Was Judas evil?

It is pretty heavily implied in the gospels, as well as in Catholic Tradition, that Judas was evil, a failed apostle, and the ultimate analogy for deceit and betrayal.

Yet is this reputation justified? Despite years of Catholic education, hatred and contempt for Judas has not come to me naturally.

I know he betrayed Jesus. Yet wasn’t Jesus supposed to be betrayed? Wasn’t his death and crufixtion necessary for the salvation of humanity? I suppose its different though, having it be inevitable that Jesus will be crucified, and someone knowingly being the cause of it.

More than any of the Judean peasents/citizens, Judas must have known who and what Jesus actually was. Could it be that he sold him out because of supreme contempt, rather than greed/dissapointment?

The gospels say that a “demon” entered Judas shortly after the Last Supper. Do we know if this means a literal demon, or just Judas’ rage/greed/dissapointment/despair coming to fruition?

I always sort of pitied him for the suicide too. I know it is wrong to kill oneself, but it seems the Church now accepts that most people who kill themselves are psychologically unwell, and often do so only under great mental duress/despair.

It seems Judas was so sorrowful for having killed Jesus, and somehow believed God/Jesus would never forgive him for it. So he killed himself in despair.

So what should I think of Judas? Was he really an evil/horrible person? Does anyone understand my conflict/confusion over him?

John 12:6
He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.

'nuff said.

No one but God can judge anyone’s motives or his culpability. This is why the Church has never pronounced who is in hell–not Judas or any other person who did great evils.

Indeed, we can pity Judas. But I don’t think he fully understood who Jesus was. The other disciples didn’t, even after Peter had declared his great statement of faith that Jesus is the Son of God. We humans are wounded beings. Our nature is corrupted, our intellect darkened, and our will weakened so that we cannot always understand what is right or do what we know is right. Even St. Paul lamented the fact that he couldn’t always do what he knew he should and he did those things he knew he shouldn’t. We’re all in that same boat while on this earth.

The thing with Judas is that his ambition did get to him. Remember how John and James asked for a seat at Jesus’ right and left hand in the kingdom? They meant a physical kingdom on this earth not a spiritual one such as Jesus was setting up. None of the disciples understood Jesus’ meaning as to his mission and their role in it. They had their own conceptions, which they’d held all their lives. It took Jesus’ death and resurrection and the outpouring the the Holy Spirit before they “got it.”

Poor Judas not only didn’t get it, he desparied when he saw that Jesus wasn’t going to be the kind of ruler he had envisioned, so he wasn’t going to profit by being associated with him. The devil used his skewed ambitions and natural tendency towards wanting money to corrupt him. By entering into Judas the corruption was complete. Judas didn’t know he was fulfilling prophecy. Prophecies are not carved in stone, rather the are conditional until they come about. Judas had free will to decide what he wanted to do, and he did it. He regretted it later but instead of repenting as Peter did, he despaired of faith and killed himself.

Still, we do not know his eternal fate. That’s not up to us to decide–God didn’t give us that responsibility or ability–which is a very good thing, yes? We can even pray for his soul, if we wish. The Apostles and disciples were naturally going to come down hard on Judas for betraying one whom he had served and supposedly loved. Men followed spiritual leaders in that time with full devotion. To waver in that devotion was anathema to them. Hence the depth of Judas’ despair and of Peter’s repentance.

Our Lord said (Mt. 26:24):

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.

St. Jerome comments (Catena Aurea on Mt 26:20-25):

Judas, not withheld by either the first or second warning, perseveres in his treachery; the Lord’s long-suffering nourishes his audacity. Now then his punishment is foretold, that denunciations of wrath may correct where good feeling has no power.

St. John Chyrosostom comments (Ibid):

… [N]otwithstanding His Passion had been foretold, Judas is still guilty; and not his betrayal wrought our salvation, but God’s providence, which used the sins of others to our profit.

I don’t think he was born that way, but it seems he took a wrong turn or two in his lifetime. Yes, it is possible for people to turn to evil and in so doing become evil though they will never attain the ultimate evil, that which the devils have. The good news is that no other human being will face the test that Judas failed. That was a once and done deal and so is over with and will not be repeated.


In Earling, Iowa, in 1928 a woman was exorcized from demonic possession. It was a lengthy procedure but the priest was able to expel the demons. There were several demons expelled: one being the woman’s deceased father, who had cursed her and had his mistress, Mina, who was a witch, put something in her food. Mina also possessed her along with Judas Iscariot and some other devils.This case was well documented.

Still, this is ancedotal evidence, not Catholic doctrine/dogma. No one is saying that Judas probably isn’t in hell, but where the Church is silent, it is prudent for us to be silent, as well. :wink:

I think it is possible for one to draw their own conclusions as long as they don’t go around telling everyone that is is absolutely true.

I don’t know if it’s true, but I think it is.

Certainly none of us will live in the same times or within the same culture/beliefs of the times, or have Jesus physically with us, as Judas did, but we can all be tempted to betray God. 2 Peter 2 talks about how we can be led astray into serious sin and so go back on our baptismal vows. Judas’ betrayal is a lesson to us to not follow his example into sin and despair.

Yes. This is the kind of thing we are free to believe or not–if sanctioned by the Church. :slight_smile:

Hello Arizona Fat Girl.

Ummm…keep in mind the devil is a liar. Documents aside, that may be what a devil or devils claimed were their names to be expelled by, but that is simply the names they would respond to during exorcism. That doesn’t mean Judas Iscariot himself possessed the woman. That would be wrong. Think a little deeper on that one and never forget the devil’s words are lies in general with enough truth thrown in* so as to deceive.*


Well, I don’t know if he was evil or not although I would lean toward yes. Nevertheless, the sin he committed was definitely grave matter.

It seems to the possible mistake here is to equate the person with their actions. Judas was created by God, so he is good. That he chose evil acts does not change this. These acts may cause him to disinherit heaven, but he will forever retain the goodness that comes with being a creature of God.

But is it not right that Judas life was mapped out for him? Jesus knew who was going to betray him and how? God knows everything before it happens so was it just ‘bad luck’ that Judas was the person to betray Our Lord?

Did he follow the map, or go his own way?

Jesus knew who was going to betray him and how?

Did Jesus’ knowledge cause Judas to sin? If so, how?

God knows everything before it happens so was it just ‘bad luck’ that Judas was the person to betray Our Lord?

Why would a personal choice be called bad luck?

Please demonstrate with valid logic that knowledge = cause.

What i am trying to say is that God knew what Judas was going to do even before he was born! His life was planned that way? Just asking as i am trying to get my head around it.

Did Judas ‘really’ have a choice if it was written in history that he was going to betray Jesus?

God knew Judas’ choices would be what they were but God did not choose them for him or make him do/decide anything. Knowing what a person will do is not the same thing as willing that they do it.

That case in Earling was a very awful situation. One of the demons claimed he was Beelzebub. I read some of “Begone, Satan,” written by Celestine Kapsner. The exorcist was Father Theophilus Riesinger. The devil caused Father Steiger, the pastor of the church where this exorcism took place to have a bad auto accident. The woman in question was possessed from the time she was 14 years old until she was 40, in 1928. In some documents concerning exorcism priests have acknowledged that although devils are liars, they must tell the truth when asked for their names under the authority of Jesus. They must reveal their names.

The reason the 40 year old woman was possessed by her father was that when he was alive, he placed a curse on her. Lucifer himself was happy to oblige this curse. Her father, whose name was Jacob, had a mistress named Mina. The father and Mina both in hell possessed this woman. The spirit of Judas was sent to get the woman to commit suicide.
Mina was in hell because she had a sexual relationship with Jacob, and she also killed four children. Mina was supposedly a witch and profaned the Blessed Sacrament. Often she received communion in mortal sin.

Some of Father Amorth’s writings concerned whether or not damned souls can possess anyone. Apparently, they can because in one case a woman had the spirit of a Moulin Rouge entertainer who died at 39 while on drugs. Her name was Michelle. The host body that this spirit took over didn’t know French, but, low and behold, while under possession she could speak French. I don’t know what these ladies did at the Moulin Rouge, but it sounds as if it could have been immoral. That’s where the Can Can dance originated, and I suppose that was shocking back then.

If the film Moulin Rouge has any basis in truth, I think the Can-Can dancers also served as prostitutes.

I find those writings intriguing, but I would take it with a grain of salt. Even if it was Judas in that woman, why would the devil pick him to possess some woman in Iowa? There are perhaps hundreds or thousands of possessed people. Why pick that one woman?

I think Annalise Michel’s possession sounds somewhat questionable as well. She apparently claimed that Nero, Hitler, and Judas were all in her. At the risk of sounding flippant, it almost sounds like an event at the Rockefeller Center, Or Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, in this case where A-list damned souls are going to “perform.” It just seems too far fetched to believe all those recognizable evildoers were in that poor young woman. There also were other problems with that case

The souls of the departed who have gone off to Hell, are in Hell. They do not roam the world, they do not possess men. The demons may, but the souls of man do not.

Anyways, remember guys, Judas, if he was damned, was not damned for betraying Christ! Judas could have betrayed him over and over and over again. Judas denied God’s forgiveness, love, and mercy, which was the greater sin, or at least more problematic for his redemption.

If Judas had said “Forgive me, Father!” he could have come back. But he didn’t. He couldn’t ask for forgiveness because he didn’t believe in it, and he couldn’t deal with living with the guilt, so he killed himself.

That’s the lesson, here. It’s not as though Judas went to Hell because he got Jesus killed, as though God set him up for the fall. He could have repented. He didn’t. As far as we know.

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