Sexual misconduct allegations mount against Catholic composer

Sexual misconduct allegations against Catholic composer David Haas have led a leading supplier of sacred music to call for an investigation.

As allegations of serial sexual misconduct against Haas continue to mount, GIA Publication want to know how his predatory behavior avoided scrutiny and accountability.

GIA Publications, which distributed the Gather hymnals that included some of Haas’ best known works, says “a third-party assessment will create a strong survivor-centered structure to report incidents of alleged harassment or abuse.

“In addition to the assessment, we are in the process of establishing a Code of Conduct for all composers and authors we publish,” GIA Publications says.

“These changes will facilitate the community’s ability to take prompt action in response to reports of behavioral misconduct.”

David Haas is known for contemporary hymns such as “You Are Mine,” “We Are Called” and “We Have Been Told,”.

Last month, NCR reported accounts of three women chronicling the sexually predatory behavior the Catholic composer had subjected them to.

All three were over the age of 18 at the time of the alleged incidents and had participated in Haas’s music workshops as students.

Since a report about the women’s experiences was published, about 40 additional women across the United States, Canada and Australia have alleged experiencing similar instances of sexual misconduct by Haas.

“The pattern that I’ve seen is that David Haas, when he traveled for conferences, for workshops, for concerts, [took the opportunity] … to target victims,” a commentator says.

“What that indicates is that there are likely women in many, many places who have yet to figure out that their experience was not an isolated one.”

One accuser says they believe there are professionals in the industry aware of Haas’ behavioral history and yet failed to publicly address them.

GIA says it terminated its relationship with Haas in January, when it first “heard a rumor” that his letter of suitability from the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis was under review.

“We did not receive confirmation from the Archdiocese that this was indeed the case,” the company says.

Once it received a letter in May showing that a systemic pattern of abusive behavior spanning decades, GIA decided to go public with its suspension on 13 June. Early the following week GIA pulled Haas’s music off of the market.

In addition to the assessment GIA has organised, the Association of Catholic Publishers says it is in the “early stages” of an internal conversation about developing a code of ethics for its members in response to the Haas case.



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