Catholic Priest Responds to Edward Tarte About Newtown Massacre

[Link to video]

About Edward Tarte

I am age 78, once a Catholic priest for five years (in the 1960's), then a math teacher for 44 years up to the present day. I became an atheist a few years ago. My hobbies are music and chess.

  • Octoberfurst

    So Father TJ thinks that ALL the children and teachers that were killed in Newtown on that horrible day are in Heaven eh? On what does he base this on? His own religion says that you must have accepted Jesus as your Savior to enter heaven. How does he know that all the teachers were faithful Christians? And what about the kids? I know that at least one was Jewish. And Edward said in his video answering TJ that the Catholic church says the age of accountability is 7. (Which was the age of most of the victims.) So it is possible that some of the kids are in Hell, is it not?

    During horrible tragedies like this clergy always say that the victims are happily with the Lord. But by saying that they are going against their own theology. But I guess being honest is just too painful. After all you would come across as a heartless a-hole to say or imply that some or most of the victims are in Hell. But that is the reality in their theology.

    This is one of the reasons I can’t stand religion. They offer this pie in the sky nonsense to victims of a tragedy but yet preach sermons on Sundays that you must be born-again to get to Heaven—no exceptions.

  • Guest

    He is a Catholic priest, but he has a woefully poor understanding of scripture. He says he believes that the murdered children and adults are “enjoying the eternal rewards of the heavenly banquet.” According to his bible, only a handful of people have been to heaven, and those under special circumstances. No one else will go to heaven until the rapture, or second coming, or whatever. But none of those children are in heaven, according to the actual teachings of his own religion.

    Certainly not something to inspire anyone’s confidence.

  • roberthughmclean

    They can never ever explain why their god failed so dosmally again on that fateful day. This god character is as useful as Superman.

  • roberthughmclean


  • GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    Is anyone else amused that the advertisement banner at the top of the Friendly Atheist blog all this week has been “Date Christian Women”?

    What targeted ads do they have over at the Christian blogs…. “Have sex with atheist men”?

  • chanceofrainne

    Father TJ appears to be what happens when a beer-swilling broseph puts on a backwards collar. Everything he said came across to me as totally fake, especially in that ~especially caring~ voice that he put on when talking about how ~much~ he just wants you to know the ~love of God~.

  • chanceofrainne

    True. And any of those dead kids who weren’t baptized Catholics? They won’t get into Heaven EVER, according to Catholic doctrine. In fact, they’ll spend eternity in a place called Limbo, because they’re a bit too young to get shipped straight to hell.

  • Edward Tarte

    It is typically Protestants, not Catholics, who require accepting Jesus as Savior as a prerequisite to Heaven. Catholic theology, on the other hand, admits to Heaven those non-believers-in-Jesus who carefully follow their consciences. And Catholic teaching used to be (when I was a priest in the 1960s) that kids who die before age 7 go to a place of “natural happiness without God”, called limbo. Now as I understand it, the teaching says they go to Heaven.

  • Edward Tarte

    Describing former Catholic teaching, I should have said, “…kids who die before age 7, UNBAPTIZED, go to …limbo.”

  • Edward Tarte

    I have no knowledge, nor, I assume, do you, of TJ’s drinking habits. Also, I am convinced from many emails and comments from him that he sincerely cares about other people, including us. I do not see anything fake about him.

  • JohnnieCanuck

    Actually, there is no place called Limbo anymore. The Pope or someone had a Revelation about it and ‘pop’, it disappeared.

    I think maybe they admitted that it never existed in the first place, but I wasn’t paying enough attention.

    A few more Revelations like that could eliminate the Rapture, Hell, Heaven and the Trinity. It’d be nice.

  • chanceofrainne

    You’d know more about it than I would; my only exposure to him was this video right here. All I have to go on were my surface impressions, in which he came across to me like a frat boy who found a “calling”. *shrug*

  • mrklause

    Father TJ stated that there is no scientific proof on either side of the question as to weather or not god exists, so i have to ask ” if there is no proof why does he persist in telling others they should believe as he does”? at least until testable evidence is provided by a reliable source that his god does exist he should keep his beliefs to himself.

  • not-a-yank

    When I watch people lying for jesus it really makes me feel nauseous… but this guy seems to me inordinately disingenuous and I wonder in how far his demeanour is a put-on to impress his flock.

    He is, in a word, creepy.

    On top of the ad hom I’d like to take this opportunity to deride said flock and ask them just how intellectually vacant they are to listen to him spewing his make-believe on a weekly basis.

  • not-a-yank

    This is one of the reasons I can’t stand religion. They offer this pie in the sky nonsense to victims of a tragedy but yet preach sermons on Sundays that you must be born-again to get to Heaven—no exceptions.

    Christopher Hitchens said just this but with his inimitable clarity:

    “Religion is the biggest protection racket in the history of the world. But it offers no protections, only threats.”

    What an awesome man.

  • Kevin S.

    Especially since he’s taking the position that makes the boldest assumptions.

  • coyotenose

    Hey, Superman stopped a nuke. There’s fucking video of that, man.

