Tom Cabeen to be interviewed on TV

by Nathan Natas 39 Replies latest jw friends

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    Every so often I check out what is being discussed over on Channel-C. Being an admitted atheist, I would be denied participation on that discussion board. There are a couple of recent topics that I thought I would share here, since they might be of interest to others, and might also encourage some discussion. The other thread will be started tomorrow, since I've used up my daily allotment of 2 threads.

    The first thread, started by our old friend "Amazing" Jim Whitney, says:

    Posted by JimWhitney on Sat - May 3 - 5:25pm:

    On Monday, May 19th, at 8:00 PM, Eastern Daylight Time, Tom Cabean will be interviewed on the program "The Journey Home." It will be shown on cable TV channel "Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), a global Catholic network.

    The program will go into Tom's history with Jehovah's Witnesses and his time of service at Bethel and his conversion to Catholicism.

    The link below can be used to confirm the program schedule.

    I think EWTN is channel 370 on DirecTV. You can probably find it other satellite/cable networks.

    Jim's initial post elicited a response that to me was unexpected :

    Posted by Researcher on Sun - May 4 - 07:14am:

    In Reply to: Tom Cabean to be interviewed on Cable TV posted by JimWhitney on Sat - May 3 - 5:25pm:

    Hi Jim Whitney.

    This is what Tom Cabeen has sold his soul to:

    "The Church professes her faith in the eternity of the pains of hell in clear terms in the Athanasian Creed (Denz., nn. 40), in authentic doctrinal decisions (Denz, nn. 211, 410, 429, 807, 835, 915), and in countless passages of her liturgy; she never prays for the damned. Hence, beyond the possibility of doubt, the Church expressly teaches the eternity of the pains of hell as a truth of faith which no one can deny or call in question without manifest heresy."

    Which means that TC is not allowed to question any of this without HE HIMSELF being a heretic and he himself condemned to the flames of Hell!

    the Catholic Encyclopedia about Hell


    This was added to the "conversation":

    Posted by Flatlander on Sat - May 3 - 6:08pm:

    In Reply to: Tom Cabean to be interviewed on Cable TV posted by JimWhitney on Sat - May 3 - 5:25pm:

    Hi Jim,
    Where have you been lately?

    I still cant seem to wrap my head around the idea that Tom, having talked to him in person a few years ago, can now accept the doctrines of Purgatory, eternal torment, praying to Mary and the saints etc. He seems to be such a caring and loving person; completely the opposite of what he feels God now "is"; now that he has accepted the Catholic doctrine that God has a place of eternal torment for wayward souls. It seems, to me anyway, such a complete 180 degrees from what I remember of him. He was very instrumental in helping me with my exit from the JW religion and I am at least very grateful for the help he and his family did for mine at that crossroad in our lives. If I had to pick one doctrine that I have trouble reconciling in my search for understanding God and his dealings with man, that would be very near the top.

    I would very much like to watch the program but I can't seem to find that cable channel on my cable tv listing for my area. Maybe I will be able to download a copy of it from somewhere or someone after it airs.


    "Researcher" approved:

    Posted by Researcher on Sun - May 4 - 00:54am:

    In Reply to: Re: Tom Cabean to be interviewed on Cable TV posted by Flatlander on Sat - May 3 - 6:08pm:

    Hi Flat.

    Agree fully. You expressed yourself very well on the issue.

    Though I never knew Tom I'm sure that your description of him is true. He having such a mild and compassionate nature, it is indeed STUNNING that he should now become a member of a Church that strongly believes in eternal torment. Why does he do this? My guess: He is in need of a religious 'home' (possibly his sons too), a steadfast place of spiritual gravity - not like the Protestant world where there is no religious center of gravity.

    But in this case there is: The Papacy, the Vatican. Maybe I know how he feels about it. Being a Christian and being spiritually lonely is very hard. I know, for in Sweden I am.

    But I will never consider converting to the RCC. My heart goes out to Tom. I feel so sorry for him.


    As for my own thooughts on this, I will watch Tom Cabeen if I remember to. The conversion (or return) to Catholicism by Tom Cabeen (and Jim Whitney) are their own business. I won't condemn them, though as an atheist I think they won't enjoy eternity in the way they expect to.

    The TV interview should be interesting though, no? Anyone who wants to read Tom's biography can check:

  • cabasilas

    I usually leave these sort of threads alone and may regret having joined in the fray here. There are too many possible topics here for one thread so I'll choose only one.

    I cannot speak for Tom, but I've never met one Catholic who believes that God torments sinners. Yes, Catholics believe in hell, but it's a belief of a "self-exclusion" to hell. The Catholics I've met understand the descriptions of the pain of hell in Scripture metaphorically. John Paul II put it this way:

    Hell is not a punishment imposed externally by God, but the condition resulting from attitudes and actions which people adopt in this life. It is the ultimate consequence of sin itself. Sacred Scripture uses many images to describe the pain, frustration and emptiness of life without God. More than a physical place, hell is the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God, the source of all life and joy. So eternal damnation is not God's work but is actually our own doing.

    Just semantics? A Catholic priest explains it this way:

    Many people raise emotional difficulties here. They ask, how could a good God condemn souls to hell? They have an image of God as an almighty hanging judge. They do not understand that God condemns souls to hell in much the same way that He "condemns" bodies to destruction if they choose to jump from great heights, if they attempt to digest poison, or if they abuse their system with alcohol or drugs. We live in a cosmos, not a chaos. If we choose disorder, disorder we shall have.

