Scandals, publishers, questionable composers and running with torches. (Re: David Haas)
  • JesJes
    Posts: 562
    Dear fellow musicians,
    Now, indeed, is an interesting time.
    The climate is fairly sinister at the moment, and there is, quite frankly, bigger fish to fry.
    A ripple in Catholic Twitter, however, affects us ever so slightly.

    Right now I am discussing the disturbing information published on Twitter by a publishing company about one of their most promoted composers, one of the more prominent modern composers heard in, the more liberal Catholic churches in the West. The news broke to us today that this prominent composer had been accused of multiple cases of abuse against women. This composer writes music I have been known to show little respect for, even less acknowledge. In short, his music is music which I actively dissuade parishes from using.

    I have been strongly urged, even bullied by my peers into making a statement about this man being caught up in the scandal - because I have been actively dissuading people from using his music for over a decade because I am also a composer. After all, I am a young woman, I have worked for organisations which have required me to report on such scandals and also because people, who also dislike this man's music, want this man torn down viciously.
    It has surprised people that I have not shared the article against this man on mainstream social media. It has even upset them that I haven't.
    Instead, I urged musicians, who may be tempted to publicise this scandal, to hold off from doing so and here's why:

    THERE IS INSUFFICIENT INFORMATION
    We've seen this before. An insufficient amount of information is published in an article, and the result is reactionary anger, some sort of political movement, perhaps a popular trending hashtag and a complete teardown of a person's character. Having witnessed first hand the media suppression in Victoria Australia about His Eminence Cardinal Pell, I know it is imprudent to jump on the first article one sees without further investigation. After all, in this recent case, an innocent man was convicted, and his character obliterated by the worst kind of media witchhunt I have ever witnessed in my life. Perhaps if I weren't wearing the glasses that witnessed the character assassination and injustice over the course of the more recent years, maybe I would have shared this article. I am not sure.
    I'm not necessarily comparing these two situations, of course, we know Pell was acquitted, and the media frenzy was far more significant, we also had a greater share in the evidence which anybody could read and realise very quickly that the evidence didn't stack up.
    But if we look at the information we have, all we know is that some women have cast accusations against this composer and we know it from an unusual source; a blog post and a tweet. Neither are qualified sources.

    ANONYMITY OF ACCUSERS AND INCITING ACCUSERS
    The publishing company is encouraging people to report abuse through an unusual (potentially dubious) channel a website called Into Account. This site encourages those who have faced abuse to report the abuse anonymously to be published.
    Into Account will hold your story confidentially, bring it to the institution, or publicise it as you request.

    This, in my humble opinion, is not the way to go about reporting abuse. My recommendation would be to see the police and go through the justice system if you have a case against someone. An anonymous complaint publicised is a very strange reason for a publishing company to pull out their support for someone. Still, it is even more bizarre for that publishing company to incite more accusations. Last I checked... the company was more specialised in the are of hymn publishing (although how specialised given the type of material they publish... eh remains up for debate) I didn't know they also worked in the are of abuse investigation.
    While SNAP was able to supply further information, the information remains insufficient, however damning. They can mention punitive measures made by the diocese he was in, but this isn't information from the horse's mouth.
    They want more information - we should want more information too.

    I AM BIASED
    I dislike his music. It would be so easy for me to cruelly cackle with glee that he will not be published by his publisher anymore. I do not support his politics, his music, and show little respect for the material of a similar lack of quality. Giving the 'up yours' to him would not only be somewhat vindictive towards him for his music but also to many of the people who have given me grief for my more traditional bent over the years. I suffer a sense of guilt that part of me would like this information to use as leverage to promote what I feel is right in the music world. This would be a grave injustice not only to the man but also to any victims to use this situation. After all... we have plenty of great music written by terrible people.

    IT COULD IMPACT US
    As I said before, I am a composer and I'm looking at hopefully one day being published. If all it takes is an allegation against us to end our careers for good. No proof, just an allegation. No court case, just a few blog posts of what he/she the anonymous said against us then that is a scary world. I'd much rather a career ended because one was bad at the career they pursued than because of an accusation that wasn't properly investigated and tried.

