Although parishioners often don’t know who has written the music they sing at Mass, for many years we have sung a number of hymns by American composer, David Haas. Like many parishes in the English-speaking world, our repertoire has included several songs by the prolific writer.
Earlier this year, media reports surfaced of allegations of abuse of women by Haas. More recently, Into Account, an American abuse survivors support organisation, released a report compiling and analysing allegations it received of more than forty cases of abuse that occurred over more than forty years.
The allegations that have been made, and the scale of the alleged abuse, have concerned us greatly. The conduct that has been described is distressing and unacceptable. To continue to use Haas’ music would allow him to continue to profit from the Church.
As such, in consultation with key music leaders and Fr Denis, we have decided that David Haas’ music will no longer be used in the parish of Wentworthville. This decision follows the lead of a number of publishers, dioceses and parishes in the United States that have discontinued their association with Haas and his music.
As we are removing David Haas’ music from our parish repertoire, those titles will likewise be removed from our music suggestions over time. We are beginning the process of selecting replacement hymns for our repertoire, and look forward to introducing these to our community over the months and years to come.
Please note that this report includes graphic descriptions of alleged sexual assault.
This statement was published on Haas’ website, davidhaas.com. The statement and the entire website have since been removed from the internet.