Best Hardcore Catholic Apologist?

Who is the best hardcore Catholic apologist you’ve ever heard of now and in times past. One that could/can refute any and every attack against the Church at will at the drop of a hat that did not care if he/she offended anyone or not!

I’m not familiar with any except Scott Hahn, Patrick Madrid, Karl Keating and a couple more, but my favorite is Scott Hahn. I figure he’ll be made a saint some day.

I hear you man. He is good. Pat Madrid is an excellent debater also. Tim Staples is good too. I have alot of his CD talks as well. I got pretty good at apologetics a few years ago listening and really learning from these heavy hitters. I have to admit though, you have to really have patience and tolerate attacks bigtime!

Former USMC Tim Staples is trained to take the fight to the “enemy” Patrick Madrid is one of the best full-time apologists.

There you go my friend. That’s what I’m talkin’ bout. I’m talking about them heavy duty apologetics that the most ardent and gung-ho Prot pastors and Prot apologists hate whenever you are around or when somebody talks about you around them. I used to work with a JW that just hated when he tried to “minister to me” and ended up getting slammed apologetically. You know what I mean?

I agree with you all that Scott and Karl and Pat (Madrid) are terrific apologists for the faith.
So is Marcellino D’Ambrosio. So was Father William J. Most (and you are REALLY missing out if you don’t google him and his Father William J. Most Library of his writings on Catholic subjects.

But about “Debates.”
I have come to LOATHE and DETEST “debates.”
I have enough tape sets of debates, even with good apologists, to realize that this is not the way truth should be handled. Debates are really about who can say the most clever thing and most impressive things in the short time allocated per person. Forty five seconds here, 1 and a quarter minutes there. This is nonsense. You cannot do a really good apologetic for the Catholic Faith that way. It comes down to a contest between the two debaters, and on their websites, both debaters have their fans, both of them,
who claim that the guy representing THEIR side in the debate, “WON the debate hands down.”

I hate debates. I will no longer buy any of them. I think they are kind of sacrilegious, because they amount to a contest between two skilled orators. While the Catholic apologists are always more substantive, of course, who “WON” the debate comes down to a matter of oratory skill and cleverness, not accuracy. Sad but true.

Plus, any debate with James White makes me furious.
His claims require hours of detailed documentation to refute, not the mere one or one and a half minutes allowed to the Catholic apologist. I can’t stand debates anymore.
Give me a good, detailed TALK by a Catholic apologist anytime.

Not caring if you offend people is not a Christian virtue. I don’t think a single soul will ever be won this way, nor do I believe one ever has been.

Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame. (1 Peter 3:15-16)

Our first Pope commands us to speak to other human beings with gentleness. He does not tell us to speak to the truth for the sake of truth itself, but for the ultimate end of converting souls to Jesus Christ. Having the attitude that I’m going to say what is true and I really don’t give a **** how you feel about it is the exact opposite of what St. Peter tells us to do.

You can call someone like that hardcore if you want, but what is really hardcore is when we put aside our own petty need to be seen as smart and to always be seen as right, to swallow our pride and to speak to people like adults. What’s really hardcore is to refuse to treat someone like a piece of garbage when you really want to grab them by the throat and smack some sense into them. To me that’s hardcore.


I have only heard Tim Staples and Robert Sungenis, but I think they’re both good. The one I heard with Robert Sungenis wasn’t an official debate, but a call-in to a Protestant radio show (Matt Slick was the Protestant). He was respectful of Slick even as Slick told him that he didn’t consider Catholics Christians and that Sungenis and other Catholics were lost.

I’ve heard that Patrick Madrid was excellent as well. I love Scott Hahn, and would be interested in hearing him debate.

God bless,

Amen. We are called to explain the faith, not to intentionally offend or belittle. If someone takes offense to hearing the truth, that is on them. If you want a great example of this, listen to Catholic Answers when the Radio show has the Ask An Apologist programs.

I know what you mean Timothy. I’ve been there, but when you engage people (Edited) in discussion alot of times they are not listening to you because most of the time they are waiting for you to stop talking so that they can tell you how to get “saved” and what not. This is where debate comes into play. I’m not talking about professional debate, I’m talking about on your porch, at the grocery store, or at the reunion debate where you have to defend your faith and attack back if necessary because most of the time they want to belittle the Catholic faith and maybe even sometimes make us look like idiots for being Catholic. Like I said, you have to have alot of patience in apologetics. Just my experience anyways. What do you guys think? I’ve been in all kinds of debates with (Edited) pastors diehard (Edited) laymen and the like. Sometimes you only have a few moments to say something worthwhile to a person so you better spit it it out quit and as much as possible before leave and you never see them again.