    Lastly...

    IT IS UNBIBLICAL
    It goes without saying that gossiping, spreading slander and judging others is not my calling. Do I believe in justice for victims of abuse? Absolutely. Do I believe in tearing down people, even a guilty person, to get justice? No, I don't believe it serves justice. Do I believe people should stop playing the music of someone because they abuse another person? No. Do I have a firm view either way that this man is guilty or not? No. Let us not prematurely run with our torches a blazing going online to tear someone down. Sit on this, there will be more news to come I am sure.

    To conclude, all I can say is that I am glad the company pulled the publishing of his music, not because of any crime he did or did not commit but because it's music that I deem unworthy. I am not proud of how the publishing company has handled the situation thus far. In the meantime, I can only hope that justice emerges for all involved though this may only happen in the next life.

    I don't know if this is the right place to put this but I felt this was an issue in Church music today and that we are the very people who may just be tempted to make that late-night spiteful Facebook post/tweet. If admins don't like - please just pull down.

    That was a long one, sorry.
    Jes
  • PaxMelodious
    Posts: 351
    Thank you for posting that. I read GIA's statement yesterday, and was struck by the lack of reference to results of any objective investigation.
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 630
    I agree Jes. It's easy to get outraged and vengeful. And people get very angry with me, sometimes, if I refuse to be overtly partisan on Church or social 'issues' of all sorts. People's lives and sins are rarely as simple as they may appear. It is very easy to react angrily and condemn a person long before knowing all the facts. Many of the facts may simply be none of your business. And in all of this we often fail to take into account how profoundly sinful our own lives are or could be. It can be easy to say "I could never do such a thing!" but I know myself well enough to know that I have been angry enough, for example, to feel the urge to harm someone. If I can feel that way, but for the grace of God and the context I could be be that guy in the news who killed someone. I have been greedy enough to hide the last cookie. Is that not the same basic impulse that leads a woman to steal from the cash register where she works, a little at a time? I am no better - but for the grace of God and the circumstances of my life, I could be her. And certainly if no one ever worked with anyone who sinned we'd all be on lockdown eternally. There's not a job I've ever had - nor a Church congregation I've ever been involved in - that wasn't full of sinners - some unlucky enough to have their sins publicly known, due to bad planning or gossip. Others just as bad, but hiding behind a facade of piety.

    Sorry to go off on that tangent, but the the recent passion for jumping on Virtue Bandwagons and hurling stones at everyone else is doing no one except the devil any good. It's nice to see you (Jes) being thoughtful and rational about the subject.
  • If the accusations are credible, the matter should go directly to law enforcement, who have the resources to properly deal with an investigation and charges of this scope. Introducing a third-party like this that seems to invite abuse of the system through anonymous reporting and no real involvement with law enforcement is absolutely wrong.

    I think there were plenty of reasons not to use Mr. Haas's music without these storm clouds of abuse hanging around his head.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,359
    I believe there is more of a contrast with Cardinal Pell's case than a positive comparison.

    Those who falsely convicted Cardinal Pell had a great deal to gain, in career promotion and social engineering.

    GIA has no positive motivation, and in fact has significant reasons for not making this statement. It will cost them dearly. It has huge negative financial and publication ramifications that will take a lot of time, energy, and money to sort out. This is a very popular composer; people are attached to his music. GIA does not win in any way.

    I am not promoting glee. If true, the statement points not only to sin, but to wrenching pain. But I do think that thinking clearly about this should take into account GIA's complete absence of motivation for severing ties with someone who profits them enormously.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW CHGiffen
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,223
    Apparently "we have been told" that he has been up to no good. Perhaps those women believed that "we are called" to hanky panky with this composer. Or perhaps the composer looked at all those women and thought "you are mine." Did they go involuntarily to his dwelling or go of their own free will and decide, :"now we remain?"

    I guess we will never know. One thing, though, at least he is leaving the altar boys alone.

    I always wondered why he was so preoccupied and obsessesed with the ass-embly.
    Thanked by 1MarkB
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,223

    I think there were plenty of reasons not to use Mr. Haas's music without these storm clouds of abuse hanging around his head.