  • Karen

    I think TJ did well for a first video. Talking to a camera has got to feel really different from talking to a roomful of parishioners. He struck me as sincere in his beliefs. I do have the minor quarrel with him that there is no deity, and those gunned down at Sandy Hook have just ceased to exist except as memories. The nature of that quarrel makes it difficult to have a dialog.

    Edward, as usual, you rock.

  • Stev84

    Actually, they basically said “We really don’t know where unbaptized children’s soul go”. Quite the admission for an authoritarian cult that usually has answers for everything. They stressed that they “hope” they go to heaven, but were very careful to not make any definite claims this time.

  • Stev84

    That sounds more Protestant than Catholic. Remember that the Catholic Church doesn’t derive its teachings solely from the Bible.

  • Brian Westley

    I don’t know why they wouldn’t, it’s not like they can be caught out as wrong or anything.

  • Cecelia Baines

    Because he is operating under the juvenile notion of “Pascal’s Wager”. It shows he is not developmentally or emotionally past the age of seven himself in terms of how he uses his brain.

  • Cecelia Baines

    So the new Catholic dogma vis-a-vis the afterlife is a bit of “Heaven 2.0″?

  • MariaO

    On my page it has been an even more amusing one. There is a travel company here named “Apollo”. The ad is its namesake god reclining on a tropical beach and the text is “For God’s sake get some sun.” Guess that would never pass in the USA?

  • Carmelita Spats

    If he “cared about other people”, he would have the moral fortitude to
    leave an ORGANIZED CRIME SYNDICATE which is subject to RICO statutes in the U.S. If he “cared about other people”, he would make an HONEST living instead of whoring himself out to a violent, sadistic, and
    perverse institution where maladjusted virgins victimize the vulnerable,
    the dispossessed and in my country, the HUNGRY. Mr. TJ is part of an
    incorrigible machinery that covers up the SEXUAL TORTURE of children and continues to do so in the developing world. Crimen Sollicitationis
    aside, Mr. TJ is a repulsive human being. It will take my country
    another twenty years, and the heaping of more raped children, before we
    explode like Ireland. See Also: ex-priest Patrick J. Wall’s blog which is an excellent source in monitoring how the RCC fights criminal liability in the U.S. I hope the developing world is paying attention.

  • The Other Weirdo

    For months last year the banner at the top was “I’m a Mormon and I’m so happy I could puke!” Or, at least, it said, “I’m a Mormon” and showed some overly happy people I just wanted to smash in the face for being so happy.

  • baal

    Personal bias prevented me from watching. The priest has the camera pointed up so that it looks like he’s looking down at us. Further, he’s top lit so his eyes appear as pools of darkness. The room behind him is too bright and reflective so the parts of his face we can see appear flatter and cartoonish. The net impact is very off putting.

  • Kacy

    I’m a bit late to the discussion, but I have to remark that I’m suspicious of anybody who takes on that weird, patronizing, and oddly sexual sounding tone of voice that Fr. TJ uses at various points in the video: The phrase, “Maybe it’s led just one person back to God and his great love,” around the 4:22 mark, provides a specific example, but he uses this tone and cadence in other places as well. I’ve heard pastors and youth pastors speak in this way in multiple Christian denominations, and there is just something a bit gimmicky about it.

  • J-Rex

    I just think he needs to get his story straight. Did all the children and adults go to heaven? Did only baptized ones and the really young ones go? I understand that you’re not going to mention that they might not all be in heaven when you’re trying to comfort people, but don’t lie about it if it’s not what you really believe. There’s nothing wrong with saying you don’t know.

  • J-Rex

    I was just going to say that. He sounds *exactly* like my youth pastor did. It’s the voice where you have. to pause. continuously. to let. people. know. that you. really. mean. what you. are saying.

  • Bob Carlson

    I find this interesting. Somewhat more than 60 years before the Pope started tweeting, I was growing up in a village where there were (and apparently still are) just two churches, one Lutheran (Wisconsin Synod) and one Catholic. My mother had been raised Protestant, and although she didn’t much admire the philosphies of the church or its pastors and did not attend their church services, the three kids our family were sent to the Lutheran Sunday school and catechism classes. I remember the pastor being asked in a catechism class whether a Catholic could go to heaven (I was inclined to asked develish questions, but I don’t think I was responsible for this one). I recall the answer being sort of maybe. I also recall an occasion in which a Lutheran girl whose family lived across the street from the church became engaged to a fellow who was Catholic; the pastor visited the father of the young woman and chided him for allowing his daughter to become engaged to a heathen. The pastor was shown the door. Of the two churches, the Catholic one was the larger; it was also right next to the village’s K-9 public school, and the priests were often asked to offer a prayer at major school events like graduations. The Lutheran pastor would caution the children in his catechism classes not to pray along with the Catholic priest. Those who advocate prayer in public schools are evidently unaware of what it could be like in the good old days.

  • Ibis3

    Even if you discount the whole limbo problem or salvation as a slim possibility for the unbaptised and heretics, even Catholics who die unshriven are supposed to be in Purgatory, no?