than usual. Several women wept during “May the Circle be Unbroken.” It turned out that there were family members of Winnipeg’s most-recent brutally murdered Indigenous woman, Mary Madeline Yellowback, in each group. And so it became an honour song. We were once more humbled and encouraged by the spirit of resilience of these women and we left there thankful for this opportunity for fellowship.
—Elsie Rempel, Winnipeg
Use of ‘allegation’ trivializes ‘what Shantz said happened’
Re: “Decades-old sexual abuse comes to light,” Sept. 10, page. 13.
It looks like Canadian Mennonite is defending the male side of this story.
The article reports that Ruth-Ann Klassen Shantz is making “allegations.” This seems to question whether her story is believable.
The whole broader social #MeToo movement is based, in part, on the premise that women are not being taken seriously, that their stories are questioned. Use of the word “alleged” brings her statement into the legal sphere and trivializes it.
Publishing the perpetrator’s apology looks like the matter is somehow settled. However, the apology hardly touched on what Shantz said happened. His apology was for the “stress and pain caused . . . as a result of our relationship.”
Relationship? Preying on an innocent child is abuse, not a relationship.
—Ken Drudge, Komoka, Ont.