KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter
July 10, 2020
Two weeks ago, NCR published a report by Soli Salgado on David Haas, the Catholic composer who has been accused of sexual misconduct. The following week, NCR columnist Jamie Manson responded to the allegations, writing that “Part of the doubt cast on Haas’ victims is rooted in our theological tradition that trains us to not believe women.” Following are letters to the editor that have been edited for length and clarity.
Thank you for publishing Soli Salgado’s important and informative article about David Haas.
While victims of Haas may not wish to have charges pressed against him, I am disappointed to learn that so far none are at least considering civil action against him. The justice system could offer a measure of empowerment to those he has disempowered and, by filing civil suit, victims may influence event organizers to stop inviting him and, thus, protect women he would otherwise prey upon.
Language is also important. Although the term “sexual misconduct” is frequently used to describe sexual assault of adults, this crime is nonetheless a form of sexual abuse and should rightly be called this. Sexual misconduct sounds like mere naughtiness but it’s much, much more. Just because a person has reached their 18th birthday, this does not protect them from being deeply harmed by sexual assault, whether that be kissing, fondling or outright rape. Abuse is abuse!
Vancouver, British Columbia
I believe in being innocent until proven guilty but it sounds like the sheer number of cases lean towards David Haas as being a sexual deviant.
My heart goes out to the young women who claim to have been molested, assaulted, and the victim of lewd comments and behavior at the hand of Haas. I, too, enjoyed his music until I saw this article.
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