I need to share some sad information with you that will impact the music we use at Risen Savior.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has received multiple independent reports from adult women in different parts of the country alleging that liturgical music composer, David Haas, has engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior and spiritual abuse from as early as 1987 to a few years ago.
On July 8, 2020, the Archdiocese put out this statement:
Survivors of sexual harassment and abuse deserve support and understanding. Indeed, our community as a whole has suffered much from those who have used positions of power or privilege to harm others. We have a responsibility to be mindful of this and do what we can to prevent further injury to those who have already suffered harm.
Therefore, Archbishop Hebda has decided that David Haas may not give presentations at workshops, concerts, or similar events hosted by the Archdiocese, parishes, Catholic schools, or other Catholic institutions in the Archdiocese. Likewise, the Archdiocese will not use Haas’ compositions at Archdiocesan Masses and other Archdiocesan events. Also, the Archbishop has encouraged pastors, principals, and leaders of other Catholic institutions to consider the sensitivities involved with using Haas’ music in liturgies or other parish or school events, and to take appropriate steps to fully support those who have been harmed by sexual assault or abuse.
Here at Risen Savior, we feel that it is important to listen to, support and empower those who are victims of this abuse. For that reason, for the foreseeable future, we will not use Haas’ music in Church of the Risen Savior liturgies or services. To do otherwise would serve as a tacit endorsement of Mr. Haas’ behavior and cause further distress for the victims.
This policy will apply to future liturgies and services. Any services that have already been planned (funerals, etc.) will not be asked to change.
I acknowledge that this policy will remove a large amount of our music ministry repertoire, eliminating many favorites and traditions. However, I feel it is the right thing to do and we will come out the other side of this ordeal better for it.
This is just one more way in which the world around us is changing and how we must change with it.
I ask that you hold in prayer all those whose lives have been impacted by this.
Kevin Rotty, Director of Liturgy and Music