What is the church’s teaching on Judas?

I got very confused recently thinking, wouldn’t Jesus who is all forgiving also forgive Judas? Why did he say
"and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled" (John 17.12)? He speaks about Judas here right?
But if it happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled, it HAD to happen, right? And so it wasn’t really Judas’ fault?:shrug:

Have any of you every prayed for Judas before?



There isn’t an official teaching on Judas, as far as I know (that could be very wrong), but in school I learned very interesting things about Judas. Since I was in this one class on the history of the Church, I have never looked at Judas in the same way. Everyone calls him a traitor, but I don’t think we know that for sure.

What I truly believe is that Judas was in no way a traitor. One theory suggests that Judas thought Jesus needed some provocation to perform a great work or miracle to prove who He really was. According to this, Judas turned Jesus over to the Jews with the expectation that Jesus would really come out into the open and that great work they were looking for would finally happen.

I just did a very quick google search and found this, which sums it up pretty nicely:


And with that said, yes, I have prayed for Judas and I still do. I do not believe God would condemn him to hell.


My understanding is that Judas was not forgiven because he did not repent. If he had asked for forgiveness, it would have been granted. Instead he despaired and took his life.

Afterall, our Lord said “better for him if he had not been born”. I take that as a pretty strong indication that Judas was not saved, so I have never prayed for him. I often pray for the most forgotten soul in purgatory. I figure I’ll let the Lord decide who needs the prayers most.

I think it is wrong to say it wasn’t Judas’ fault. He had the free will to betray or not betray the Lord. Maybe someone had to take the 30 pieces of silver, but it didn’t have to be him.

If you want to pray for Judas, pray that he repented in the last moments of his life.

God Bless


God does NOT condemn anyone to hell.


How so?


God does not chose who goes to Hell. That is a Calvinist heresy.

Each individual who ends up in Hell chooses Hell through their actions and their refusal to repent and accept God’s mercy.

God Bless



John 3:18
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.


Well even so, God still needs to be the one that makes the final judgment, the condemnation itself.

I see it the same way as with a criminal. The criminal chose the action and so they chose themselves to go to jail, but the judge still needs to actually send him there.


So I guess what I meant to say was that I do not believe Judas is in hell.


No one on Earth can know. Either he repented or he didn’t.

To me this passage from St. Matthew, Ch. 26. is pretty strong evidence that Judas did not repent.

21 And whilst they were eating, he said: Amen I say to you, that one of you is about to betray me. 22 And they being very much troubled, began every one to say: Is it I, Lord? 23 But he answering, said: He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, he shall betray me. 24 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. 25 And Judas that betrayed him, answering, said: Is it I, Rabbi? He saith to him: Thou hast said it.

If it were better for Judas to have never been born, it’s pretty clear he’s not going to heaven, and Jesus would of course have perfect knowledge of his future actions.

God Bless


Thank you Buckr02 for the Google search and the interesting different perspective!

But is despair a sin? Isn’t despair when we turn to God often? Could it not be that Judas repented so much THAT he took his own life, out of desperation?

Ok, yeah, I get that, free will. I guess that’s one of the oldest religious questions - why does God allow evil, why do people do bad things? Why didn’t He just make us all good? But then free will comes in and mixes everything up…

I think that’s one of my favorite prayers: “Oh my Jesus forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven especially those who have most need of your mercy.”



This is only sort of correct, but it is easily misunderstood. People condemn themselves to Hell, God just sends them there.

But make no mistake, there are most certainly people in Hell.

As for Judas, the Church has not determined his state. The Church has never stated that anyone, including Judas Iscariot, is in Hell.

But he did kill himself… :shrug:


I don’t mean despair about things of this world.

The despair of Judas is depairing of God’s mercy. Believing that you can’t be forgiven.

He would also have had to repent of his suicide.

From my reading of the scriptures and Church tradition, I believe it is highly unlikely Judas repented and was saved from Hell.

God Bless


But we can’t be absolutely sure can we?


To a mestaphysical certainty, no.

But, given all the scriptures and visions of the Saints I would say it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt that there are many souls in Hell. It cannot, however, be proven with absolute certainty.

See below link for a good treatment by Cardinal Dulles.



Committing suicide does not automatically send a person to Hell. It takes a lot of mental anguish to commit suicide. We entrust such souls to God’s mercy.

God is there between the bridge and the water. God is there in the moment between the suicidal act and the moment of death. Whether the person displays any evidence to others of repentance and salvation is immaterial.

Judas fulfilled God’s plan for his life. It was an awful plan to have to carry out, and perhaps being saddled with that responsibility is such a heavy weight to bear that it led to Jesus saying what he did. Just as the Agony in the Garden was so awful it made Jesus sweat blood, perhaps what Judas did led to a deeper remorse than we can imagine. I for one would not want to be in his shoes.

It is a mystery and we cannot know on this side of the veil, but I hope for Judas, and perhaps when we get to heaven we’ll see him as one of the brightest shining starry saints there. It is a consoling thought.


In the Bible its written that Judas become one with the devil… he let himself get taken over by the devil. And instead of asking for forgiveness after his sin he went and hung himself, which is an act that the Church for many centuries has condemned because its an action of refusal to trust in God and in forgiveness. (the sin against the Holy Spirit).

I can give you the answer by quoting the words of Jesus: “…But woe to the person who betrays the Son of man, it was better for that man if he had never been born.”

Now if was better for Judas to never have been born, we can cocnlude he is not in heaven and wont be there either at any time… because then Jesus would have contradicted Himself.

Beware lest some of you get tempted by new agers and their love for the Gospel of Judas as well as their refusal to accept Christian teaching on damnation, sin and hell…



All humans are born under the consequence of original sin. It was human choice to disobey God, which caused separation from God’s grace. God did not desire this, but it is a consequence of disobedience. Without being restored to a state of grace through Christ, we will suffer the penalty of sin, which is death.


Believing in Jesus is not sufficient on its own to save you. Faith and works of love out of that faith are required and the state of your soul at death determines where you go. Anyone who dies in a state of unrepented mortal sin will go to hell.

By the way even the devil believes in Jesus.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.