In The Jesuits, the Jesuit Malachi Martin reveals the traumatic behind-the-scenes story of the “new” worldwide Society of Jesus. The leaders and the dupes; the politics, the betrayals and the humiliations; the unheard-of alliances and compromises. The Jesuits tells a true story of today that is already changing the face of our tomorrow.
This sort of compulsive need of a “creative changing” – a trait of modernist thinking diffused in modern world – has entered with Vatican 2 the Catholic City, where a new class of clerics have introduced a strange aggiornamento” in Catholic Faith. Malachi Martin, an ex Jesuit, describes it in the chapter “The Judas Complex” of his book “The Keys of this Blood” (Simon & Schuster, NY, 1990).
“Judas Iscariot will be eternally known as the man who betrayed Jesus Christ to his enemies. In at least twenty languages, his name is a synonym for “traitor.” To think of Judas, or to mention his name, is to evoke the image of the whole-cloth traitor. The traitor prototype. Yet there is no good reason for supposing that when he was originally called by Jesus to be one of his own special intimates – one of the foundational Apostles – Judas was already up to treachery; that he was any less enthusiastically devoted to Jesus, any less worthy of that call, or any less determined to follow Jesus to the end than the eleven others chosen by Jesus at the same time he chose Judas. Nor can we suppose that Jesus withheld from Judas any of the special divine graces he conferred on the others.
“Similarly today, when obviously there has been gross betrayal of the Roman Catholic Church on an alarmingly wide scale by bishops, prelates and priests of the Church, there is no good reason for supposing that any particular bishops, prelates, officials or priests guilty of that betrayal started off with any less good intentions or less devotion to the Church than those who have not betrayed their calling. Neither can we suppose that those now engaged in betrayal have been denied the divine graces that are summarily necessary for the worthy discharge of ecclesiastical and ecclesial duties.
“Judas must have shared completely in the charism of an Apostle, a chief pastor, thus prefiguring – as did all Twelve Apostles – what we call today the bishops of the Church. Living with Jesus day and night, traveling with him, hearing his words and seeing his actions, collaborating with him in his work, sent out by him with a mandate to preach the kingdom of God, to cure the sick, to exorcise demons, to exercise his authority, to rely on spiritual weapons and supernatural means, Judas cannot have started off as more worldly, more cowardly, less enlightened than the other members of that special group.
“Yet Judas, and Judas only, out of that select group schooled by Jesus himself, shattered the group’s unity. He alone did betray Jesus. He alone set himself up as antihero among those twelve men and the few hundred other disciples and followers who, with Jesus, were living participants in the tense drama of salvation in which Jesus as hero played out God’s eternal plan from his birth to the climax in crucifixion – for which Judas was directly responsible – and resurrection, which, in the end, Judas decided not to accept and share. But Judas was no “breakaway.” He did not intend to shatter the unity of the group, or to ruin Jesus and the Twelve. Judas was something classical: the antihero who insisted on implementing his own plan for Jesus and the others (in which, of course, he would play a major and self-fulfilling part).
“He could, he thought, reconcile Jesus and his enemies. He could, by decent compromise, ensure Jesus’ success in the world by compacting with the world’s leaders.
“The same remarks, with due regard to Church development, can be applied to bishops and prelates and their assistant officials in the Church today: They are called to live intimately with Jesus through the fullness of the priesthood that is theirs by their episcopal consecration, to exercise his spiritual authority; and, relying on the power and grace of his Spirit, to be pastors of souls, curing, exorcising, preaching, reconciling; to follow the plan of salvation that Jesus clearly indicated when he established Peter as head of his Church and as his personal representative in the “one, true fold” in which the actual salvation of individual souls can be effectively secured.
“But, in a way eerily reminiscent of the error Judas committed, some bishops and prelates and their assistant officials have set themselves up as anti-Church within the Church. They do not want to leave the Church. They are not intending “breakaways.” They do not intend to shatter the unity of the Church. They do not intend to obliterate the Church, but just to make it over to their own plan; it is, by now, trivial in their minds that their plan is irreconcilable with God’s plan as revealed through the present-day successor of Peter and his teaching authority. For after the manner of Judas’ own spiritual myopia, they no longer believe in the Catholic doctrine of the papal magisterium, no more than the Traitor believed any longer that Jesus was divine. They are convinced that they can reconcile that Church and its enemies by “decent compromise,” that they really understand what is going on, and that they can ensure the success of Christ’s Church by compacting with this world’s leaders. But in their devoted creation of the anti-Church within the Church – from the Vatican chancery down to the level of parish life – they have successfully shattered the unity of the Church, done away, in fact, with the once flourishing union of bishops with the Roman Pontiff, and gravely debilitated the entire Roman Catholic institutional organization.
“The enormity of this error and its almost boring and repetitive similarity with the error of Judas – in other words, the Judas syndrome of modern Churchmen – becomes very apparent when you examine the Traitor’s behavior. Judas did finally betray Jesus. But it is important to note the “good” intentions with which he started down the crooked road that ended in the Field of Blood, where he died suffocated by the noose around his neck and cruelly killed by the evisceration of his belly.
“The personal outline of Judas in the pages of the New Testament is dim on all points-except for his awful treachery of the beloved Lord. Understandably, the writers would not, could not, remark anything good or even interesting about Judas, except his treachery. In the light of Jesus’ resurrection and the subsequent descent of the Holy Spirit on the remaining Apostles, all that mattered in the eyes of the New Testament writers was that gross treachery, and all they could express for the Traitor was utter contempt and abhorrence. There is perhaps no parallel in the New Testament record to that total and merciless condemnation of Judas. “He got the same offer from Jesus as we all did”: Peter must have spat out those syllables with a grating harshness when addressing all Jesus’ followers in the Upper Room at Pentecost. “He was one of us. Yet he guided the mob who laid hands on Jesus. And now he has got what he asked for-a field spattered with his own entrails, and his own special torment in Hellfire.” There is no hint of forgiveness, no trace even of regret. Perhaps this was because Judas had committed the one sin Jesus said was unpardonable, the sin against the Holy Spirit.
