Poor Judas…

That’s right. Judas experienced the worst evil that anyone could suffer. He was not warmly welcomed!

No one embraced him after he betrayed the Savior. No one had pity on him. He was treated harshly and…without knowing what to do, he sought the gibbet.

This is the great evil of our times: the lack of welcome offered to sinners. And Francis has made this clear regarding the supreme sinner. The “poor man”, Judas, hanged himself because he was not welcomed, for he was truly repentant, according to Francis.

Once more Francis condemns those who, according to his peculiar concept, clutch only at the truth of the Law, taking it by ‘the letter”. These would be the High Priests, guilty of the death of Judas due to their laws: they did not care about Judas’ repentance. Poor Judas!

Once more, Francis surprises us with a new exegesis: the poor repentant Judas, victim of hard hearted inexorable followers of the law….

Curious repentance is this, which fails to bring about true conversion but rather despair and suicide…and corresponds entirely to what the former Cardinal Bergoglio had declared: practically no one who commits suicide is to blame for his fault.

This doesn’t surprise us, since it is not the first time that the current Bishop of Rome corrects Jesus Christ himself…his genius is up to this. A round of applause from the audience (ever more empty…)! Although Our Lord had said that “it would be better for that man if he had never been born” (Mt 26:24), Francis corrects this and ponders that Judas was really repentant, but was not comprehended by others. It seems then, that not even the Most Blessed Virgin would have welcomed him if he had asked for help in his sincere repentance.

Catholics, beware! You who follow the enduring Magisterium, do not commit the grave error of condemning Judas!

An act of reparation for the homicide of “poor Judas” would be just. After having read Francis’ homily proffered on April 11 in Casa Santa Marta, published by the L’Osservatore Romano (also in English: Vatican radio, Rome Reports, Vatican Insider)we from The Denzinger-Bergoglio would like to make a suggestion to the Congregation for Divine Worship: that Judas be declared patron and protector of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (for those who are interested, write to cultidiv@ccdds.va and vpr-sacramenti@ccdds.va) in favor of a new concept of contrition and purpose of amendment that surpasses the outdated ideas, that ‘hang on to the letter’, which the stagnant Catholic Church has sustained during the past two millennia. One must not forget to let oneself…be surprised by God!

Let’s take a look at the homily of April 11, in the chapel of Casa Santa Marta:


Clutching only at the truth of the Law, taking it by ‘the letter’

Vatican Radio, April 11, 2016

Pope Francis on Monday spoke of the importance of taking stock of what is in people’s hearts and lives instead of only taking the law into account. During his homily at morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta, the Pope spoke of the Doctors of the Law whom – he said – passed judgment with their hearts closed to God and to prophecy; all that mattered to them – he explained – was to uphold the Law.

Pope Francis was reflecting on the Reading from the Acts of the Apostles in which the Doctors of the Law accuse Stephen of speaking “blasphemous words against Moses and God” because they “could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke.” They even instigated false witnesses to uphold their claims, he said. “Their hearts, closed to God’s truth, clutch only at the truth of the Law, taking it by ‘the letter’, and do not find outlets other than in lies, false witness and death” he said.

The Pope pointed out that Jesus had already reprimanded them for this attitude, because “their fathers had killed the prophets”, and they were now building monuments to those prophets. He said that the response of the “doctors of the letter” is more cynical than hypocritical when they say that had they been in the days of their fathers, they would not have done the same. Thus – the Pope said – they wash their hands of everything and judge themselves pure.

But, he continued: “The heart is closed to God’s Word, it is closed to truth, and it is closed to God’s messenger who brings the prophecy so that God’s people may go forward.” Pope Francis said: “It hurts when I read that small passage from the Gospel of Matthew, when Judas, who has repented, goes to the priests and says: ‘I have sinned’ and wants to give … and gives them the coins. ‘Who cares! – they say to him: it’s none of our business!’ They closed their hearts before this poor, repentant man, who did not know what to do. And he went and hanged himself. And what did they do when Judas hanged himself? They spoke amongst themselves and said: ‘Is he a poor man? No! These coins are the price of blood, they must not enter the temple… and they referred to this rule and to that… The doctors of the letter.”

The life of a person did not matter to them, the Pope observed, they did not care about Judas’ repentance. The Gospel, he continued, says that Judas came back repentant. But all that mattered to them “were the laws, so many words and things they had built”. This – he said – shows the hardness of their hearts. It’s the foolishness of their hearts that could not withstand the wisdom of Stephen’s truth so they go to look for false witnesses to judge him. Stephen – the Pope continued – ends up like all prophets, like Jesus. And this is repeated in the history of the Church:

“History tells us of many people who were judged and killed, although they were innocent: judged according to the Word of God, against the Word of God. Let’s think of witch hunts or of St. Joan of Arc, and of many others who were burnt to death, condemned because according to the judges they were not in line with the Word of God” he said.

