JUDAS ISCARIOT, the disciple who betrayed Jesus with a
kiss, is to be given a makeover by Vatican scholars.
The proposed “rehabilitation” of the man who was paid 30
pieces of silver to identify Jesus to Roman soldiers in the Garden of
Gethsemane, comes on the ground that he was not deliberately evil, but was
just “fulfilling his part in God’s plan”.
Christians have traditionally blamed Judas for aiding and
abetting the Crucifixion, and his name is synonymous with treachery.
According to St Luke, Judas was “possessed by Satan”.
Now, a campaign led by Monsignor Walter Brandmuller, head of
the Pontifical Committee for Historical Science, is aimed at persuading
believers to look kindly at a man reviled for 2,000 years.
Mgr Brandmuller told fellow scholars it was time for a
“re-reading” of the Judas story. He is supported by Vittorio Messori, a
prominent Catholic writer close to both Pope Benedict XVI and the late John