Scot Hahn - question about his writings


I ahve been watching Scott Hahn on EWTN for the longest time, and I had questions about his writing. I love the Eucharist and Mass, and this is what attracted me most to his writings because of his devotion to the EUcharist and his prolific writing on the Mass.

However, I am weary and suspicious about reading his works. I watch him on EWTN, and he seems extremely proud/prideful. I swear, I am not trying to destroy his reputation or talk badly about him... but his attitude seems so prideful, and sometimes when I listen to him, he has such high leveled English, it seems almost impossible to understand him. Then, a few years ago, there was this giant controversy about his statements regarding the GENDER of the Holy Spirit??!?!?!?!?!? I heard him on Catholic Answers, and then he got into a verbal fight with one of the callers ( the caller was extremely rude and disrespectful to Hahn).

My question is - Can I trust the writings of Scott Hahn ? Are they faithful to the Catholic Church?


Dr. Hahn is as faithful a Catholic as you will ever find. He talks like a highly educated theology professor, which is what he is. I think that you are mistaken in interpreting his tone as prideful. He seems quite modest and respectful to me.


Yes, we are blessed to have such a strong witness to the Faith as Scott Hahn


Scott Hahn's writings are extremely trustworthy and faithful to Church teaching.

In addition, being rude and arrogant is not like Scott Hahn at all. That's the last person I would apply that to. If you ever get a chance to meet him at a conference or seminar, you will see what an extremely kind and humorous man he is.


I have never gotten the sense he was arrogant and prideful. He is brilliant and highly educated and sometimes uses theological language the average person may not be familiar with, but that I understand. I am in the medical field and sometimes use medical terms that many people don’t understand because that is what I was trained to do and am used to talking like that when discussing medical subjects.

I went to an event once at a small church where he was presenting a program and was impressed with the fact that he ended the program early enough for him to be able to drive home to have dinner with his family, because that was his priority. That does not speak of arrogance to me, but more of humility. He may be a brilliant theologian and scripture scholar and professor known throughout the world, but that is secondary to his responsibility as husband and father.

His writings are some of the best things I have ever read, and I can read and understand difficult theological concepts because he knows how to present them to the laity in terms they can understand. He has been a major contributor to the Catholic faith.


Dr Hahn is somewhere between 99% and 100% orthodox Catholic (I don’t know his views on creation), and just about the most orthodox Scriptural scholar currently writing.


To say someone “seems” pridefull without substantial statements to support your claim is not very cool.

This man is passionate about the faith. He strives to bring those who are only comfortable with biblical answers back to the faith and confidence of Church teaching within Tradition and infallible circumstance.

You seem genuinely concerned, but please refrain from accussing someone of evil because, and only because, he appears that way to you. Listen to what he says and let that be what determines what is true or false. He doesnt claim infalibility himself:D


I can understand how you might have these feelings. I too find watching and listening to Dr Hahn to be difficult sometimes - but I don’t think it is because he is prideful…(I do not know his heart).

What I think happens is that we all run into those people who, for whatever reason, grate on us…it could be their vocabulary, their gestures, their tone - heck it can simply be their laugh…But whatever it is, it just “grates”…:shrug:

As someone else pointed out, Dr Hahn is highly educated and that can account for his vocabulary. He also comes from a fairly evangelical background and that can account for some of his “style” in speaking and gesturing. I think that is the thing that gets me sometimes.

Now - that said - I would suggest that precisely because of this it would be better to read him than to watch and listen to him. Some of the things that bother you (and me) about watching him are simply not present when reading.

As to Dr Hahn’s orthodoxy…As others have said he is highly orthodox in his views. His long association with EWTN is actually a good measure of this since EWTN is itself very orthodox.

Hope this helps some…



The Catholic Church contains the fullness of the faith, which means…the wisdom of a 2000 year old relationship with God! This 2000+ year old relationship has developed a language all it’s own. To fulfill the gospel message, to evangelize the nations, by teaching what God has passed on to us. We need this specific language, so that we all understand the same thing when a word is used. Get a good Catholic Dictionary & look up the words… pretty soon you’ll speak Catholicism too! The back of my Catechism has a dictionary of terms. I use it often when listening to Catholic Radio, or CD’s. It’s all part of growing in the faith, and growing in wisdom!

May God bless your journey. :slight_smile:


From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

2478 To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way:
Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.


Ditto all of the above.:thumbsup:


Dr. Hahn’s work has been instrumental in furthering my education-- particularly in covenant theology, the importance of the liturgy and understanding the Eucharist.

Regarding his language, the man has about 50 letters behind his last name. Just kidding, but he is very educated. This is precisely why I have found him to be humble, not prideful. When he speaks on EWTN a lay person can understand him, likewise with almost all of his books. Interestingly, I just read his book, “Letter and Spirit”. He wrote in the beginning of the book that he was doing the book for his fellow academics. They were his target audience. Whew!! Believe me, I was getting out the dictionary every other page. Well, not literally. My point is that most of time, he is bringing his language down a notch so as to relate to lay people who are not as educated as he is. This man is a walking library of Catholic and Biblical teaching and fortunately he is passionate about spreading the good news.

I have to address the bit about the Holy Spirit. Scott Hahn NEVER said the Holy Spirit was female. He even wrote a response on a blog to deny it and clarify his position.

I can’t comment on the phone call. But I would say that even if he fell down on charity, it just shows he is human like the rest of us.


I would suggest you revise the way you present your concerns about anyone. Here you see “pride” in Dr. Hahn and in another thread you called St. Augustine’s theology “evil.” It’s okay to be concerned, but there’s no need for name-calling. And no, using words like “seems” does not make it okay.


