Why doesn't the Church teach Judas isn't in hell


#1

even though Jesus said "it would have been better if he had not be born"?

I'm trying to understand this.

Jesus seems to clearly say that Judas will go to hell and Jesus was perfect and knew the future.

So why doesn't the church teach he is in hell?


#2

I think you make some assumptions that shouldn’t be made. One assumption is that Jesus knew the future. I’m not sure what you mean by this. I think Jesus was able to predict the outcome of his actions if he remained faithful to his mission, and his faith gave him certainty that he would rise from the dead, but I think it would be a mistake to think Jesus knew the future as if he was a fortune teller. I think this view diminishes the faith and suffering of Jesus. The second assumption you make is that Jesus clearly says that Judas is in hell. Obviously, if it was so clear you wouldn’t have raised the question about it. The Church makes no judgement on who is in hell because it is only God who makes that condemnation. We have no way of knowing what state of mind Judas found himself in during the last minutes of his life. He could very easily have been insane. What Jesus does say, and this could come about merely through observation of the man, is that Judas would suffer greatly as a result of his act of betrayal. We know this to be true because Judas appears to have hanged himself. Personally, I would prefer to believe in the saving power of God’s grace to overcome all obstacles and save Judas, than in the destructive power of Satan to claim him as his own. Of course, it may be that Judas is in hell, but I prefer to think he rests in the bosom of God.


#3

This is Pope Benedict's statement on the matter:*The mystery of the choice remains, all the more since Jesus pronounces a very severe judgement on [Judas]: "Woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed!" (Mt 26: 24). What is more, it darkens the mystery around his eternal fate, knowing that Judas "repented and brought back the 30 pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, "I have sinned in betraying innocent blood'" (Mt 27: 3-4). Even though he went to hang himself (cf. Mt 27: 5), it is not up to us to judge his gesture, substituting ourselves for the infinitely merciful and just God. (Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, Oct. 18, 2006)*All that being said, as far as I know, it could be a pious theological supposition to believe Judas is in hell. The Church merely does not have a dogmatic position on the subject.


#4

It seems pretty apparent to me that Judas is in Hell also, but the Church doesn’t go out of its way to establish dogma. It normally only does so when a particular crisis forces the Holy See to speak. What is the value of professing the damnation of a particular poor soul?


#5

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=61767

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=459109


#6

I find it interesting that Jesus said, "it would have been better if he had not been born" - but if he had not been born someone else would have had to stand in instead. Without a betrayal of some kind there would have been no Passion and Cross and Resurrection, and therefore no salvation for humanity.

Given that Judas hung himself, it is perhaps the case that emotionally and psychologically was overwhealmed with grief at what he had done. Also given that his death was unlikely to have been instantaneous, it is also possible for him to have had a 'Damascus Moment' of contrition and 'conciliation/re-conciliation'.


#7

I think the answer is we don’t know for certain. Judas was misguided, he seems to have believed Jesus Christ was the Messiah, he stuck with him when others left, but he believed Jesus was a military Messiah who would free Israel from the Romans. He seems to have done what he did because he was trying to force Jesus Christ into the conflict he was expecting, where Jesus would essentially become the military might against the Romans that Judas was expecting from a Messiah.

That is why Judas repented, because it didn’t work out the way he expected. His plan to force Jesus into a military Messiah failed, because he didn’t understand the plan, so I think it is wrong to assign Judas to hell.


#8

It’s important to remember that Jesus was very fond of hyperbole, and would often use exaggeration to make His points. On the one hand, He may have been saying that Judas would end up in Hell. On the other, it’s entirely possible that He was just emphasizing the gravity of Judas’ betrayal. He was, after all, betraying God Himself.

Also, I’d imagine killing God would, at the least, get you a pretty lengthy and painful stay in purgatory.


#9

From the Roman Catechism:

ROMAN CATECHISM ** Furthermore, no one can deny that it is a virtue to be sorrowful at the time, in the manner, and to the extent which are required. To regulate sorrow in this manner belongs to the virtue of penance. Some conceive a sorrow which bears no proportion to their crimes. Nay, there are some, says Solomon, who are glad when they have done evil. Others, on the contrary, give themselves to such melancholy and grief, as utterly to abandon all hope of salvation. **Such, perhaps, was the condition of Cain when he exclaimed: My iniquity is greater than that I may deserve pardon. Such certainly was the condition of Judas, who, repenting, hanged himself, *and thus lost soul and body. * Penance, therefore, considered as a virtue, assists us in restraining within the bounds of moderation our sense of sorrow.


#10

[quote="Cathoholic, post:9, topic:338660"]
From the Roman Catechism:

ROMAN CATECHISM ** Furthermore, no one can deny that it is a virtue to be sorrowful at the time, in the manner, and to the extent which are required. To regulate sorrow in this manner belongs to the virtue of penance. Some conceive a sorrow which bears no proportion to their crimes. Nay, there are some, says Solomon, who are glad when they have done evil. Others, on the contrary, give themselves to such melancholy and grief, as utterly to abandon all hope of salvation. **Such, perhaps, was the condition of Cain when he exclaimed: My iniquity is greater than that I may deserve pardon. Such certainly **was the condition of Judas, who, repenting, hanged himself, **and thus lost soul and body. Penance, therefore, considered as a virtue, assists us in restraining within the bounds of moderation our sense of sorrow.

[/quote]

Wouldn't that be more as a consequence of the act of suicide, than anything other action?


#11

[quote="Ben_Sinner, post:1, topic:338660"]
even though Jesus said "it would have been better if he had not be born"?

I'm trying to understand this.

