Bishop Mark has issued a directive to not use the songs and music of liturgical composer David Haas in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. The Bishop’s directive comes after Haas was accused of sexually harassing or assaulting women. The Bishop’s letter announcing the directive was sent to all priests, deacons, religious communities, Catholic schools, and college campus ministry programs within the eight-county diocese.
The following is the full text of the Bishop’s letter:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Earlier this year the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis received multiple reports of sexual harassment and assault of women by liturgical composer David Haas that occurred over a span of 40 years. The reports are said to be credible. Mr. Haas has made a public apology for his actions.
The liturgical music of David Haas includes songs and accompaniment for responses used for Masses and other liturgical rites. Some of the most popular compositions by Mr. Haas include: ‘You Are Mine,’ ‘Blessed Are They,’ ‘I Know That My Redeemer Lives,’ ‘We Have Been Told/Now We Remain,’ ‘We Are Called,’ as well as numerous Psalm settings.
Two of the largest publishers of hymn books and liturgical music, GIA Publications and Oregon Catholic Press, have already announced that they would no longer publish any songs/music by David Haas. It is anticipated that music of David Haas will no longer appear in other publications.
Given the serious nature of the complaints against Mr. Haas, I hereby direct that the songs and music of David Haas are not to be used in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. This restriction pertains to liturgical and non-liturgical settings.
Please pray for victims of sexual assault and abuse. Pray for their healing. Please remain steadfast in our commitment to safe-environments in our diocese where the dignity of every person is respected and protected.
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Rev. Mark L. Bartchak
Bishop of Altoona-Johnstown