    In some way the teaching on hell is one of the easiest truths of the Faith to accept, not the hardest. The reason is that we see previews of hell all around us. There are many who not only do evil, they love evil. They go around "looking for trouble" as if rage, violence and hatred are the atmosphere they must exist in. Evil we refuse to repent begins to destroy us deep within. This is the "hell" we refuse to come out of, no matter what grace or light God may send. There is one thing the Lord never does: He does not force our will. Our will is our own . . . literally. God solicits, touches, urges, inspires--all of that--but He never forces. All of this within space and time; at death we leave the chance of change behind: we never change our minds again. We enter into what we have chosen to become.

    This doctrine on hell is the convex side of what is concave in the freedom of the will. God takes our free will seriously. He lets us go our own way; He pours graces on us; He sends messengers into our lives. He batters on the doors of our souls and calls loudly to us just as He called to Lazarus in the tomb: "Come out!"

    (Of course, I'm assuming that the idea of hell was taught in Scripture and the early Church. I'll not go into that other than to cite this page:)

    I realize this is a subject that most JWs (and some ex-JWs) respond to emotionally. I know I used to myself. And I realize that most here will disagree with the Catholic belief. I just wanted to point out the difference between what most JWs see as Catholic belief and the actual thing. There's a lot more to be said on the subject, but I'll stop for now as my time is limited.

  • RR

    In all the catholic funerals I've ever been too, I've always found it funny how the Church sends everyone to Hell, but when they die, they always seem to go to heaven. Even the worst of them!


  • NanaR
    Anyone who wants to read Tom's biography can check:

    A new version of Tom's story can be found here:

    Tom commented on another thread on this subject here:

    Anyone who can't get the TV version of EWTN but has broadband internet can watch the program at

    It will be broadcast live on the internet and also archived (in video and audio) and rebroadcast.

    If you watch the live broadcast, you can call in with questions or email them to be answered on the air.



  • drew sagan
    drew sagan

    Thanks for posting Nathan Natas, I'm going to make sure to tune in. I catch that program every once and a while. While I'm no Catholic, I like to watch because for all of the criticisms you hear of Catholicism (especially when you are in a JW, Ex-JW, Protestant atmosphere) I like to hear a little bit from the other side. There is actually some interesting dialog on there from time to time (not always, but sometimes).

    The reasons why people end up in some Churches vary. Some people are not just as obsessed with doctrine as other and find going to a mainline traditionalist church something acceptable to them. To be to harsh on such decisions is cold and unwarranted.

  • Fadeout

    cabasilas quoting the Pope: "More than a physical place, hell is the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God, the source of all life and joy."

    How incredibly evasive. Note that his Popeness does not deny that Hell is a physical place. He just chooses to emphasize the non-physical qualities.

    If you teach that all souls are immortal, and the ones that displease God don't go to heaven but instead are in a place of suffering, but you don't want to seem like a bastard and say they'll be roasted alive for eternity, you've got to equivocate like you've never equivocated before.

  • nowisee

    just tom and gloria always do everything simultaneously? (i mean religion-wise).

  • cabasilas


    How is that evasive? Hell, according to traditional belief occurs after the resurrection of the body. (The resurrection of the body is a belief of all mainline Churches.) Now, we don't know the specifics of the resurrection of the body but we do hold to the belief, nonetheless. Bodies take up space. (Though, again, we don't know the physics involved...even of the New Heavens and New Earth). Now, tell me, where did the pope say they'd be "roasted alive for all eternity"?

  • Tom Cabeen
    Tom Cabeen

    Hi See,

    Gloria and I have made our journey together. We are good friends and we talk about things all the time. Gloria is a deeply religious but intuitive person, whereas I am more analytical, studious and pragmatic. She wanted to leave Bethel because of how people were treated. She just felt that something was wrong. I wanted to leave because I became convinced that they were not who they said they were, after reading a letter from Carl Olof Jonsson, which was later made into a book called "the Gentile Times Reconsidered." But our change of opinion about the WTS happened for both of us at just about the same time.

    We both shared in hosting a discussion/support group for former JWs. She eventually suggested that we should move out of the ex-JW atmosphere and associate with other Christians, to expand our horizons. About the same time, I wanted our boys to have companions that at least shared our basic Christian moral and ethical values. We received a mailing from a church looking to increase membership, and we both attended there. A year or two later, she found another church she liked better, because it had much better youth programs, and I was happy to move there, as nothing was holding me to the first church.

    I eventually joined that second church (Baptist) but she never did. She wasn't comfortable joining a church officially, although she was active in Bible studies, taught Sunday School, etc. After reading the early Church writings, I wanted to attend an Anglican/Episcopal church. She agreed, and we did. We both liked it. We didn't have to join there. If you give money to them, you are "on the list". :-) That was our introduction to "Catholic-style" liturgical worship.

    We loved the Episcopal liturgy and the local parish was wonderful, but the Episcopal church here in the US has really serious problems. I had started reading materials about the Catholic church, and sharing some of the things I learned with her. I liked what I found, but knew that I had learned as much as I could from the outside. I needed to be inside to continue learning about the Catholic church. But we both liked where we were, and I did not pressure her to make another move. There was no rush. Eventually, she observed many of the same things I did, and suggested that we go through the Catholic RCIA program. I agreed. (We did an abbreviated version of the program.) We both liked what we found and were confirmed as Catholics.

    Each time we made a change, it has been a matter of us discussing things and coming to mutual agreement. Sometimes the initiative for a change was mine, sometimes it was hers.


  • Carlos_Helms

    If you can get your head around this: Nothing (and I repeat, NOTHING) is as it seems. Did I say "nothing"? Think about it. Much love, Carlos

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