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Judas in Hell?
Question from Bob on 12/9/2004:

Hello Fr.,

You recently made the comment that Judas is most assuredly in hell.

I have read that we do not know that.

Isn't it possible that Judas despaired so and sought forgiveness right as he hanged himself? Also, Judas was part of God the Father's plan from the beginning of time, I would imagine, so even though Judas used his free will to betray Our Lord, it was still unavoidable that Jesus be betrayed . . .

Just wanted your thoughts.

Thanks, Bob

Answer by Fr. John Echert on 12/9/2004:

Two biblical texts, in particular, would argue that Judas is in hell:

26:24 The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born." 26:25 Judas, who betrayed him, said, "Is it I, Master?" He said to him, "You have said so." (Matt)

1:15 In those days Peter stood up among the brethren (the company of persons was in all about a hundred and twenty), and said, 1:16 "Brethren, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David, concerning Judas who was guide to those who arrested Jesus. 1:17 For he was numbered among us, and was allotted his share in this ministry. 1:18 (Now this man bought a field with the reward of his wickedness; and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 1:19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their language Akel'dama, that is, Field of Blood.) 1:20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation become desolate, and let there be no one to live in it'; and His office let another take.' 1:21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 1:22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us -- one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection." 1:23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsab'bas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthi'as. (Acts)

The words of our Lord, "Better had he not been born" could not be said of Judas, if he ultimately achieves the blessed of Heaven, no matter what torments he might suffer for a time in Purgatory. Add to that the manner of his death and words of Saint Peter and long tradition of the Church Fathers, and it is almost certain that Judas is damned. And if not Judas, then who among us could ever be damned? In fact, the common view of the Church Fathers is that more souls are lost in eternity than are saved, based upon the words of the Lord. And the good that came from the act of Judas was not by way of cause, but only occasion, which God permits and uses for some good, though not for Judas himself. God knew for all eternity what Judas would do, though God did not cause him to do this; therefore, Judas is rightly condemned, especially given the great advantages that he was given, by grace and familiar association with Christ.

Thanks, Bob

Father Echert


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