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Judas Iscariot is in Hell is the unanimous opinion of the Saints, Fathers and Doctors of the Church. It is the continuing witness of the greatest minds of the Church.
Yesterday we looked at the testimony of the damnation of Judas present in Sacred Scripture, and today we turn to the Fathers and Doctors. But first: our motive for exploring around this topic so thoroughly all this week.
There is a current of thought running through many contemporary Catholic circles that seeks to rehabilitate Judas, to give the impression that he was saved. And the reason is somewhat duplicitous. It isn't so much to raise up Judas as to downplay their own sin.
The unconscious thinking goes something like, "Well, if Judas was saved, then I'm not so bad off." Much hangs on and surrounds this whole topic of Judas' damnation. For example, Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar was more than anxious to hold up and rationalize that Judas is not damned so he could promote the nutty idea that "we have a reasonable hope that all men are saved." He even wrote a book by that title, and the question of Judas looms large.
Popular priest Fr. Robert Barron has openly dismissed and shoved aside the writing of Church Fathers and Doctors like St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas and thrown his lot in with von Balthasar, publicly declaring that he thinks they are wrong and von Balthasar is right.
For von Balthasar's weird idea of having a reasonable hope that everyone is saved, he needs to paint the picture that Judas is saved.
Judas wasn't saved, though.
So von Balthasar's "theology" on this score falls flat on its face — and so too then do Fr. Barron's proclamations and the whole Church of Nice approach to sin and Hell.
And what the great minds of the Church are unanimous on about the damnation of Judas isn't that he betrayed Our Lord. Rather, it was that he added to that sin by committing suicide, denying the mercy of God in his own case. They point out he was remorseful and then despaired, and that was what sealed his damnation.
Here is what some of them had to say:
First, St. Augustine from his City of God: "For Judas, when he killed himself, killed a wicked man, and passed from this life chargeable not only with the death of Christ, but also with his own: for though he killed himself on account of his crime, his killing himself was another crime."
St. Thomas Aquinas: "In the case of Judas, the abuse of grace was the reason for his reprobation, since he was made reprobate because he died without grace."
Pope St. Leo the Great: "The godless betrayer, shutting his mind to all these things [offerings of God's Mercy], turned upon himself, not with a mind to repent, but in the madness of self-destruction: so that this man who had sold the Author of life to the executioners of His death, even in the act of dying sinned unto the increase of his own eternal punishment."
There are many others we could bring forth, but the point is made. There was never any serious consideration ever in the 2000-year history of the Church that Judas was anything other than damned.
Why is this so important today? Because there is an attempt to side-step this issue, to rehabilitate Judas (or at least ignore him) as the fake mercy march is on among progressives and liberals in the Church to reduce Hell to a fantasy, or just something you have to hold out as a "real possibility," but not something you have to take seriously.
The point is: if Judas is damned, then what Von Balthasar (and by extension Fr. Barron) likes to throw out there for your consideration or to confuse you — that "we have a reasonable hope that all men are saved" — simply cannot be true.
If Judas is damned, then there can be no hope, reasonable or otherwise, that "all men are saved," because here is at least one who wasn't. And — wait for it — if one can be damned, a whole hell of a lot more can be as well — and that is where the Church of Nice does not and cannot go.
More on this point about the Church of Nice and Hell later in the week.
Tomorrow: What approved private revelations have to say about Judas' being damned, as well as other human beings.
Hell is not just a real "possibility." It is real — and people do go there.
We recommend the following links to better understand the subjects in this Vortex episode: