TV's 'God Squad' priest dies

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest from New York who gained fame as half of an interfaith "God Squad" duo on television has died.

Monsignor Thomas J. Hartman died late Tuesday at a nursing home in Uniondale. His death at age 69 was confirmed by Bishop William Murphy of the Diocese of Rockville Centre in a statement.

Murphy said Hartman had suffered from Parkinson's disease for several years.

Hartman and Rabbi Marc Gellman teamed up as the "God Squad" on TV and radio and in print for 25 years.

The pair started the program in 1987 on Cablevision. A decade later they moved it to Telecare, the diocesan television channel.

Newsday reports that Hartman once called himself "a parish priest with an ability in the media."

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