    I agree, but given my sinful disposition, I can't resist throwing a few rocks. Maybe I have just been tormented by too many of his works over the years.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 671
    Raises some interesting questions:

    1. Depending on what is substantiated, would GIA purge all of his music from its catalogue?

    2. Would such a decision be warranted, or would it be an overreaction in these times of cancel culture? People are having their lives and careers ruined unjustly for online posts they made or things they said years ago. Is that just? Is the situation which is the topic of this thread different in a substantial way?

    3. Do songs written by someone of flawed or questionable character have no place in Catholic liturgy? Can the judgments about music quality and appropriate use be made independently of judgments about the composer's character?

    4. There are anecdotes about other prominent, popular Catholic composers of liturgical music living lives and supporting causes gravely contrary to Catholic morality. Repeat #s 1-3 above for them and their publishers.
    Thanked by 3CharlesW Carol Elmar
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,223
    Then there is the matter of already published hymnals and other works. That stuff will be around for years.

    We know, of course, that all musicians are saints. We never sin and the skies are not cloudy all day.
    Thanked by 3Carol Elmar cesarfranck
  • JesJes
    Posts: 562
    @Kathy yes the cases differ entirely but in light of what I witnessed from that case I know that it is imprudent to start cackling online about it. This is mainly because it would constitute hypocrisy.
  • .
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,769
    This is the second cancellation at GIA in the last 2 weeks (Daniel Elder being the first). At this rate, they might run out of composers and have to go back to being Gregorian Institute of America.

    If SNAP's description is to be believed (and I don't find them trustworthy in general), this was not mere grabbiness, but a careful process of grooming the already-damaged, which suggests being in a very dark place spiritually, which in turn suggests a need for prayers. Certainly we wish for justice to be done, but we don't know what justice is here, except that Schadenfreude isn't it. But any of us can be at risk. Elder fell to a single NYC activist (who had been arrested at a protest that week) who took offense to a single tweet. We also had the recent firing of Timothy Gordon.

    If we have a third incident from GIA, we'll need to ask questions about their personnel. Often, a business can make bad decisions based on the prejudices of a single highly-placed employee. I'm waiting to hear from police, but "messing with people's heads in order to get 'consensual' sex" is not a civil crime, so there may be no police to hear from. All of us will learn the truth of this from the Judge Without Appeal, sooner than most of us would like.
    Thanked by 2Elmar ServiamScores
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 509
    I read an article on this site

    If he were a priest he would be immediately removed from any priestly duties and his parish. If he were a politician, he could hideout in his basement for a couple months, if he were a baseball player nothing he contributed to the game would matter and he would never stand alongside some of the great players of his time.

    I guess will have to wait and see.
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,073
    Were this the '60's he would go on his merry way, no problem--
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • MarkB
    Posts: 671
    Catholic News Agency picked up the story, so it's going mainstream in Catholic circles now. No need to be circumspect.

    https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/catholic-composer-david-haas-accused-of-sexual-battery-and-spiritual-manipulation-46156
    Thanked by 1Jeffrey Quick
  • One thing that bothers me about this (although Mr Haas is certainly no friend of mine) and other cases similar to it about impropriety with boys, girls, women, or men (or any other crime) is that word 'alleged'. It is a cornerstone of the American system of justice that one is innocent until proved in a court of law actually to be 'guilty'. Yet we have here yet another case of allegations which have not been proven to be truths, and the people who are alleged to have done this or that are as a matter of course presumed to be guilty, are shunned as such, and fired. What has happened to the American 'presumption of innocence until proved guilty'? I do not like Mr Haas at all; I am glad that his hold on Catholic music and liturgy, for whatever reason, is at an end; but it seems to me that there is a question of justice here to one who is alleged, merely accused, to have done something he has not been proven to have done. This is far from the only case of such presumptions of guilt before the accused has even been tried. We have seen the same with Cardinal Pell and numerous others in everyday life who have been or are merely accused of sexual or some other crime. This really isn't about Mr Haas - it is about the distinction between mere allegedness and proven guilt. It is curious that no charges have been filed - all we have are accusations. Something is wrong. I believe already that Mr Haas is more than likely guilty and I don't like him to begin with - for which reasons any lawyer worth his Brooks Brothers suit would disqualify me as a juror.
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 342
    One of the victims is a dear and holy friend, and there is no way you’re going to convince me she was making up such a terribly painful story.

