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Good Counsel

By Diogenes (articles ) | Mar 07, 2004

"We wouldn't necessarily restrict somebody from getting a degree because of that kind of background," Andriacco said, referring to Kelley's Athenaeum degree. "We wouldn't want them to be working with children. (But) many counselors are themselves what they call wounded healers. One is not necessarily barred from being a counselor because one is in counseling oneself."

You guessed it. Those are the words of Archdiocese of Cincinnati spokesman Dan Andriacco. Father David Kelley had a history of inappropriate contact with boys (sound familiar?); was sent to New Mexico in 1987 for therapy; enrolled in a program to become a pastoral counselor in 1999; and -- until 38 men filed lawsuits against him for having abused them as children -- was employed as a counselor at Northland Intervention Center in suburban Cincinnati. As the story was published today we have a pretty good indication of how deep the lessons of the National Review Board's findings have sunk in. "Many counselors are themselves what they call wounded healers." Right.

Andriacco has said that archdiocese officials had concerns about Kelley's activities with boys in 1983 and 1987, but no one accused Kelley of having sexual contact with a minor until the 1994 allegation, which stemmed from an incident in the late 1970s. Kelley didn't deny that accusation. Andriacco said Kelley's past doesn't mean he can't be a good counselor.

Hey, Kelley's past is ... history.

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  • Posted by: - Mar. 08, 2004 4:20 PM ET USA

    Hey, I admitted it would take a miracle. But sexual sin CAN be an addiction, and, like any addiction, it shares the features of denial, irrationality, and getting the "drug" at all costs, including violating one's most deeply held beliefs. I do think there are some parallels. And I believe that, just like alcoholics who may have a genetic component in their addiction, homosexuals CAN learn to control their behavior through abstinence. And these priests are homosexuals, not true pedophiles.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 08, 2004 7:23 AM ET USA

    If I follow reginacaelis' logic then should I seek a marriage counselor who has chalked up the greatest number of failed marriages? The judgement of a sex abuser is critically flawed thus his ability to make a sound, objective analysis is not likely to produce good fruit. I think that comparing sex abuse therapists to drug/alcohol abuse therapists is in no way analogous.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 07, 2004 7:42 PM ET USA

    At the risk of dissenting from the always-on-the-mark Diogenes, I have to stick up for the "wounded healer" line. It's a fact that the best addictions counselors are former addicts. They know all the dodges. It is just POSSIBLE, through a miracle of grace, that a recovering former molester might be able to help other sexual deviants. As long as he stays away from his drug of choice (boys), of course.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 07, 2004 6:38 PM ET USA

    "wounded healers?" Is that anything like getting the Fox to guard the Henhouse?