Pope Francis pointed out that Jesus himself ended up on the cross for having trusted in God and obeyed His Word and he reminded the faithful of Jesus’ words of tenderness when he said to the disciples on the Road to Emmaus: “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke.” He concluded saying: “Let us ask the Lord to look to the large and to the small follies of our hearts with the same tenderness, to caress us gently and to say to us: ‘Oh you foolish and slow of heart’ and begin to explain things to us.”


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20 thoughts on “Poor Judas…

  1. Peter repented. Judas despaired. Anyone knows that. Why does Francis deliberately cause confusion?

  2. Pope St. Leo the Great teaches that Judas never repented of his grave sin—that he committed suicide out of despair, adding guilt to guilt:

    The traitor Judas did not attain to this mercy, for the son of perdition (Jn. 17:12), at whose right hand the devil had stood (Ps. 108:6), had before this died in despair; even while Christ was fulfilling the mystery of the general redemption. Even he perhaps might have obtained this forgiveness, had he not hastened to the gallowstree; for the Lord died for all evildoers. But nothing ever of the warnings of the Saviour’s mercy found place in that wicked heart: at one time given over to petty cheating, and then committed to this dread parricidal traffic. … The godless betrayer, shutting his mind to all these things [expressions of the Lord’s mercy], turned upon himself, not with a mind to repent, but in the madness of self-destruction: so that this man who had sold the Author of life to the executioners of His death, even in the act of dying sinned unto the increase of his own eternal punishment. (Sermon 62, De passione Domini XI [PL 54], in The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers, vol. 2, p. 183)

    St. Augustine holds exactly the same view:
    For if it is not lawful to take the law into our own hands, and slay even a guilty person whose death no public sentence has warranted, then certainly he who kills himself is a homicide. … Do we justly execrate the deed of Judas, and does truth itself pronounce that by hanging himself he rather aggravated than expiated the guilt of that most iniquitous betrayal, since, by despairing of God’s mercy in his sorrow that wrought death, he left to himself no place for a healing penitence? … For Judas, when he killed himself, killed a wicked man, and passed from this life chargeable not only with the death of Christ, but also with his own: for though he killed himself on account of his crime, his killing himself was another crime. (The City of God, Bk. I, ch. 17)

    St. Thomas Aquinas writes: “To save Judas would … be contrary to [God’s] foreknowledge and disposition, by which He prepared for him eternal punishment; hence it is not the order of justice [as such] that renders impossible Judas’s salvation, but the order of eternal foreknowledge and disposition” (In IV Sent., dist. 46, qu. 1, art. 2, qa. 2, ad 3), and says matter-of-factly:

    As the use of grace is related to the final effect of predestination, so the abuse of it is related to the effect of reprobation. Now, in the case of Judas, the abuse of grace was the reason for his reprobation, since he was made reprobate because he died without grace. Moreover, the fact that he did not have grace when he died was not due to God’s unwillingness to give it but to his unwillingness to accept it—as both Anselm and Dionysius point out. (De veritate, q. 6, art. 2, obj. 11: this part of the objection Thomas holds as true.)

  3. I get what he is trying to say. His point is not about whether Judas should have been forgiven by God but that the High priests, should have had some compassion. Why would they have compassion for Judas when they had none for Jesus? It seems that everything Francis says can be found to have an ambiguous meaning and it cannot be proved what he meant exactly. Satan is very clever

    • @Evelyn – everything Francis says can be found to have an ambiguous meaning and it cannot be proved what he meant exactly. Satan is very clever.

      Don’t know whether you realized it, but you just put down the best definition of his recent apostolic letter, ‘the joy of lust’.

  4. I recall many years ago having read of a legend that after Judas’ betrayal of Jesus and his subsequent despair, that the Blessed Virgin sought after him to console him and extend the possibility of forgiveness even for Judas. But she was unable to find him before he hung himself.

    I fully realize it is (at best) apocryphal, but I am curious to know if anyone else has heard something similar.

