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« Fr. Fessio Let Go From AMU | Main | Specific Confessions »

March 22, 2007



Aloha, while the above post is interesting the following is even more so, perhaps due to my situation... my journey to the Catholic Church...this issue is very worrisome to me as I also volunteer at the local hospice.

Can a faithful Catholic be denied Holy Communion because of ones physical/mental status (Alzheimers)? See the following links:


The next few weeks are of great importance to me. Please comment on this and help put my soul and mind at peace.

I did sent this query to Jimmy when I first came across the issue but perhaps did not send it to the right category/e-mail box...so please forgive my being out of line on this particular posting, but this is VERY troublesome!!

Many thanks for your help.

Grace and peace.


The rehabilitation of an unrepentant sinner, like the rehabilitation of sin, is the work of the Devil. The difference is that the sinner must be treated with mercy, regardless of his ignorance, in the virtuous hope for his conversion. However, when that sinner is long dead, and his life is a matter of history and its concomitant nature as a lesson for future generations, then it is the obligation of the faithful, particularly priests (whose responsibility is ordained) and religious scholars (whose authority is accidental, though effectively real), to provide the lesson of his sinfulness, not to speculate on the particular actions of God. To do the latter is to lead innocents astray, a sin often greater than the one being entertained. The dead are in the hands of God. So are their sins. Our speculation causes us to focus on another's splinter, while we walk blindly off the cliff, some of us leading others.

It also gets us too close to excusing or rehabilitating sin itself, a behavior for which there is no reason and no forgiveness.


Ahhhh, the historical-critical mentality at its finest. Welcome to the Brave New Christian World, courtesy of Bultmann, Brown, et al...

Tim H.

I remember reading about something along these lines but from a purely academic angle, a couple of years ago. The professor was promoting the idea that we've simply *misinterpreted* Judas' actions, that he didn't betray Jesus and was in fact sent on an important errand by Jesus Himself. I think it was pretty much in line with the claims made in the "Gospel of Judas."

But what was funny to me was that the professor reached these conclusions by subtly interpreting offhand comments and actions in the Bible. And yet his conclusions contradicted what the Bible says directly.

I find this to be a very common occurrence in this field, unfortunately. Is it an example of postmodernism? Deconstructionism? Where you get to "reinterpret" a "text" in a way that flatly contradicts what the text says?

There's a funny story about this here: My Postmodern Adventure: How to Deconstruct Almost Anything. Written by a computer scientist who saw it going on at a conference and decided to have some fun with it.



>>>Both Archer and Father Moloney doubt that Judas committed suicide, a story recounted only in the Gospel of St. Matthew.

So if an event is only mentioned in one Gospel, it didn't happen? Gee, how scholarly! We could negate a lot of (extrabiblical) historical events that way - if only one historian recorded it, it didn't happen!

(Never mind, of course, the fact that Judas' suicide is also mentioned in Acts 1:18).

In Jesu et Maria,


kaneohe: Alzheimer's does not bar one from receiving Communion. For more info, go to "Blogs", in the left-hand column above, click on "In Light of the Law", scroll down to "Communion, Alzheimer's, and the God Squad", to see Ed Peters' take on the subject.


And don't forget this, Rosemarie: If something is mentioned in more than one Gospel, it means that the evangelists copied from one another and, therefore, their testimony is worthless.


The whole premise doesn't even make any sense, Jesus was captured outside of Jerusalem! He didnt need help escaping.


About those who exonerate Judas: by their mirrors shall you know them :)


Well what can you expect from a man who spent two years in a British prison for perjury?

Sifu Jones

There may be personal reasons why authors and film makers try to rehabilitate Judas, but the more likely explanation is, in my opinion, two-fold:

1) It seems to be pretty common practice to "rehab" historical figures; it's possible there's some natural, psychological explanation for why humanity in general does this, especially if the case is not clear cut to some people. Everyone knows "Jesus good, Hitler bad". But a non-Christian, or not-knowledgeable Christian, looking at the gospels may see things like Jesus seeming to send Judas out to do what he needs to do, or Judas regretting his decision, or Peter's own betrayal and actual rehabilitation, and get confused.

In short, Judas may very well be in hell, and it would certainly be better for him never to have been born, as our lord said, but he didn't seem like a "bad guy" in the most understood sense of that term. This is where the personal assertions may have come in -- it's possible someone looks at even the accepted speculation about Judas and say "hey, I might have done some of that too; would it be better that I too had never been born?"

2) A lot of these people really do have it out for the church. They're motivated to embarrass a faith that perhaps the blame for their own embarrassment, growing up in it and being ridiculed for holding it, or more likely simply abandoning it as a childish fantasy foisted on them by their parents like a Santa Claus or Easter Bunny. They can't believe so many otherwise intelligent adults essentially, in their view, still believe in Santa.

Well, that's my $.02 psychoanalysis of a Judas Rehab Specialist, anyway. Seems like they just need a good New Testament class at one of America's better Catholic universities.


Gosh, this has already been done before - in "The Catcher in the Rye", when Holden Caulfield tells a Christian classmate that he doesn't think that Judas went to Hell or that Jesus actually picked out His disciples. At least there, though, it was used to illustrate just how out-of-touch Holden was. :)


Both Archer and Father Moloney doubt that Judas committed suicide, a story recounted only in the Gospel of St. Matthew.

Must be one of them Jesus Seminar-ians!

They often cast doubts on biblical text if it should have been mentioned only once in just one of the Gospels -- which is horse dump!

I don't even have a problem with someone who wants to present Judas as something other than the worst sinner in history...

Too late, 'Jesus Christ, Superstar' did just that back then.

I don't know what it is with authors (and filmmakers) who want to rehabilitate Judas in this fashion.

But I suspect it's this: They themselves have an uneasy conscience.

They themselves feel that they have betrayed Christ (as have we all by our sins), but rather than throw themselves on Christ's mercy and accepting his grace, they want to rationalize or excuse their sins and so--using the character of Judas as a psychological surrogate for themselves--they rationalize and excuse his in fictional form.

The underlying psychological message they're trying to give themselves is: Hey, if Judas didn't really betray Christ--if he was a tragic victim of circumstance--then that's what I am, too. I haven't really betrayed him. I'm just a victim of fate, too, and I'm not really responsible for what I've done.

I LOVE this, Jimmy!

You're so WITH IT!

Boils down to 'Projectionism'.

Reminds me almost of a Voyager episode involving Seven-of-Nine.


Then Judas, who betrayed him, seeing that he was condemned, repenting himself, brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and ancients,
Saying: I have sinned in betraying innocent blood. But they said: What is that to us? look thou to it.
And casting down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed: and went and hanged himself with an halter. Mt 27:3-5

When Judas repented himself, the Greek word is metamellomai. This word is used 4 other times in the NT with the interpretation of a sincere change - change that implies going towards the path to salvation. ref. Mt 21:29, Mt 21:32, 2Cr 7:8, Heb 7:21

This seems at first compelling but even if he did repent he neglected to trust in Christ and hanged himself. Peter also denied Christ publically but he instead reconciled to Christ personally after the resurrection.


This seems at first compelling but even if he did repent he neglected to trust in Christ and hanged himself. Peter also denied Christ publically but he instead reconciled to Christ personally after the resurrection.


Good point!

As mentioned, the only key difference between Judas' betrayal and Peter's Denial is that Peter came back to the Lord, trusted in Him and His Mercy, and repented of his sin unlike Judas.


Bishop Sheen put it as the difference between self-reference and Divine-reference. Judas repented to himself, Peter repented to God. The difference between a psychoanalytic couch and the Cross.


The difference between a psychoanalytic couch and the Cross.

Excellent point, bill912!


Just regurgitating one of my favorite teachers of the Faith, Esau.

The Big Seester

Jammy Akin said: The underlying psychological message they're trying to give themselves is: Hey, if Judas didn't really betray Christ--if he was a tragic victim of circumstance--then that's what I am, too. I haven't really betrayed him. I'm just a victim of fate, too, and I'm not really responsible for what I've done.

And there I think you nailed it, Jimmy. Judas was a VICTIM, just like you, just like me.

And everyone knows victims cannot be held accountable for their actions...



What about Jesus Christ, Superstar? From what I've heard, it caused a terrible uproar from the Church. After seeing it, I came away with the fact that Judas did betray him, but he had what he thought were good motives for it.

Of course, he commits suicide in that as well, so at least it stayed true to the actual events.


From what parts I saw (remember) on T.V. back then (couldn't really watch it since the thought of a singing/dancing Jesus seemed too hilarious to me then), it seemed consistent with the Gospel of Judas, which claimed that Jesus had actually asked Judas to betray him.


That's right:

Jesus: And that's not all I see, one of you here dining, one of my twelve chosen will leave to betray me!
Judas: Cut out the dramatics, you know very well who!

Jesus: Why don't you go do it?

Judas: You want me to do it?

Jesus: Hurry, they're waiting. . .

Judas: If you knew why I do it. . .

Jesus: I don't care why you do it.

Judas: To think I admired you, for now I despise you!

Jesus: You liar. . .You Judas. . .

Judas: You want me to do it! What if I just stayed here and ruined your ambition? Christ, you deserve it!

Jesus: Hurry you fool, hurry and go, save me your speeches I don't wanna know. Go!


As per historical Jesus studies, Judas does not appear to get much validation/historical figure as a "necessary accessory" for the Crucifixion . It is almost like he was a later add-on/scapegoat.

269±. Jesus Arrested: (1a) Mark 14:43-50 = Matt 26:47-56 = Luke 22:47-53, (1b) John 18:1-12,20;




You need a prescription for that stuff?


As per historical stooges studies, Shemp does not appear to get much validation/historical character as a "necessory accessory" figure for the Stoogifixion. It is almost like he was a later add-on/scapegoat.

270+/-12 e = mc 2
Stooge Exclusion: (2b) Larry 1:2-3 = Moe 4:5-6, (3a) Curly 7:8-9


Jimmy, the so-called apologist the so-called know-it all. You dont' know Papias?

Tim J.

Anonymous, does your Mommy know you are on the internet unsupervised?

Oh, and to continue on -- instead of reading the papers, read what a REAL scholar who is ASKED by the Pope to use his expertise for the Church has to say -- (not some apologist who gets things wrong). It's like attacking Dostoevsky for "The Grand Inquisitor" chapter in The Brothers Karamazov Instead of attacking, read up on intent and purpose and figure out what is really going on. This is not another "Da Vinci Code."


This is not another "Da Vinci Code."

It's not that well written.


So are you familiar with Papias? Do you know who he is? Do you know in his fragments we find that Judas triedto kill himself, and indeed what is described happened to him but it did not kill.

According to Papias, "Judas walked about in this world a sad example of impiety; for his body having swollen to such an extent that he could not pass where a chariot could pass easily, he was crushed by the chariot, so that his bowels gushed out." Other early Fathers also discuss this -- he went out in the world as a monster, until his death.


So you have read it? If not, then you can't say "it's not as well written." You don't know the quality of thw writing if you have not read it; though it is possible you read it (it came out this week), I doubt you have and I doubt you know the intent and implications of the work. It is not a rejection of the Gospels, but a pointer to what the natural inclination without revelation, a pointer to the frail human mentality.

Historically, many have looked at Judas in various ways -- it's not new. Nor is the idea behind this novel. What is sad is that people who do not have a clue to the intent are misrepresenting it. I know Fr. Moloney -- I don't agree with him, but he is middle of the road and quite a scholar.


Tim, I'd say his mommy doesn't know.

Great way of convincing people, great apologetics: call people names. That will do it. Yep, I am sure the "your momma" tactic converts millions.

J.R. Stoodley

anonymous, it is a rejection of the account in the Bible that Judas killed himself, as well as other parts. By rejecting part of the Bible the author is rejecting the divine authorship and inerrancy of Sacred Scripture in general.

Technically, the Bible doesn't say Judas was successful, as the early Fathers pointed out.


As per historical Judas studies, Judas is an add-on/scapegoat who wore a goatee.

321+/-32 m1 m2 = v1 v2
Judas Goatee: (3c) Huey 1:2-3 = Duey 4:5-6, (6b) Louie 7:8-9


Tim J.

So, Anon, Papias and some Church Fathers trump the biblical texts? Gotcha.

I responded the way I did to your first post to point out how CHILDISH it was. Get it? Mommy? Childish?

If you can't stand the fact that Jimmy has earned a solid reputation and has a populat blog, you you should show us all how to do it right. Where's YOUR blog?

You introduce yourself to the combox via an envious snear, and complain of name calling? If you can't stand the heat...

So Jimmy is envious of Fr Moloney and his reputation when he writes a childish, and ignorant, commentary? Is that it?

Seriously the Bible does NOT say Judas was successful; it is an assumption of many. The early sources seem to suggest something monstrous as a result.