Jesus seems to clearly say that Judas will go to hell and Jesus was perfect and knew the future.

So why doesn't the church teach he is in hell?

[/quote]

The Church does not teach that any particular individual is in Hell because only God knows who is actually there.
Does the Church and most of us think Judas is in Hell. Almost certainly, but that is quite different from 100% certainty.
Also whether Judas is in Hell or not has no impact on our faith or salvation so in my opinion it is not important to know that.


#12

But would judus really be in hell ?


#13

In Acts 1:25 Judas went “to his own place.” Some translations say he went “where he belongs.” That doesn’t leave much hope for heaven :frowning:


#14

The footnotes of the Douay-Rheims Bible of 1609 suggests that Judas is in hell, and the chances of him being there is very high, but as for absolute certainty we don’t know. I think that the common teaching now that suggests that we really don’t know is mainly stressed to teach us not to judge anybodys fate and to worry more about our own, because it is so easy for us to get in the habit of judging others. I also think that it is a good thing that the Church focuses more on the abundant mercy of God rather than focusing too much on the harshness of God.


#15

Correct. We should not nitpick at God’s decisions. He knows what He is about.
What we need to do is focus on the Lord and our own growth in sanctity.


#16

[quote="Warandpeace, post:13, topic:338660"]
In Acts 1:25 Judas went "to his own place." Some translations say he went "where he belongs." That doesn't leave much hope for heaven :(

[/quote]

What are your thoughts on this verse from John 17, words spoken by Christ in the garden,

"While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled."

Perdition is described as a state of eternal punishment/damnation.


#17

[quote="Tsuwano, post:2, topic:338660"]
I think you make some assumptions that shouldn't be made. One assumption is that Jesus knew the future. I'm not sure what you mean by this. I think Jesus was able to predict the outcome of his actions if he remained faithful to his mission, and his faith gave him certainty that he would rise from the dead, but I think it would be a mistake to think Jesus knew the future as if he was a fortune teller. I think this view diminishes the faith and suffering of Jesus.

[/quote]

Reading this response I thought of Matthew 26:34, "Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”

The Saviour knew that Peter would do just that and Peter did it.

Christ also says in Matthew 26, "He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me."

Jesus knew Judas would do just that and Judas did it.


#18

[quote="prodigalson2011, post:8, topic:338660"]
It's important to remember that Jesus was very fond of hyperbole, and would often use exaggeration to make His points. On the one hand, He may have been saying that Judas would end up in Hell. On the other, it's entirely possible that He was just emphasizing the gravity of Judas' betrayal. He was, after all, betraying God Himself.

Also, I'd imagine killing God would, at the least, get you a pretty lengthy and painful stay in purgatory.

[/quote]

It might seem like a fondness for hyperbole or exaggeration but that is not really the case.

We have to remember that Jesus was a rabbi. Rabbis have a specific way of thinking, writing and especially teaching. They use very specific teaching techniques which are far from fondness for exaggeration. It is a very semitic way of teaching.

Jesus was using a teaching technique called remez which means to hint. A rabbi would very quickly cite a word or an idea from the Jewish Scriptures and this would immediately bring to mind not only the word or passage cited but the location from which it was drawn and the theme in that part of the scripture.

Jesus was most likely hinting at Job who insisted several times that wished he had never been born. Job eventually repented in dust and ashes. Judas did not.

-Tim-


#19

[quote="TimothyH, post:18, topic:338660"]
It might seem like a fondness for hyperbole or exaggeration but that is not really the case.

We have to remember that Jesus was a rabbi. Rabbis have a specific way of thinking, writing and especially teaching. They use very specific teaching techniques which are far from fondness for exaggeration. It is a very semitic way of teaching.

Jesus was using a teaching technique called remez which means to hint. A rabbi would very quickly cite a word or an idea from the Jewish Scriptures and this would immediately bring to mind not only the word or passage cited but the location from which it was drawn and the theme in that part of the scripture.

Jesus was most likely hinting at Job who insisted several times that wished he had never been born. Job eventually repented in dust and ashes. Judas did not.

-Tim-

[/quote]

I will have to respectfully disagree. From a Catholic Answers tract:

*Christ used hyperbole often, for example when he declared, "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell" (Matt. 5:29, cf. 18:9; Mark 9:47). Christ certainly did not intend this to be applied literally, for otherwise all Christians would be blind amputees! (cf. 1 John 1:8; 1 Tim. 1:15). We are all subject to "the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life" (1 John 2:16).

Since Jesus is demonstrably using hyperbole when he says not to call anyone our father—else we would not be able to refer to our earthly fathers as such—we must read his words carefully and with sensitivity to the presence of hyperbole if we wish to understand what he is saying.*

Jesus did use hyperbole alot. Whether or not this particular saying was a reference to Job is besides the point. As others have already said, Judas' return of his payment as well as his suicide strongly imply a great sense of guilt, shame and despair. The Church does not teach definitively that Judas is in Hell because we cannot know whether God may have made a special intervention so that Judas might have had an opportunity, before his soul was separated from his body, in which he may have been able to turn that despair and shame which drove him to suicide into true contrition and repentance.


#20

Yes, I believe Jesus knew that Judas would betray him, and sure enough, Judas did. It does not necessarily follow that Jesus read tea leaves, gazed into chrystal balls, or found omens in the stars. Neither does it mean that the human person of Jesus knew every future event from the discovery of antibiotics to the results of the O.J. Simpson trial. Perhaps he did, but I don’t think so. It is enough for me to know that Jesus died for my sins and rose from the dead in fulfillment of the scriptures. The rest I’ll leave with God.


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