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen? Could he be classified as an apologist?

Bishop Sheen was awsome. He was more like a preacher/evangelist. Another good preacher was Father Corapi. He was/is a hardcore no nonsense Catholic priest that was a heck of a good preacher.

Cursing is not a Christian virtue either. Not for fun, not for effect, not to make a point, not bleeped out. Not at all.


I did not use the “S” word. I probably could have chosen a better word though.

I used the “C” word and it was bleeped out automatically by whatever software CAF uses for it’s message board. It is quite common for message boards to use word-breaker software.

I did not mean to offend and apologize if I did. “Treat people like garbage” would have conveyed the same idea without all the drama.


If hardcore is define as an individual who is an intransigent person who resist change, then John Salsa and Robert Sungenis are prime candidates. Geocentrism is their forte.

Christ taught the very first Christian apologists to enter a house and let thier peace come upon it, and if there was no peace to be found they were to shake the dust off their shoes and move on.

See, that’s the thing. God can work in an environment of peace. I question the value of debate. The Holy Spirit will never shout. The Holy Spirit will never try to compete.

It does take patience, and that is why Christ taught the first 72 apologists to stay at the house they entered, not to throw one liners at people they would never see again. I live in the deep south, the heart of non-denominational Evangelicalism, and I know what it means to be asked if I am saved. These people are not converted to Catholicism by an elevator pitch.


I would agree with CAF in that the “C” word is a vulgar enough word to bleep out. In my opinion, it is just as bad as any other 4 letter word. Thanks for understanding. And sorry for the drama.

bless you

When I say hardcore I mean unwaivering, aggresive, and firm in explaining the faith. Like the Early Church Fathers style of apologetics. That’s what I mean. Not the soft, lax, I don’t want to hurt your feelings type of apologetics. The type of apologetics that have power to convert like St. Irenaeus, St. John Chrysostom, and St. Augustine. Even the apostles were agressive for the faith. I don’t know, just my thoughts. It seems to me in my experience anyways that if you tend to step on a few toes every now and then you get peoples attention and thats what you want when you want to evangelize by using apologetics. Think about it. Just my thoughts. What do you guys think?

If this is what you are looking for check out Vincent P. Lewis at ARM. The aggressiveness is there but the “power to convert,” I am not sure.

Here’s a sample…

"I am harsh because I follow the example of Jesus. When dealing with those who should have accepted Him as God, He was harsh; not gentle. He confronted the Jews (who had been prepared by the prophets and the Old Testament) with a harsh choice: total acceptance or total rejection. He refused to answer the questions of the Pharisees, or to give evidence by way of signs. His approach was harsh. He called them names, labeled them as hypocrites, sons of Satan, liars, etc. I often wonder why no one seems to read what Jesus actually says in the Bible. Why do Catholics not pay attention to His words before they accuse me of being improper in my approach? "

Having the attitude that I’m going to say what is true and I really don’t give a **** how you feel about it is the exact opposite of what St. Peter tells us to do.

Hi TIm.
I’d agree with the above say, in about oh, 98.5% of all cases.
MOST nonCatholics are non Catholic without any malice
(they may hate the church, but they sincerely believe, because they have been taught it,
that our church is an apostate entity, so their anger toward “Romanism” is without TRUE
malice. It’s just misguided.). Thus, you HAVE TO BE and OUGHT TO BE, as you assert, quoting Peter, gentle with nearly all of them.

There are some, however, whom the apostles tell us to confront bluntly,
rebuke before others, and, if they are persistent in spreading their errors
(these are FORMAL heretics FROM the Catholic Faith who have been warned
in a brotherly fashion, repeatedly, that they are in error, and refuse correction nonstop),
IF they are defiant and persistent, we are commanded by the Holy Spirit speaking thru the Apostles to not even SPEAK A WORD OF GREETING to such a man (or woman), because to do so is to, quote, “be a sharer in his wicked works.”

But this does not apply to most of our Separated Brethren, nor to nearly any
nonChristians who have never even heard a basic, good presentation of the gospel.

To me, debating often becomes a ruthless exercise in verbal cleverness.
I don’t like that. Some may get a kick out of it, but I don’t enjoy them, and worse,
in most cases, I can’t LEARN anything from them of substance, because the two sides are only allowed a minute here, a minute for rebuttal, a minute to close. You can’t really, TRULY, learn much in this manner. A little, but not much.


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