    I’ve known about this for several years, and all of David Haas’s music has been absolutely and permanently banned by priestly fatwa at my place since then (e.g. no matter how much Biggest Donor’s aunt wanted “Blest are they” at her funeral).

    As to the matter of guilty-until-proven-innocent –

    I am not a lawyer, but I have yet to find a federal or state law banning “Use of reputation as a spiritual leader to groom a vulnerable-but-not-legally-vulnerable person, to pursue sexual contact that is coercive-but-not-legally-rape-or-assault, and then threatening emotional-but-not-physical-abuse”. If DH did such actions to a spouse or coworker or a minor or a student a disabled person, then various laws would mean his actions were punishable and could be prosecuted criminally and civilly, but since, as far as I know, he went after people whom he had no obligation to protect, and to whom he had no special legal relationship. So they might sue for emotional damage or something, but I don’t see how criminal charges could be brought. Certainly no police department or prosecutor would get involved. A priest who did such things would be punished in ecclesiastical proceedings as outlined in canon law, but the secular authorities would only get involved in a case of legally-defined sexual abuse or assault.

    I think it’s high time his music was banned from all our churches for several reasons.

    1) The old justification “His music is not very good, but he’s a holy man and a powerful music minister and it helps people to get close to God!!!” now only has the first clause.

    2) What kind of message does it send to the abuse survivors in your home, in your choir, in your parish, if you carry on using it? To me it would say “Look, we don’t really trust the women’s report, and if it’s true, singing these songs is more important to us anyway.” Do you want folks looking at the hymnal, seeing his name, remembering what he did, and spending the rest of Mass recalling their own abuse, instead of Calvary?

    3) DH didn’t present himself solely as a musician, but rather as a “pastoral” leader and minister. (Compare him with John Rutter, a composer who has made it clear that he just writes songs and doesn’t much care about your personal belief.) Thus to avoid giving scandal, DH needs to be treated as any other church leader who has behaved badly. If your parishes don’t give out +McCarrick’s books for private devotion anymore, it would be wildly inconsistent to keep singing Haas at the foot of the Cross.
  • JesJes
    Posts: 562
    @Gamba beautifully articulated. I am not suggesting those who have reported him are being untruthful at all. Actually all I said was I had insufficient information.
    I'm sorry to hear your friend has faced this issue.

    You make interesting points. I am relieved I don't have to make the decision to not use his music anyway because it's not of the style nor calibre of the music I'd prefer to use. That being said, if the music was worthy I would use it this is not to disrespect or downplay the victim's situation or to even deny their truthfulness or sincerity. It would simply be because the music served the purpose. His music doesn't serve a purpose to me. Whilst PTSD is a valid concern to think about I would also suggest that PTSD requires treatment and part of this is to not avoid 'triggers' but to face them.

    I would encourage your friend to pursue this issue through appropriate channels. Anonymous reporting does not lead to justice. I am part of a prayer support group that has some materials which could assist your friend through what is a genuinely hideous experience. As someone who went through these channels myself I can say, regardless of outcome it is a worthwhile thing to do. You would be surprised some cases can be made, one won't know til they try. I must admit I do not know the state law for the state you're in. The information in the articles I have read constitutes a case over here for sure.

    I guess what I am saying is it would be prudent to reserve judgement and leave this up to the experts.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen cesarfranck
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,223
    Jes, you are a more charitable person than I will ever be. At this stage, I don't favor tarring and feathering him and riding him out of town. There is more we will learn over time.

    I have always maintained - and it has caused me to lose a friend or two - that he is a very modestly talented composer of religious elevator music and that music is not worthy for use in liturgy. I quit using anything written by him years ago.