Tim J.

Sorry, anon, what was childish about Jimmy's post, or do you respond so elegantly to everything with which you disagree?

The book of Acts clearly implies Judas died;

Acts 1:18
"With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out."

Acts 1:24-25
"Then they prayed, "Lord, you know everyone's heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs."

All this takes place before the Apostles cast lots for Judas' replacement - a very early Church Council.

The narrative makes it plain that this was very soon after the events of Passion week.

But that's a minor point. More important is the assertion that Judas was a victim of circumstance, and not Jesus' betrayer, which flies in the face of several biblical texts, including the words of Jesus.


Is the following what Anon with NO NAME is talking about?

There are two accounts of his (Judas) fate.

According to the first account:

"Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, 'I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.' And they said, 'What is that to us? You see to it!' Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself. But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, 'It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood.' And they consulted together and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, 'And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced, and gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord directed me.'" (Matthew 27:3-10 NKJV).

According to the second account:

"'Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus; for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry.'" (Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out. And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem; so that field is called in their own language, Akel Dama, that is, Field of Blood.)" (Acts 1:16-19 NKJV)

It is clear that, because the apostles understood Scripture through the enlightenment of Jesus (Luke 24:27), St. Peter is very sure of the meaning of two prophetic psalms (Psalm 69:5 and Psalm 109:8) - psalms which had never been previously understood in the light that his interpretation gives them. St. Luke (who is the writer of the Acts) does not give details of Judas' death in his Gospel; he just reports St. Peter's words here. St. Matthew's account, given above, is only with some difficulty reconcilable with St. Peter's. Nevertheless, the Church Fathers are not greatly troubled by it.

Theophylact sets forth the common tradition: that while Judas did indeed hang himself, the tree upon which he put the rope bent and he survived, because God wanted to save his life - either so he could repent or to make an example of him.

Then he adds, "They say Judas later became so bloated from dropsy that he could not pass through an opening a wagon could easily pass through, and then, falling face forward, he burst asunder, or ruptured, as Luke says in the acts of the Apostles."


I'm glad looked up the Fathers to show what I said -- that there were those who did indeed say Judas survived. The implication at first (especially with what people think happened to Judas) is that he died when he hung himself; but the details are trickier if one looks at then closely between the two versions. The Fathers, however, had more (via Papias) which suggest as you also pointed out -- Judas tried to kill himself, and it has monstrous results, but he didn't die.


I've never really heard of this before.

It's just my curiousity (as I've said in the past, I love anything that happens to concern itself with Scripture -- especially when it comes to the Church Fathers) and it was not necessarily to advocate your position on the matter.

I'll still have to reference actual works by the Early Church Fathers regarding this.

The above was just an extract which regarded Velký pátek.

I remain unconvinced that, generally, the Early Church Fathers actually advocated this idea.


"I'll still have to reference actual works by the Early Church Fathers regarding this."

Wise, Esau. Always demand evidence, especially when it smells rotten.



I see you are repeating the scenario presented about a year ago on the same subject.


Ahh, Defenders of the Faith are we all!!!


A summary based on contemporary historic Jesus studies of the events of Easter weekend.

"The best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in the "Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety. There were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset_ And if Jewish police or Roman soldiers did not need to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those "last week" details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered."

Note: No mention of Judas.


Of importance would be to cite the fact that when Peter speaks of Judas in Acts chapter 1- he uses the prophetic aspect to show Scripture being fulfiled when he said:
"...brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled..."- (Acts I:16) After detailing how Judas was to perish, he denotes which Scripture passage he means to have been fulfilled-"...it is written in the book of Psalms...May another take his place of leadership".-(Acts I:20).
All this to say that he is referring to Psalm 109 where in verse 8-- we find it interesting that prior to stating-"may another take his place...", it says "May his days be few".
Judas fulfilled Scripture by dying--- as Scripture (GOD) said!.

Tim J.

Realist, I understand that Alice in Wonderland doesn't mention Judas, either.


Oops, make that "There were no high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus."

And Tim J.,

Thanks for that bit of information about Alice in Wonderland. Interesting you should compare a fairy tale to the Bible.


So you have read it? If not, then you can't say "it's not as well written."

Actually, the "it" was your post. And unfortunately I did read it.



I won't speak for Tim, but I took him to mean that Alice in Wonderland would be far more helpful in interpreting Scripture than the "sources" you are smoking...I mean using.


