Last week was Holy Week, and for the official newspaper of the Vatican that meant yet another opportunity to drum up emotional support for Judas Iscariot, the Apostle who killed himself in despair after he had betrayed his Lord and Redeemer.
The paper had already done the same thing two years ago, and of course ‘Pope’ Francis does his own cheerleading for Judas now and again:
Sympathy for the Devil: Vatican Newspaper tries to elicit Compassion for Judas Iscariot on Holy Thursday
Francis: “Someone might think, ‘This Pope is a Heretic’…” for saying Judas Iscariot might be saved!
In its Mar. 29, 2023 Italian edition, the Vatican’s Osservatore Romano featured an article by ‘Fr.’ Simone Caleffi, entitled Nostro Fratello Giuda: Dubbi e Domande sul Tradimento di Gesù (“Our Brother Judas: Doubts and Questions about Jesus’ Betrayal”). The article is mercifully behind a paywall, so most people will never see it.
Although not nearly as aggressive as the article by Andrea Monda two years ago, the latest attempt to find “hope for Judas” concludes as follows:
However, who can be sure of Judas’ eternal perdition? What could have gone through his mind at the end, what final thought, what cry? One thing is certain: Jesus, who is infinite Mercy, offered his life for everyone, and thus for even the most unfortunate, desperate, and guilty of his friends. Entering a person’s mind [heart, conscience] is difficult. Let alone understanding the motives and behaviors of others when sometimes we can’t even understand ourselves!
(Rev. Simone Caleffi, “Nostro Fratello Giuda: Dubbi e Domande sul Tradimento di Gesù”, Osservatore Romano, Mar. 29, 2023; translation via DeepL.)
The last two sentences do not appear in the print edition of the article, although they are apparently found in the electronic version because they are quoted by some other web sites as being part of the article
Vatican’s official newspaper again questions Catholic teaching on Judas in Hell (Life Site)
Oh, what a friend the Pope has in Judas (Catholic Conclave, translated from InfoVaticana)
‘Our Brother Judas’ (Tradition in Action)
The author says it is difficult to enter into someone else’s mind or heart, but he does not explain why we should try to enter into Judas’ to begin with. What would be the point? Is it not enough for us to know that the devil entered him? “And Satan entered into Judas, who was surnamed Iscariot, one of the twelve” (Lk 22:3).
Some will object that we don’t know for sure that Judas is in hell, but in fact we do. Let us review the evidence in this regard, some of it from the sacred lips of our Lord Himself:
And the Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed. It were better for him, if that man had not been born. (Mk 14:21)
While I was with them, I kept them in thy name. Those whom thou gavest me have I kept; and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition, that the scripture may be fulfilled. (Jn 17:12)
And praying, they said: Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, to take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas hath by transgression fallen, that he might go to his own place. (Acts 1:24-25)
Thus we see that it is divinely revealed that Judas Iscariot is in hell, and we find this reflected also in the Church’s magisterium:
Some are attracted to the priesthood by ambition and love of honours; while there are others who desire to be ordained simply in order that they may abound in riches, as is proved by the fact that unless some wealthy benefice were conferred on them, they would not dream of receiving Holy Orders. It is such as these that our Saviour describes as hirelings, who, in the words of Ezechiel, feed themselves and not the sheep, and whose baseness and dishonesty have not only brought great disgrace on the ecclesiastical state, so much so that hardly anything is now more vile and contemptible in the eyes of the faithful, but also end in this, that they derive no other fruit from their priesthood than was derived by Judas from the Apostleship, which only brought him everlasting destruction.
(Catechism of the Council of Trent, “The Sacraments: Holy Orders”; underlining added.)
Judas, an Apostle of Christ, “one of the twelve,” as the Evangelists sadly observe, was led down to the abyss of iniquity precisely through the spirit of greed for earthly things.
(Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Ad Catholici Sacredotii, n. 49)
In her Sacred Liturgy, too, Holy Mother Church hints at Judas’ damnation. In the Collect for Holy Thursday, the Church prays:
O God, from whom Judas received the punishment of his guilt, and the thief the reward of his confession: grant unto us the full fruit of Thy clemency; that even as in His Passion, our Lord Jesus Christ gave to each a retribution according to his merits, so having taken away our old sins, He may bestow upon us the grace of His Resurrection. Who with Thee liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.
Therefore, yes, we can be sure that Judas is in hell — Steve Kellmeyer’s attempts to muddy the waters notwithstanding.
There is no more hope for the Iscariot; he is lost forever. The mercy of God could not reach him because he refused to receive it. All of our Lord’s appeals beforehand he ignored; and afterwards, although regretting his evil deed (see Mt 27:3-4), Judas tragically did not have supernatural contrition — he did not retain hope so as to “bring forth … fruits worthy of penance” (Lk 3:8) but instead killed himself in despair. How happily would Jesus have forgiven Judas for his betrayal, but no mercy can be administered where there is no contrition for sin and no seeking of forgiveness.
The obsession with rehabilitating Judas Iscariot since Bergoglio has been squatting in the Vatican guest house, is remarkable. Of course, the damnation of Judas is a thorn in the side of those who (a) deny eternal damnation, such as ‘Pope’ Francis himself; as well as for those who (b) admit the existence of an eternal hell in theory, but believe that it is empty in practice, that is, no one actually goes there.
The facts about Judas are quite clear, but of course there are always “teachers, having itching ears” (2 Tim 4:3) who try to find a way around what God has revealed because they do not believe (cf. Jn 10:26) and, perhaps, seek absolute assurance of salvation for themselves despite their own treachery.
With all this Bergoglian talk about fraternity, it is surely no accident that now the idea of Judas as being “our brother” is being propagated. Nor is it the first time such a thing is happening. It was Fr. Primo Mazzolari (1890-1959) who used “Our Brother Judas” as the title of a Holy Thursday sermon in 1958 (!) — something Francis happily recalled once in a sermon of his own.
By the way: In 2021, Osservatore Romano mentioned that Francis has a painting in his study that shows a nude Christ caressing the corpse of Judas. You can’t make this stuff up!
The Iscariot’s gradual rehabilitation under Bergoglio is a sure sign of how far the Great Apostasy — foretold not only by Catholic Tradition but even in the Novus Ordo Catechism, par. 675 — has already advanced. It is one more way the Vatican II religion is waving the flag, letting the whole world know it is a Judas Church, straight from hell.