    But as I mentioned, much of his work has already been published and distributed. Even if he disappears, that music will still be used for years to come.
    Thanked by 1cesarfranck
  • Those who would pull Haas's music purely on these allegations would also do well to remove Carlo Gesualdo from their libraries. What matters is whether the artistic output itself is moral - and in this case, I do not believe it is.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,409
    I've seen a number of very insensitive posts, tweets, and comments from traditionalists, etc. So I would like to repeat here something I said in another place (so, it might be a touch out of step with the conversation, but still relevant):


    The sinful and criminal behavior he is accused of is MUCH MORE SERIOUS than any supposed damage to the sacred liturgy caused by his music or the genre he represents.

    This is why "abuse" is such an awful word to use for describing bad liturgy. David didn't abuse the liturgy. He may have, it seems, abuse human beings - actual people. Your "suffering" of having to listen to or sing songs you don't like or don't agree with is not comparable to people who have experienced physical or sexual trauma.

    What has happened is not a joke, and it isn't funny. So maybe don't use this news to make jokes about how now you won't have to sing whatever shitty song you don't like, or how actually the lyrics are really creepy now if you think about it.

    (Also, this does not mean your local parish to going to abandon this genre/style. You know that, right?)

  • I've had to struggle with this question (as just articulated by Schönbergian) in at least one instance: a work by "Fr." Eugene Lindusky. Our parish was the recipient of one of his compositions back in the 70's... a setting of Cantate Domino which is unique (I suppose ever so slightly-odd) but ultimately of relatively high artistic merit. I resurrected the piece based on an old hand-written copy (nearly illegible) and a crackly reel-to-reel recording to decode those spots that were too difficult to decipher. Apparently this particular composition was gifted to the parish schola by Fr. Lindusky when he had lived in this area. It was in the archives of the daughter of one of the original schola members who sang it when it was first composed.

    Not having encountered his name before, I tried to do a little digging to find out more about the composer. I was surprised to find his name dotted around a few hymnals here and there. He has a few books/editions to his name as well.

    At the time we resurrected the work from manuscript, I tried to find out if anyone had publishing rights to the work. It seems it is unknown to the publishing house that has most of his archives and catalogue. (I even joked to the choir member, "well, at least we don't have to deal with heirs or an estate!".)

    How wrong I was. I later discovered that this priest converted to anglicanism and then went on to have a family and therefore did have an estate. As a matter of fact, I know that at least one of his family members visits this forum. Without commenting on his particular circumstances, you can imagine my surprise and discomfort to learn that the composer—a catholic priest no less—fell away from the Church and had children. (Not the first, and not the last.)

    I ultimately came to the decision that we should still sing the work since it had merit in itself, and it was a legitimate presentation of a latin liturgical text, and it had a particular link to this parish.

    Now I'm not saying that DH's music should continue to be sung (I avoid it like the plague) but in light of the current cancel culture, I don't necessarily think that this scandal should be the singular basis for evaluating the music's merits. Plenty of men have done good things and despaired on their deathbeds unknown to others. Likewise, many sinful men have repented on their dying breath and now enjoy the Beatific Vision and can legitimately be called "saint".

    I pray for DH's conversion (if guilty) and certainly any victims.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,223
    I am not sure we know the seriousness of any crimes he may have committed. Some who were involved may now regret their involvement but if they consented, their arguments to the contrary may be weak. Is there any proof yet that there was any real abuse? More will come out on this, so wait and see is all anyone can do at this point. His music still stinks and as I noted elsewhere, I have not used anything by him in 20 years.
    Thanked by 1cesarfranck
  • PaxMelodious
    Posts: 351
    This opens wide some very sticky points.

    It could be that anyone involved in public work for the church (in ANY role from the janitor to the director of music) is required to live strictly according to Catholic teachings around marriage. So no sex with anyone you are not married to. And even if you are married, the sex you practise needs to respect human dignity.

    But the church is a hospital for sinners not a health spa for saints. Many musicians are volunteers, not employees Musicians, not to mention ones with liturgical knowledge and interest, are scarce enough that their sins tend to be forgiven more readily than those of janitors.

