How odd to see a stained glass representation of the once glorious Apostle Judas hanging himself, becoming disemboweled, with a typical artist’s rendition of the soul as a child, but this time with that soul diving into the jaws of Satan. Such despair. Such hatred of God and neighbor and self. How ghastly. The stained glass is, however, most appropriate, pointing out just how much our Lord loved us, for we call to mind that He called Judas “friend” just some hours previously.
This is as serious as it gets. Our Holy Father speaks of the diabolical evil of Judas during his Angelus message on 26 August 2012:
Jesus knew that even among the twelve apostles there was one that did not believe: Judas. Judas could have left, as many of the disciples did; indeed, he would have left if he were honest. Instead he remained with Jesus. He did not remain because of faith, or because of love, but with the secret intention of taking vengeance on the Master. Why? Because Judas felt betrayed by Jesus, and decided that he in turn would betray Him. Judas was a Zealot, and wanted a triumphant Messiah, who would lead a revolt against the Romans. Jesus had disappointed those expectations. The problem is that Judas did not go away, and his most serious fault was falsehood, which is the mark of the devil. This is why Jesus said to the Twelve: “One of you is a devil” (John 6.70).
Let’s make an analogy with what I have called The Judas Crisis in regard to the clergy and bishops turning on and betraying fellow priests who — known to all — are falsely accused.
Those priests and bishops who have no faith, who have created their own salvation by way of political correctness, must offer sacrifice to their new god of self worship (saving money), that sacrifice being their fellow priests, against whom they quickly make a settlement for a relative pittance, destroying the priesthood of the accused priests in this world, and, it seems, all just to save on lawyer’s fees and the mere possibility of a loss by way of a litigated claim. But thirty pieces of silver is not the entirety of the matter.
The leaders of The Judas Crisis are both imbibed with falsehood and want to take vengeance on the Lord and His Church inasmuch as the Lord and His Church will not follow such falsehood, instead pointing us to our Heavenly Father. The falsehood in the case of The Judas Crisis is believing that “risk management” at the cost of knowingly slitting the throats of some innocent priests is a good that serves the Church, protecting the property of the Church being confiscated in lieu of the witness to the truth which could have been given by respecting due process and justice for all involved. The idea is that saving money and protecting property is the purpose of religion. But the reality is the falsehood and betrayal and, ultimately, the sense of power one has in betraying a priest, doing this as a priest, even a high priest. How many times have we heard the words “Pro bono Ecclesiae!” (For the good of the Church!”). It’s been said: “These innocent priests should just keep their damn mouths shut and suffer for the good of the Church.” Kind of like Caiaphas, no? — “You know nothing at all! You do not understand that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” I suppose it was Caiaphas himself who threw the thirty pieces of silver at Judas.
For an explanation of all this, see the series on The Judas Crisis in the widget on the sidebar of the blog.