Francis Muses again over the Fate of Judas
My friend Jan did know that the Church had always interpreted Scripture to affirm that, as punishment for that nefarious crime, a despairing and unrepentant Judas went to Hell. St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, along with many other Church Doctors and Saints, have understood as a revealed truth that Judas was a reprobate in Hell.
Judas with a black halo making his betryal, from a medieval manuscript
Knowing this, my friend Jan was disturbed to hear that this year (2020) Pope Francis chose the Wednesday of the Betrayal to return to one of his favorite topics: His sympathy for Judas and his doubt that he went to Hell.
As I pointed out in another article, Francis has on various occasions suggested that Judas was not the betrayer but rather the one betrayed by the high priests who rejected him when he tried to return the 30 pieces of silver. Judas, according to Francis, is the one who was misunderstood, the one who "was overcome by a suffocating guilt," the beloved ”lost sheep” of Jesus whom Christ called "friend."
If this is true, then for 20 centuries the Church was wrong to put Judas in Hell.
The Wednesday of Betrayal sermon
During his Mass at Santa Marta on Wednesday of Holy Week, Francis stated that Christ himself never called Judas "traitor": "Jesus said He will be betrayed, but Jesus didn’t say [to Judas] 'traitor.' He never says ,'Go away, traitor.' Never. In fact, he calls him 'friend,' and he kisses him." (L’Osservatore Romano, April 9, 2020, p. 10)
Francis: 'How did Judas end up? I don’t know'... despite Christ's strong words that he is damned
He pretends Christ called Judas "friend" because He intended to absolve the coming betrayal of Judas. It is a novel interpretation.
The Church always taught that Christ was offering Judas a last chance to dissuade him from committing his heinous crime. But Judas rejected that chance. St. Augustine says that he received this sublime invitation to avoid his own perdition but he rejected it and persisted in his evil purpose.
It is Our Lord Jesus Christ himself who refers to Judas as a damned soul. Christ speaks of the Apostles, saying: “I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost, except the son of perdition.” (John 17:12)
Strong definitive words from the lips of Christ!
About the betrayal of Judas St. Mark reports: “And when they were at table and eating, Jesus said: Amen I say to you, one of you who eateth with me shall betray me. And they began to be sorrowful, and to say to him one by one: Is it I? And He answered them and said: One of the twelve, who dippeth his hand with me in the dish.
“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: 18-21)
It is a Divine Curse against Judas. There is no possible doubt about his eternal damnation. But Francis throws these words and Sacred Tradition to the wind and feels free to make his own speculations...
There is no 'mystery of Judas'
Pope Bergoglio continues his musings on what he calls "the mystery of Judas":
"What is this mystery? I don’t know. Don Primo Mazzolari explains it better than me. Yes, it consoles me to contemplate that column of Vezelay: How did Judas end up? I don’t know. Jesus threatens forcefully here; he threatens forcefully: 'Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born.' But does that mean that Judas is in Hell? I don’t know. I look at that column. And I listen to the word of Jesus: 'Friend.'"(Ibid)
The progresivist Fr. Mazzaroli whom Francis admires; below, the column at Vezelay with Judas hanged
The very ugly picture of Judas hanging on the tree with his bowels burst and gushing out is also left to us by St. Peter in the Acts of the Apostles: "And he (Judas) indeed hath possessed a field of the reward of iniquity, and being hanged, burst asunder in the midst: and all his bowels gushed out." (1:18)
This is not a picture of a man of predilection, but rather a damned soul. I have already discussed the column of Vezelay here, which you can see at left. It is difficult to understand how this picture of Judas hanged can give consolation to Francis, who likes it so much that he has a copy of it in his office at Casa Santa Marta.
Francis refers to Fr. Primo Mazzolari as his inspirer in the new understanding of Judas he offers the Catholic world. That is not surprising since this progressivist priest of Bozzolo (1890-1959) is considered a pioneer of Vatican Council II. Already in the ‘50s he was a disciple of the New Theology, preaching the miserablist Church of the Poor, religious freedom and ecumenism.
But, what made him most infamous was the sermon Fr. Mazzalari preached on Holy Thursday of 1958, titled "But I also Love Judas." In it he called for pity for "our poor brother Judas" and suggested that, because of the infinite mercy of God, Judas deserved our love because he very probably was saved. (Cf. L’Osservatore Romano, April 9, 2020, p. 10)
Like the spires on Strasbourg Cathedral, mercy & justice are harmonic attributes of God
A God who did not chastise evil would be an aggression against the good, Atila Guimarães points out in "Hell: A Demand of Divine Goodness." God's justice requires a punishment, because justice is needed to give consistency to the good.
What Bergoglio and Mazzalari are proposing is an absurd God who treats the unrepentant sinner the same as He does the good man. With such a God, there is no need for Hell, which is precisely what is being preached by Vatican II theology.
I am convinced that there is no good will in sermons like the one Francis preached on the Wednesday of Betrayal. The purpose and result are the same: to present a caricature of God, to create doubt about the existence of Hell, to make light of the heinous crime of Deicide, to confuse already confused Catholics, to destroy the indestructible doctrine of the Church.
Judas was saved...