    And anyway - what standard of behaviour is expected anyway? Obviously legal behaviour (in most countries, consensual sex with mentally-competent adults) is the bare minimum. But surely church should be asking more than that. How much more, though, from lay people who haven't taken a vow of celibacy?

    Personally I'd set the bar very high: no sexualised behaviour with anyone you have any church-related service with or responsibility for. Meaning that the single-never-married janitor, secretary, organist, choir-leader cannot date a parishoner. The Catholic school teacher cannot even date a colleague etc.

    Some companies do apply standards like this to their employees ("don't screw the crew" policies). But I'm told that they are impossibly high, and that no one would work or volunteer for the church if they applied. Meaning we have nasty questions around what is actually allowed and what is not.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,223
    True, but musician positions are already hard to fill in some areas. Getting too saintly could work against the Church.

    There was recently a complaint brought against a now dead priest, a former principal, and a teacher over something that allegedly happened in the mid 1980s in my diocese. Investigations could not substantiate any of the complaints. The diocese paid the complainer off which I still think is a bad idea. It brings out of the woodwork those who want to shake the church down for money. SNAP and its collection of rabid old ladies was right in the middle of it. What can you do? Even if disproved the rumor mill keeps it all alive.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 671
    I think GIA has to purge their catalogue and future hymnals of all David Haas music in order to save face. The company has heretofore prided itself and charted a course in removing "sexist" words and masculine references to God and humanity in songs, ostensibly out of sensitivity for women in worshipping communities so they won't feel "excluded."

    David Haas himself made inclusive language a matter of "justice" for women in hymn-writing and liturgical language.

    How would it look for a company to claim that it supports women's voices and women's inclusivity, opposes "sexism" in the Church and in liturgical music, yet is willing to continue selling music composed by someone who it seems for decades has been one of the industry's worst womanizers, manipulators and sexual abusers of women, only because that man is one of the company's top two "hitmakers"?

    It would look hypocritical. They have to purge David's material from their catalogue or they will be revealed as phonies, and all their talk about being committed to justice will be revealed as hollow.

    I don't support the inclusive language movement, but GIA does. Now GIA has to decide how committed it is to the principles they say they stand for by having a corporate commitment to inclusive language out of a concern for "justice for women."

    If they don't purge David's music, then they are saying, in effect, "We support women and justice for women except when it will mean our revenues take a substantial hit."

    Does GIA have integrity or not? We'll soon find out.

    Their board room discussions this week are probably very interesting.
  • Most people count me as a hard-line traditionalist, so I'll comment on the situation from that stand point.

    1) Mr. Haas stands accused. It is right and proper for the proper authorities to investigate, so as to determine the credibility of the accusation. The rest of us, wishing to be treated as innocent until proven guilty should afford the same courtesy to Mr. Haas.
    Both the accused and the accuser have rights which must be respected, in the name of justice.

    2) Abuse of the liturgy is an infinitely worse crime than the abuse of a single human person because the public worship of the Church is the gift God asks us to return to Him. I do not mean by this to diminish the attack on a human person, only to keep things in proportion. In one way, the abuse of the liturgy is a form of idolatry.

    3) Mr. Haas' music's continued use in the liturgy should not be based on his popularity, his money-making potential. Rather, it should be based on the objective suitability or unsuitability of the music itself.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,691
    If we could all steer clear of any Schadenfreude ("morose delectation"), it would be a good thing.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,223
    If he had been a secular composer, whether or not he was any good at it, I would likely have said ho-hum and given it little thought. However, this guy has gone around the country doing workshops telling us how we should worship and what we should sing - his stuff, of course. GIA is a money-making company more interested in that than anything sacred. They would sell dog poop if it were profitable - some would say they already have.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,769
    If we could all steer clear of any Schadenfreude ("morose delectation"), it would be a good thing.


