Tuesday, June 16, 2020

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Gus talks about Catholic composer David Haas who's been accused of "sexual battery and spiritual manipulation" by several females in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Haas has written several standards sung at Catholic mass such as "Glory To God," "We Are Called" and "Blest Are They." In the wake of these allegations, Haas has been dropped by his publisher. Gus ties this in with Cancel Culture and ask listeners how they feel about Haas' music now that these allegations have come to light.

Also, Fr. Leo Patalinghug calls in to the show to talk with Gus about everything from his self-imposed social media exile during the coronavirus pandemic, and his subsequent return, to "Cancel Culture" to the election of mutual friend Msgr. David Toups to Bishop of the Diocese of Beaumont, Texas.

And Gus gives his thoughts on the recent Supreme Court ruling that sexual orientation and gender identity are covered under existing federal discrimination laws.


  • Laurie Delgatto-Whitten: August 21, 2020

    It might be helpful to know what the victims of DH are asking of bishops and why. The following email was sent to each bishop in the country:

    The portrait that emerges from all these reports, is of a man who chose to make sexual coercion integral to his professional life. That pattern goes all the way back to his early twenties. Over four decades. There are multiple reports from people who attended Music Ministry Alive! Where Haas met and groomed them while teenagers and then harmed and assaulted them while in their late teens or early twenties. Victims have reported behaviors ranging from online sexual harassment to sexual assault. The earliest report is from a 1979 rape by Haas of a 13-year-old girl while on a confirmation retreat. Haas was a seminarian at the time. Many victims told trusted mentors, priests, even bishops and archbishops. They told conference organizers and music publishers. They told friends who tried to advocate on their behalf, who were shot down or ignored, who are now blaming themselves for not doing more. They told friends of their abuser, hoping they could appeal to conscience. Yet Haas never faced any consequences. IntoAccount continues to receive and respond to additional reports almost daily.

    We are writing today as representative of every one of Haas’ victims to make the following requests of you.

    Believe us. Believe all women who say they have been harmed. Stand up and speak out for all victims. For too long Church, leaders have remained silent. That silence often stands in the way of our healing.

    Ban Haas from any ministry in your diocese, and publicly announce that you are doing so. Your response to this situation helps determine what kind of access to potential victims he has from here on out. This is a moment in which you have significant power to save other women from the harm Haas inflicted on us.

    Restrict the parishes and institutions in your diocese from using any of Haas’ music
    and publicly announce that you are doing so. Along with our own experiences, we have personally heard many stories from survivors about how hearing his music triggers anxiety, and pain. While we all take very seriously Jesus’ teachings regarding forgiveness. Following Christ’s example, we must acknowledge that with such openness of spirit comes an enormous responsibility to advocate and care for those who are vulnerable and who have been hurt by their church leaders. Haas used his music as a way to enable his pattern of abuse. He is alive and well and continues to profit from the use of his work. As it is traumatic for survivors of clergy sexual abuse to see a credibly accused priest or deacon exercising ministry in a church, so too is it with those who are further traumatized by the use of Haas’s music. By restricting the use of his music in your diocese you send a message that says you are committed to avoiding causing further trauma to us, his survivors.

    Expand your current safe environment programs to include training, education, and reporting opportunities for all people, especially the most vulnerable within your diocese. Child Protection programs are not enough.

    Finally, we ask you to pray for and with us. Pray for our healing. Pray for all victims of abuse.

  • MARK VOJTECKY: July 01, 2020

    I know its been about two weeks since this came to public attention. My comment is a simple one — I am disappointed to hear that many churches (including my home parish in Middletown, DE) have pulled Mr. Haas’ songs from their liturgy repertoire. While I am not dismissing the allegations at all, I can say the songs did not commit any crimes nor are they complicit in the accusations of Mr. Haas. The songs are beautiful and should still be available (especially when they tie directly to the liturgy of the day).

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