144 – “It saddens me when I read that passage in the Gospel of Matthew when Judas repented and went to the priests, who had a closed heart in regard to this poor, penitent man”

Francis once again shows his preferences, calling Jesus’ traitor a “poor, penitent man”.

He who perpetrated the most heinous crime of all history is now the object of the Supreme Pontiff’s compassion… Would the saying “Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are” fittingly apply to this case?

In reality, Judas’ worse malice did not lie in his actual betrayal, but in his rejection of divine mercy. He had been eye witness to the pardon Jesus had granted Mary Magdalene and His divine love for her. He had personally heard Our Lord uttering the words ‘There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance’ (Lk 15:7). If Judas had “recognized his crime” with true repentance, he would not have hesitated to give Our Lord this joy. If he really loved Him, he would have been eager to make up for his offence by humiliating himself and becoming the object of the same mercy he had so many times seen poured out for others. However, already accustomed to close his heart toward Our Lord, he ceded to the temptation to make one last affront, of the most violent kind, by despairing – by not believing that forgiveness could go that far.

And, why ever would the Pharisees have had compassion toward Judas? They were perfectly content with the deal they had closed. Moreover, what do the Pharisees and their attachment to Jewish customs have to do with the question of Judas’ despair? Why Judas would show the Pharisees his repentance, instead of Christ, the offended party, would be the more fitting question to ponder. After all, the Pharisees were entrenched in evil and were his accomplices in crime.

Saint Peter had also sinned grievously. Yet, what a difference between the repentance of the two…that is, if we could really call Judas’ sentiments ‘repentance’. Saint Peter gazed toward the Redeemer and opened himself to His mercy, crying bitterly, but sincerely contrite; while Judas fled from the only One who could save him. Who of the two was truly a “repentant man”?  It could almost be affirmed that Leo XIII was referring to Francis’ words when he warned: “During the last months […] the last touch of shame was added in an attempt to rescue from the execration of ages the guilty name of him who was the very sign of perfidy, the betrayer of Christ” (Encyclical Iucunda Semper Expectatione, n. 16, September 8, 1894).

To better understand Francis’ words, take a careful look at what 2000 years of Church History has produced in doctrine regarding Judas’ the betrayal.

Francis

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Quote AQuote B

Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter the various parts of our study

ContentsAuthorsDoctrinal note 1: What is repentance (contrition)? What is despair?Important note: The solution for everything is to abolish all law?
I – Judas, the traitor
II – Repentance or despair? The difference between Judas and Saint Peter…
III – Is Judas worthy of compassion? 2000 years of Church teaching responds in the negative
Doctrinal note 1: What is repentance (contrition)? What is despair?
Important note 2: The solution for everything is to abolish all law?
A– In fact, the Pharisees closed themselves in on their own human laws
B – The real problem was not that they turned to laws, but that they were not God’s laws
C
Therefore the problem is not in abolishing the laws, but rather in fulfilling or not the will of God


I – Judas, the traitor


Saint John Chrysostom

Judas’ state was incurable

Benedict XVI

Judas bore the mark of the devil: deceitfulness

Saint Ephraem of Nisibis

Judas scorned charity, abandoned his own Master, hated his brethren, and walked out into the darkness

Benedict XVI

Thick darkness gathered in Judas’ heart

Pius XII

Judas, obdurate in his wicked treachery, handed Christ over to His executioners

Saint John Chrysostom

Due to his nefarious treachery Judas had lost his place and dignity

II – Repentance or despair? The difference between Judas and Saint Peter…


Benedict XVI

Peter’s repentance led to pardon, Judas’ degenerated into desperation

Saint John Chrysostom

Saint Peter wept not because of punishment, but because he denied his beloved Lord

Saint Leo I, the Great

The perfidious Judas reached the gibbet; Peter washed away his guilt by his tears

Benedict XVI

The two kinds of mourning: after their sin, Judas lost hope, but Peter underwent conversion

Saint Leo I, the Great

Judas refused to understand Jesus’ mercy; he took measures against himself in the madness of perdition; and in dying increased the amount of sin which condemned him

Saint Augustine of Hippo

By hanging himself Judas aggravated rather than expiated the guilt of his betrayal - he left to himself no place for a healing penitence

Saint Catherine of Siena

‘The despair of Judas displeased Me more, and was more grave to My Son than was his betrayal of Him’

Saint John of Avila

Judas’ eyes were blinded with the greatness of his sin, and he despaired

Origen

Judas did not seek repentance, but received a more abundant sorrow supplied to him by the Devil, who sought to swallow him up

III – Is Judas worthy of compassion? 2000 years of Church teaching responds in the negative


Sacred Scripture

‘Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed!’

Leo XIII

The last touch of shameless indignity: to attempt to rescue Judas from the execration of ages

Benedict XVI

The very name of Judas raises among Christians an instinctive reaction of criticism and condemnation
Judas was no longer capable of conversion

Saint Leo I, the Great

Judas persisted in his treachery, and did not believe Jesus to be the Son of God

Saint Augustine of Hippo

We give thanks to God, and detest Judas
The damnable end of the traitor Judas
Christ redeemed us with his blood and chastised Judas

Doctrinal note 1: What is repentance (contrition)? What is despair?


Catechism of the Catholic Church

By despair, man ceases to hope for his personal salvation from God

Council of Trent (Ecumenical XIX)

Contrition is a sorrow of the soul and a detestation of sin committed

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Repentance comes from hope, and despair from the contrary vice
Nothing is more hateful than despair: to commit a crime is to kill the soul, but to despair is to fall into hell
Despair makes it seem that one will never be able to rise to any good

Saint John Chrysostom

The prodigal son repented and did not despair

Saint John Cassian

Dejection is useful only when leading to penitence for sin or when inflamed with the desire of perfection, but the sorrow of the world works death

John Paul II

The true way of repentance is to start out on the road of return to the Father

Benedict XVI

Repentance is the opening the heart to forgiveness

Important note: The solution for everything is to abolish all law?


A – In fact, the Pharisees closed themselves in on their own human laws


Benedict XVI

The Pharisees invented their own laws
The Pharisees implanted an exteriorized and enslaving system

B – The real problem was not that they turned to laws, but that these laws were not God’s laws


Saint Irenaeus of Lyon

The invented traditions of the elders: they made the law of God of none effect, and were on this account also not subject to His Word

Benedict XVI

Practicing secondary customs which merely satisfy the human need to feel in God’s place

Saint John Chrysostom

They introduced many new things though Moses had said: “Ye shall not add ought to the word which I set before you”

C Therefore the central question does not lie in abolishing laws, but rather in fulfilling or not the will of God


Sacred Scripture

‘I have come not to abolish the law or the prophets but to fulfill them’

Saint Irenaeus of Lyon

The Lord did not abrogate the natural precepts of the law

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Jesus did not abolish the Law but fulfilled it in a divine way

John Paul II

Christ does not accept the interpretation they gave to the authentic content of the law

Saint Irenaeus of Lyon

Until heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall not pass from the law and the prophets till all come to pass
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One thought on “144 – “It saddens me when I read that passage in the Gospel of Matthew when Judas repented and went to the priests, who had a closed heart in regard to this poor, penitent man”

  1. This shows us the depth of Francis’ loathing for Catholic doctrine and discipline. In order to attack once more his favorite bogey men, Francis is prepared to transform even Judas into a repentant, contrite hero.

    This is how it is in FrancisChurch. Faithful clergy and laity who love the Church and her tradition are portrayed as Pharisees, while traitors (such as Judas) are cut a huge piece of slack.

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