    Props for use of the subjunctive. "If we could". But we can't. At least I'm having a hard time.
    Thanked by 3CharlesW tomjaw Elmar
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,699
    "dog poop" no I think that's unfair! marshmallow perhaps? Certainly unworthy for worship. I have no hesitation in condemning his music.
    But I can't judge his actions. Working with damaged people is hazardous, I recall that Billy Graham had an inflexible rule, never to be alone with a woman (apart from his wife).
    Thanked by 2CharlesW Elmar
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,223
    Truth to that. I made it a rule when I started working in church music to not be alone with choir members. During the 10 years I taught school, I followed the same rule with children and was never alone with them. Marshmallows? Perhaps. I have no illusions about any ethics from the big "Catholic" publishers. They will publish whatever will sell.
  • JesJes
    Posts: 562
    @a_f_hawkins I don't consider people who have been abused to be damaged. People are only as "damaged" as they choose to be.
    I work with a prayer group and I'd consider many of these people as carrying their cross with no more "damage" than any other person out there. We all get a cross, some in childhood, some in adulthood, some from marital breakup, or grief/loss, or health, or wealth hit, or abuse... it could be anything... the implication that working with women, or women who have faced assault previously in their life as being hazardous because they are "damaged people" is about as ridiculous as saying working with human beings is hazardous because all humans are "damaged."
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,699
    Jes - No slur on people who have been abused was intended. I didn't refer to people who had been abused. We are all needy, and our hearts will be restless until we rest in God, but acting as a guide on the path to God exposes one to people wanting to cling to the guide. We don't have enough information to judge. We don't even have enough to say, with an interviewer of X---X (a particularly magnetic personality) "It was raining little foxes, and I couldn't help noticing that X---X had his umbrella open upside down."
  • Chrism
    Posts: 804
    I guess I'm an old hat at Cancel now. The first thing I thought when I heard of this was, who's next? (Abelard? Greensleeves? John Newton? St. Augustine?)

    Edit: The answer was John Greenleaf Whittier.

    Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
    Forgive our foolish ways!
    Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
    In purer lives Thy service find,
    In deeper reverence, praise.
  • .
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,146
    One advantage for those that get asked to programme music written by Hass, can now mention that abuse survivors can be triggered by it so you can no longer perform it!
    Thanked by 1hilluminar
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,546
    Judge not, that you may not be judged, For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why seest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye; and seest not the beam that is in thy own eye? Or how sayest thou to thy brother: Let me cast the mote out of thy eye; and behold a beam is in thy own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam in thy own eye, and then shalt thou see to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

    Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat. How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it! Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (JC, Sermon on the Mount)

    We should let the man be. God will deal with him and all of us in due time. However, the fruit is the teller of truth...

    By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. (JC, Sermon on the Mount)

    The music was never a fruit I would ever pick.

  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,691
    People are only as "damaged" as they choose to be.

    To the contrary: when considering people who have suffered in abusive relationships, it would be a mistake to generalize about their feelings.
  • .
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,223
    People are only as "damaged" as they choose to be.


    I would say some people are more resilient than others. The same event may happen to two different people - I have seen this with children, too. One will be devastated by it and the other may bounce back and go forward.

    Bad stuff happens to people all too often. I wish it didn't but it does.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,366
    choose to be
    Reminds me of the time my wife tried to call in sick for the Christian Scientists. They wouldn't take excuses.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 671
    In fairness to the OP, the thread where this has been discussed has a cryptic title, so someone who doesn't check the board frequently could easily pass it over thinking that it was about something else.

    However, in fairness to GIA, although I think GIA is cornered into having to remove David's music from its catalogue and hymnals because of the corporate commitment and stand it has taken for a long time vis-a-vis justice for women in the church (via inclusive language editorial policies), to say you will not purchase any music from GIA until it caves to your demands, whose motives and rationale were unstated, seems to me to amount to spite.

    We can act better than Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Push shakedown operation or crybaby woke university students who occupy administrative school offices until the university president caves to their demands.

    Give GIA time to decide what to do without pressuring them with blackmail-type threats. We're better than that, or we should be.