    • Yes, in Ven. Mary of Agreda’s Mystical City of God, she says that the Blessed Virgin implored God for all the grace possible to attain his conversion, and God heard this prayer and granted it to Judas. Judas however had the free will to reject this grace and HE DID SO because he was duplicious, having the mind of a spy, one who only pretended to be a follower of Christ, who never before allowed himself to truly believe in Christ, nor to truly embrace His teachings, all the while looking for “faults” and reasons to condemn Our Lord. His mind was always on something else,i.e., money, and ways to “impress” the pharisees and jews who were plotting against Christ.
      He was a spy in every sense of the word. This is the reason we’ve called it “Spy Wednesday” when this perfidious apostle revealed his true identity.
      Judas was not truly repentant of this sin, when he approached the jews giving back the money. He was only concerned with his own skin, that he now was an outcast, by the apostles, by the people he as a betrayer, and by the Temple Jews who know he is not to be trusted as he is now revealed as a liar and a deceiver for all those years with Jesus and His band. He actually was in danger of being convicted for FALSE WITNESS.
      Also, according to MCoG, he went to the Jews b/c he was all the while used by satan and now used again to try to “undo” this crime. The devil, who had been up til then blinded to the Truth of Who Our Lord actually was, now was beginning to realize the true intentions of God in this seeming defeat of Christ in His suffering and death, which would eventually lead to the ultimate defeat of satan. Satan was desperate to undo this, but being so evil, there is nothing an evil person can do to convince anyone to do a good deed.

      • Exactly. Judas was given graces to truly repent, but he did not rather he despaired. That is why he was never considered repentant. Except by Francis.

  5. This doesnt make sense. Either Judas changed back and believed Jesus was God or he did not believe He was God. Jesus said He was God. So as a jew, obviously looking for a way out, if he truly wanted to repent, he would have to believe Jesus was God at which point he should have saught out Jesus for forgiveness, not the priests. If he did NOT believe that Jesus was God, how could he say Jesus was innocent having declared to Judas He was God? I think part of him knew he was in deep trouble but instead of seeking the one who could have forgiven him, he was looking for another way out (and therefor still denying Jesus). Perhaps he simply thought Jesus was crazy and therefor innocent? As CSLewis said, Jesus is either a mad man or is who He says He is. Even so, he still could have saught Him out.

  6. PF attempt to justify and intercede for Judas could be triggered wanting leniency for himself trying to seduce and lead astray Christ’s Bride when he finally faces Jesus the Lord.

  7. My draft letter. Please feel free to use it.
    To Whom it May Concern,

    After hearing Pope Francis’ moving sermon about Judas and his poor treatment at the hands of the scribes and chief priests who refused to acknowledge his repentance, I think it would be fitting to consider moving Judas to a place of higher prominence in the Catholic Church, since he has been so little sympathized with over the centuries. It probably hurts his feelings to see so many people think of him as a bad person for betraying Christ. I think the first step forward, and to accepting all those who wish to betray Christ and destroy His Body, would be to make Judas the Patron and Protector of the Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia. It seems like nothing could or would be more pleasing to the Holy Father than this sort of action. I hope you will consider it out of fidelity to Pope Francis and his recent sermon (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/10/29/pope-francis-judas-sinner/18123227/). Perhaps we could even have a feast day of sorts for Judas on the day of this exhortation’s release. Whatever the case is, something must be done, Judas must be accepted in the Church, because as the Holy Father says, “condemnation is opposed to the logic of the Gospel” (AL 297). This would be such a comfort to me and to other faithful to see the Church, so to speak, put its money where its mouth is, and show its true colors by accepting and honoring Judas.



    • Great idea Stephen! A liturgical feast for Judas. Complete with an act of reparation for so my centuries of sidelining him – perhaps we could burn a picture of all the saints and popes that spoke badly of the poor (new) saint.

  8. “Pope Francis pointed out that Jesus himself ended up on the cross for having trusted in God and obeyed His Word and he reminded the faithful of Jesus’ words of tenderness when he said to the disciples on the Road to Emmaus: “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke.” He concluded saying: “Let us ask the Lord to look to the large and to the small follies of our hearts with the same tenderness, to caress us gently and to say to us: ‘Oh you foolish and slow of heart’ and begin to explain things to us.””

    Why doesn’t he (and all his VC2 companions JP2, Ratz etc.) tell this to the Jews? Jesus was interpreting the OT to show how it points to Him and His resurrection — not to betraying Him or disobeying His commandments.


    God knows what Fran, Ratz etc. would have said to Jesus Christ or to the apostles on the way to Emmaus, but I think 2 Thess 2:8 might apply.

  9. So was it better for Judas to have been born? Well, Pope Francis now challenges the very words of the Lord Jesus Christ!

  10. PF never ceases to surprise me. It always irks me when Catholics say Judas may not be in hell. Why would Jesus say it was better than he never be born or call him a devil? I just saw an episode of Mother Angelica. She said a priest once told her that he wouldn’t be surprised if he saw Judas in heaven. She told him “Father if you see Judas, you’re in hell”.

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