LA archdiocese says don't sing Haas hymns

David Haas at concert 2 1 David Haas in a concert at the Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines. | Titopao/wikimedia. CC BY SA 4.0

The largest Catholic archdiocese in the United States has requested that its parishes and schools stop playing music composed by David Haas following the recent allegations of sexual misconduct. 

"Parishes, schools, and ministries of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are asked to refrain from using music composed by musician David Haas out of respect for those who have reported sexual misconduct by Mr. Haas," said an email sent July 30 to employees of parishes and schools. 

While there have been no further allegations of misconduct against Haas within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles since June 2020, the singer/songwriter was a frequent performer at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, which is hosted by the archdiocese. 

"As part of the current investigation, the Archdiocese is looking into a past complaint of inappropriate interaction and/or communication by Mr. Haas with adult women," said the email. 

Haas, 63, is the composer of several songs included in the "Gather" hymnal published by GIA, which is among the best-selling and most used hymnals in American Catholic parishes. He has denied any misconduct. 

Allegations against the composer first surfaced in May concerning serial spiritual manipulation and sexual misconduct. The Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis has also received multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against the composer.

As a result of the allegations against Haas, which concern inappropriate interactions with adult women dating back decades, two music publishers have cut ties with him. Haas has been banned from performing in both the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and his home diocese, the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, until an investigation can be completed.  

"The Archdiocese stands against any sexual misconduct and is resolute in our support for victim-survivors of abuse," said the email. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is requesting that anyone who has any information regarding Haas' misconduct to come forward to the Office of Victims Assistance Ministry. 

Haas is a central figure in the "contemporary liturgical music" movement that began in the 1970s. Among Haas' better known songs are the contemporary standards "Glory to God," "You are Mine," "We are Called," and "Blest are They."

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