    David probably has enough money already from past sales to retire comfortably. The biggest blow to him will be embarrassment and the inability to continue doing the music and church service he loves due to inevitable professional shunning and blacklisting. That's not to to garner sympathy for him; if the charges are true, he did it to himself. I'm just pointing out that money is probably not the biggest factor here.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,223
    As I pointed out in that other thread, if GIA removes all his music from current publications, it will still be in everything they have sold for the last 20+ years. They can't do anything about that and churches that own Haas compositions will probably continue using them.

    However, I have reached the age where being called a Casanova would be extremely flattering.
  • After reading through this and the comments section on GIA's post announcing the accusations against Haas, I'm heartbroken by just how many women have been abused by Haas. Lots of people are coming out and saying that either they or a close friend or loved one was abused by Haas. While the initial announcement by Into Account kept people's identities anonymous, that is certainly no longer the case. He appears to have abused a great number of people. As to the issue of presumption of innocence, the frequency and detail of these accusations make it no longer possible to continue to hold that presumption.

    The first accusation against David Haas was made in 1987. As could be seen in GIA's comments section until they hid the comments, Haas often did his abuse at places like the LA Religious Education Conference where plenty of witnesses were around, including the representatives of GIA and OCP. These publishers worked with him for 30+ years. Haugen and Joncas collaborated with him closely for 30+ years. It defies plausibility that no one in the Catholic liturgical industrial complex was aware of what Haas was doing for all these years.

    I fear that David Haas was a Harvey Weinstein like character, where everyone in the industry knew what was going on, but it was too inconvenient, both due to profit motive and due to fear of reprisals, to take him down. I fear that the entire Catholic liturgical industrial complex is complicit in covering up for David Haas.

    I can get traditional hymnody from the St. Michael Hymnal, which my parish has, and I can get contemporary music from CCLI, which my parish also has. I don't strictly speaking need anything from GIA or OCP, although I've been choosing to use their songs.

    If there is not a clear public accounting of who knew what when in the industry, I intend to take my business elsewhere.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • JesJes
    Posts: 562
    My point exactly... bad stuff happens to practically all people! "Damaged people" = ALL people.

    By golly, the Virgin Mary faced the violent death of her son and we wouldn't walk around calling Our Lady "damaged" and avoiding working with her... or would we?

    @jclangfo interesting points and interesting other thread. I'm afraid that a comment feed, whilst compelling, whilst believable STILL doesn't cut the mustard for me when a person has not been taken through the court process.
    Weinstein was taken to court amidst many accusations and proven to be guilty.
    Cardinal Pell was taken to court amidst many accusations, plus cover up accusations, plus the police begging for people to come forward and he was, on insufficient evidence, at first given a guilty verdict and then later after serving time acquitted to be innocent. He was wrongfully convicted. The accusations made against him were just as compelling for some people as these ones against Haas are.

    I'm not saying Haas is innocent but I am also not saying he is guilty because each person, no matter their politics, their power, their money, their hymn style whatever... each person deserves their chance to be heard in court to clear their name.

    A comment feed ought not be considered the official courtroom.
  • .
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,691
    The actions that GIA can take toward a composer involved in personal scandal may be limited by their contract. I've only signed one book contract with a publisher, but it provided that the publisher had the obligation to keep the book available for sale, and that rights would revert to the author after a specified time if the publisher failed to do so.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • Chonak,

    Lawyers have a way of making contracts unable to protect one party or the other. Nevertheless, I think you're correct that the actions that GIA can take may be limited.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • NihilNominisNihilNominis
    Posts: 657
    I believe in the American legal system. However, this does not appear likely ever to be judged by that system. In that case, I think it is prudent to give a lot of weight, as someone set out above, to just how little interest publishers would have, financially or otherwise, in acting on these accusations unless they were well substantiated to their satisfaction.

    I cannot judge the guilt, of course, but on those grounds it does seem imprudent to act as if these are wholly unsubstantiated in terms of my own personal choices
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,366
    acquitted to be innocent
    As nearly I understand Australian law (which isn't really very near) they have the same three verdicts as Britain, and unlike the US, distinguish "Not guilty" from "Innocent", which can have a subsequent bearing on civil actions. In Cardinal Pell's appeal, though, the court decided there was a "possibility" of innocence, corresponding to the burden of proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.