St. Catherine's report sparks calls for accountability from survivors of alleged abuse by David Haas
Some sexual assault survivors and advocates are still working to hold Catholic institutions accountable following an independent investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against composer David Hass by St. Catherine's University in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The survivors and advocates are pointing to a failure to interview Haas and the then-president of the university, as well as a lack of accountability for a former university employee whom they allege was aware of allegations against Haas.
Although St. Catherine's investigation found that the university never received any "official" complaints about Haas, it also revealed that a witness that investigators deemed credible brought concerns about Haas to a university employee, who allowed Haas — and a priest who had been stripped of his priestly duties for sex abuse allegations — to continue to participate in the Music Ministry Alive summer camps for high schoolers at the university.
St. Catherine's University is the first of any major Catholic institution to release a report based upon investigations about Haas after dozens of women came forward to report sexual abuse and grooming to the survivor advocacy organization Into Account last summer. To date, Into Account says 52 women have submitted reports about Haas' alleged abusive behavior.
- NCR spoke to three of the women who accused Davis Haas of sexual misconduct last June.
- Into Account followed up June's report with an October report compiling 44 women's accounts of sexual and spiritual abuse by Haas, spanning 41 years.
- After an independent investigation, St. Catherine's University said it was updating some of its policies based on the report's findings. GIA Publications, a major distributor of Haas' works, also vowed an independent investigation.
In a commentary for NCR, Paul Farmer, co-founder and chief strategist of Partners in Health, and Social Service Sr. Simone Campbell, former executive director of Network, call for COVID-19 vaccines to be rapidly produced at scale and made available to all people, in all countries, free of charge.
"We are in the midst of a global vaccine apartheid — an unnecessary, unjust, and catastrophic divide in access to COVID-19 vaccines," Farmer and Campbell write.
More than one billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine have now been administered worldwide, but only 0.2 percent of them have been given in low-income countries. In the U.S., as of yesterday, nearly 150 million people have received at least one vaccine dose, 11 times the number across the continent of Africa, whose population is four times as large. Some poor nations, like Haiti, have yet to receive a single dose; those that have begun vaccinating have nowhere near the supply needed to protect even their health workforces.
"But vaccine nationalism is not the only way; global solidarity is a moral and pragmatic imperative," say Farmer and Campbell. "By massively boosting vaccine production and removing barriers to an equitable rollout, we can help vaccinate the world to the benefit of all."
- NCR political columnist Michael Sean Winters has another edition of Catholics behaving badly.
- At EarthBeat, read an interview with Sen. Raphael Warnock,
who believes that President Joe Biden's $2.3 trillion infrastructure
plan will both build a clean energy economy and also repair national
- In the latest Francis Effect podcast,
hosts Heidi Schlumpf, Fr. Daniel Horan and David Dault discuss the
first hundred days of the Joe Biden presidency — and the reactions from
some Catholic quarters. Catch up on all of the podcast episodes here.
- ICYMI: Faith-based refugee resettlement groups are celebrating President Joe Biden's decision to raise the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. for the remainder of the federal fiscal year to 62,500, acknowledging they need to rebuild their capacity.