I have to ask.

Did Judas know Jesus would die as a result of being turned in to authorities?

If someone turns in a "criminal" and that criminal dies as a result, is the person who turned in the "criminal" responsible for that death?

Is Judas the "worse sinner ever" for betraying Christ to be arrested, not knowing Jesus would be put to death or is he the worst sinner ever because he despaired after he learned about the consequences of his action?

Remember, everything the Jews did in regards to our Lord during His Passion was illegal according to Jewish law. Judas would not be expecting the midnight "kangaroo court" nor the subsequent events.

So was the sin of Judas the betrayal, or the despair which cause him to end his own life?


So was the sin of Judas the betrayal, or the despair which cause him to end his own life?

It would be BOTH!

Besides, how can you NOT count Judas' BETRAYAL as not a sin?

My goodness, are folks SO SCREWED UP these days by liberal ideas that they are now TWISTING Scripture to make it seem that there was no such thing as the betrayal of Judas or that the betrayal can actually be diminished or altogether nullified through some sort of modern day ACLU action?

What does the Gospel tell us?

Mk 14:21
21 And 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.

As for the notion that Judas did NOT know what was to happen to Jesus, Jesus Himself revealed this by telling the Apostles (which included Judas, by the way):

Mk 9:31
31 And he taught his disciples and said to them: The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise again the third day.

So, for anybody to even claim that Judas did NOT KNOW what was going to happen to Jesus if (and when) he actually betrayed Him is all just hogwash!

Tim J.

" ...I took him to mean that Alice in Wonderland would be far more helpful in interpreting Scripture..."

I don't know about MORE, helpful, but certainly AS helpful. I was just making the point that they are likely both drug-induced fantasies.



JUDAS -- The Man, the Myth, the Legend, the HERO!


Mark 14:21 and Mark 9:31 and their equivalents do not mention Judas specifically. And as expected, both passages fail the time and attestation testing of many contemporary NT scholars i.e. not said by the historical Jesus.

e.g. http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb240.html

"More prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered." ?????


And as expected, both passages fail the time and attestation testing

Not to mention, they fail the Sign Test, McNemar's Test, Wilcoxon Matched-Pairs Signed-Ranks Test, and even the Student-t test!

Therefore, based on these, the above CANNOT have been said by the real REALIST!

Just a FIGMENT of the imagination as are all things CROSSAN & JESUS SEMINAR-ian!


As per historical REALIST studies, Bernard is an add-on who frequently turns prophecy into fables and fables into history.

220+/-3 s = ut + 1/2 at2
Bernard Crucifixion: (3c) Manny 1:2-3 = Moe 4:5-6, (6b) Jack 7:8-9




Esau the Supreme "Hatcheteer" trapped in his orthodoxy box.


"who wanted his new book to be backed up by solid biblical scholarship"

Yipes! Shouldn't some convincing evidence be the inspiration for the book, rather than the desire to write the book being the inspiration to go out and dig up evidence somewhere?



JUDAS -- The Man, the Myth, the Legend, the HERO!


I hate to burst everyone's bubble here, but isn't it obvious that Judas was the son of God, not Jesus? Isaiah 53 tells us that the Messiah will be depised and reviled, rejected by his people and counted among the criminals. Why should we believe that Jesus, who suffered but one day, could wash away the sins of such a wicked race of people? Even now the faithful are rejecting and despising Judas, who never waivered from his duty to God to betray Jesus. No, my friends, Judas suffers in inquity and will do so for all eternity because it is he who is the Messiah.

It's as plain as day, really....

Captian Snorer

When Jimbo is gone away, the trolls come out to play.


I think Michael was engaging in sarcasm, not trolling.


John the Baptist- then, in your estimation must have been cross-eyed (at the very least) because in John chapter 1 verse 29th it says plainly that he was "LOOK(ing)" at Jesus when he uttered the famous words-"The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world".
Obviously Judas must have been somewhere close by---right?.

Captian Snorer

I Vasn't referring to Michael, Bill.


John the Baptist- then, in your estimation must have been cross-eyed


Isn't it bleeding obvious? Judas was standing right behind Jesus! Of course the writers of the gospel would make it appear that it was Jesus that John the Baptist was referring to. But even they did not know the real truth.

Sheesh, it's as if none of you took freshman literary theory...


I think I hear "the men in white" coming for ya!.

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