A friend forwarded a statement that was sent out by Christian Light Publications, announcing that they are removing Howard Bean’s materials, as listed in the following image:
I appreciate the individuals who took time to reach out, willing to hear and confirm the facts with those involved in the case. Thank you.
This is the path to positive change.
To the victims of Mr. Bean, and other victims in the Anabaptist community who were left reeling: You have been courageous to share your story. Even those so traumatized that you could only speak to a select few of us who have walked with you. I trust CLP’s actions will serve as an acknowledgement of your suffering and bring some sense of relief to you, and to all who were struggling with his content being used in their churches.
To Mr. Bean’s wife and family: My heart aches for you. It is beyond imagining how crushing it would be to learn that a trusted family member — in particular a spouse or parent — has carried these hidden sins, when to the family they were kind and loving. This is betrayal. Your suffering deserves acknowledgement.
To the Grace Mennonite and the Mid-West church: Some of you have apologized for mistakes made, and I have passed those apologies on to the victim with whom I am most closely connected. To get it wrong on various fronts the first time you face this kind of thing is understandable, albeit painful for victims. It is forgivable. (The victim with whom I spoke graciously extended forgiveness). And it is an opportunity for you to learn so that you are equipped to handle the next case more effectively. To get it seriously wrong a second time would be inexcusable. I urge you to not only form internal committees to address concerns, but to hire at least one trained professional investigator, along with a minimum of two other individuals to support that investgator on an external investigative committee. There were some well-intentioned mistakes made this round that would have been avoided had such professionals handled the case. I have served on such a committee with a criminal investigator taking lead, and a pastor and myself as volunteer investigators. It brought balance. I would declare a conflict of interest in local Mid-West cases for such a formal committee , because of how despised I am by some Mid-West leaders, thus making my voice ill-received. Even so, I can testify that it is healthy to bring in such a team. We each brought something to the task that the others lacked, leaving much less room for oversight.
For today, I will celebrate this step in the right direction. May it be the beginning of many more steps to hearing the victimized, and holding abusers accountable.
~ T ~
©Trudy Metzger 2023
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