I am heading the a Eucharistic Conference the weekend of Sept 13,14. Scott will be speaking there, and I can’t say enough of how excited I am to be hearing this fellow speak. I love his writings and have never found him to be “proud”, nor “prideful”.
He is sincere, knowledgeable and an asset to the Church.


Scot Hahn is definitely trustworthy.

It may seem suspicious to hear someone Catholic talk the way Scott Hahn does because he is coming from a Protestant background, and so he emphasizes Scriptural foundations to all of the Catholic Churches liturgies and doctrines.

In a similar way, English Catholics were mistrustful of John Henry Newman when he converted, and then wrote about Catholic doctrines. The "old Catholics" as they were called, felt he was too high brow, and aiming all of his discourse to the elite Protestants.

In time trust was earned. I think if you read Scott Hahn's books, and listen to him on EWTN, you will be safely conducted to only true Catholic teachings. There is no lingering Protestantism in him. His enthusiasm (which I find contagious) and love of the Church may seem bizarre to some cradle Catholics, but he is absolutely Catholic through and through.


Seems (to you).

Only Christ knows the heart of a man.

As for Scott Hahn, he has done a lot of good, and it is written: “Each tree is recognized by its fruits” and “no good tree bears bad fruit.” I suggest you read the story of his conversion in “Rome Sweet Home”. Some called him “Luther in reverse” because after his conversion, a large number of Protestant pastors and Bible scholars have followed suit.

And he is Professor of Theology and Scripture at the Franciscan University of Steubenville.

P.s.: as for gender of Holy Spirit, do not be too puzzled! Clearly “God is pure spirit in which there is no place for the difference between the sexes” (CCC 370), but God has taught us how to refer to Himself in Scripture and Tradition, and a peculiar element worth noting is that in Hebrew and Aramaic the word “spirit” is femenine. Dr. Hahn spoke about this aspect, was criticized by some who compared this idea to some cherry-picked heretical writings, and refuted the attack as follows:

I expressly deny the Holy Spirit is feminine …] I do quote Cardinal Ratzinger, from his book, Daughter Zion (p. 27), where he states: “Because of the teaching about the Spirit, one can as it were practically have a presentiment of the primordial type of the feminine, in a mysterious, veiled manner, within God himself.” I subsequently go on to clarify Ratzinger’s point by stating: “Once again: God is not feminine by nature. Nor is the Holy Spirit feminine” (pp. 163, 166).

As to my patristic sources, I quote first, from a baptismal homily of St. Aphrahat (who speaks of “God his Father and the Holy Spirit his mother”); second, from a homily by St. Macarius (who speaks of how “Adam no longer saw the true Father, nor the good Mother the grace of the Spirit, nor the desirable brother, the Lord”); and third, from the Syriac rite of pre-baptismal anointing (where the Holy Spirit is called upon,“Come, Mother of the seven houses”).

I quote St. Ephrem, a Doctor of the Church, who actually refers to the Holy Spirit as “Mother” on many occasions (in homilies, hymns and prayers). I also cite St. Catherine of Siena, another Doctor of the Church, who wrote: “The Holy Spirit becomes a mother who feeds them from the breast of divine charity.”

But I draw most extensively from modern Catholic saints and theologians of unimpeachable orthodoxy. So for instance, St. Maximillian Kolbe speaks of the Holy Spirit as the “Uncreated Immaculate Concepion,” and the Blessed Virgin Mary as the “quasi-incarnation of the Holy Spirit.”

St. Teresa Benedict of the Cross (Edith Stein) writes: “Thus we can see the prototype of the feminine being in the Spirit of God poured over all creatures. It finds its perfect image in the purest Virgin who is the bride of God and mother of all mankind.”

All of this does not prove that bridal and maternal elements are proper to the Holy Spirit’s Person and work, of course; but it does indicate how highly unoriginal I am in exploring something that has never been condemned by the Church’s Magisterium. Nor should this ever be linked to (or confused with) the bizarre speculations of the ancient gnostics, who rejected the Incarnation and Trinity in favor of bizarre aeon-schemes drawn from a pantheistic/emmanationist view of God and the world.


I disagree with this outlook. A person can and should communicate themselves in the clearest manner they are able…especially when they are expressing some concern they have.
Using modifiers like “seems”, or maybe “appears”, or “strikes me” are certainly legitimate ways to demonstrate that one is expressing an opinion and indeed makes it “OK”.
The OP is not name calling - at least it does not seem that way to me…:smiley:



I think Scott Hahn is an awesome speaker and writer. Just a thought to the OP perhaps you are confusing a "prideful" attitude with this zeal and passion for the Catholic Church and his fervor for what he has come to love through his spiritual quest for the truth. I think he wants everyone to feel that passion and to fall in love again or even for the first time with the mother church.


[quote="Prayer_Warrior, post:12, topic:337336"]
. Interestingly, I just read his book, "Letter and Spirit".


Which one? If you liked it, there are more: Letter & Spirit is an annual periodical dealing with a vast range of Scriptural and theological studies. It is edited (not written) by Hahn, although he contributes articles (chapters) to it - that may be the reason it's so hard to understand, not because it's written by Hahn for academics (even then he is still rather readable), but because it's written by men other than Hahn for academics!


Letter and Spirit
Author: Scott Hahn

Copyright 2005 by Scott Hahn

Published by Doubleday
A division of Random House, Inc.

A very well written book. I refer to it often. :thumbsup:

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