“This total rejection of Judas has inclined Christians to see him in a bad light from the beginning of his association with Jesus, as a kind of infiltrator admitted by Jesus to the intimacy of his special people, because, so to speak, somebody had to betray the Lord. But in all logic, this cannot have been the true story of Judas. From a divine and a human point of view, Judas must have appeared initially as one of the more promising candidates for leadership in Christ’s future Church. Judas was the only public official of Jesus’ group, in a manner of speaking. He was more trusted than the others; to him Jesus confided the keeping and the management of whatever funds were collected by the group for “out-of-pocket” expenses and, therefore, any and all “business” dealings during their travels. The facts of life were that a group of hale and hearty young men in their prime, who were not regularly employed gainfully and who were continually on the move, had to have a common “purse” for food, for lodging, for road tolls, for taxation, for incidentals: clothes, charitable contributions, support of their families, repair and maintenance of their fishing equipment. Most of them were fishermen, who retained their equipment right through their association with Jesus until well after the Resurrection.
“There is no exaggeration in describing Judas as the only official among the group. In the eyes of the other Apostles also, Judas was considered to hold high office. For they may have appeared as a ragtag group to some of their contemporaries, but we today know that they were destined to found an organization that would absorb the whole known world and create a new thousand-year civilization.
“We cannot reasonably doubt that Judas started off with great enthusiasm and devotion to Jesus, and with full trust and confidence in Jesus’ ultimate success. We know that, for the other companions, until well after the Resurrection, success meant a political restoration of the Kingdom of Israel, with the Apostles occupying twelve thrones of jurisdiction and judgment. Judas cannot have thought differently or hoped for less. He and they even squabbled about which of them would be the greatest in authority. Two of them had their mothers buttonhole Jesus and try to secure them two prime positions around the kingly throne they figured Jesus would occupy when he ruled Israel and the world. For of course, Jesus would eventually be King.
“Here is where disillusionment set in for Judas. More in touch with practical affairs than the others, more alive to the politics of his land, he could only grow in disillusionment each time Jesus repudiated attempt after attempt to crown him leader and king. There were more than two such occasions; each time, Jesus sounded those very unworldly sentiments of suffering and death. Further, each time the intermittent clashes with the Hierosolymite authorities dug a deeper gap between Jesus and the political ascendancy of Israel – now concentrated in the Jerusalem council of state, the Sanhedrin – the sense of disillusionment in Judas would grow that much deeper.
“Remark that at any given moment Judas could have left Jesus and “walked with him no more,” as many indeed did. But no, Judas wanted to stay. He believed, after his own fashion, in Jesus and his group and their ideals. He just wanted Jesus and the others to conform to political and social realities, to follow his plan, not whatever plans Jesus may have had. We can be sure that the last thing he thought of doing was quitting the group. But he had formed his own ideas about the sensible way Jesus should go about seizing supreme power. Now, in the heady atmosphere of collaboration with the authorities, he saw his way opening out to vistas of greatness, a chief position in the future Kingdom of Israel, once the Romans were driven out and the local Jewish powers-that-were, with the help of Jesus, utterly defeated the hated Romans. Even when Jesus told him plainly and frankly during that last Passover meal that, yes, he knew it was Judas who would betray him, that made no dent in Judas’ resolution. He probably did not understand the use of the word “betray” by Jesus. Many times in the past, he had “betrayed” Jesus in the sense that he had done the opposite of Jesus’ express will, and things had always turned out just fine. That compromise plan still seemed the best to Judas. The ultimate blindness closed in on his soul like a steel trapdoor. “Satan,” the Gospel says, “entered his heart.” Judas was now under the control of the one personality who stood to lose most by any success Jesus might have. And Judas could, without any scruple and always fully persuaded that his plan was fine, go and find the Temple authorities, his “high-level contacts,” and pinpoint the place where Jesus would be at a certain hour, and identify Jesus to the armed force sent out to bring him in, bound and manacled like a hunted animal.
“Every single event that followed on Judas’ decision was made possible and evoked directly by that act of malfeasance on the part of Judas, the chosen Apostle of Jesus and his trusted official. All was Judas’ responsibility. The terrible agony in Gethsemane; the violence done to Jesus at his arrest and at his mock trials during the night; the hours of imprisonment and abuse by Roman soldiers; the crowning with thorns and the scornful mocking of his person, which we can be sure violated his dignity in every possible way; his arraignment before Pilate and Herod; his scourging; the painful, agonizing path to Golgotha; the searing pain of crucifixion, followed by three hours of death agony, hours divided into weakening efforts not to suffocate, and not to be overwhelmed by the cruelty of the nails pinning his wrists and feet to the cross. All this as well as the final result: the death of Jesus.
“All of it, evil and sacrilegious beyond human telling, was a direct consequence of that Judas complex. While the ultimate result of Judas’ choice was gross betrayal and treachery, his specific sin was compromise – what really seemed to him a wise and prudent compromise given the otherwise impossible situation into which Jesus had boxed himself and his loyal group by his violent attacks on the status quo and by his refusal to meet Jewish authorities halfway in order to satisfy the needs and questions of men who, after all, were in a position to know what they were talking about when it came to the national cause and the continued existence of Judaism. They were, after all, the Keepers of the Flame. For Jesus and his doctrine must have been classified in Judas’ practical and worldly-wise mind as utterly unsuitable to the social consensus and political mentality of his day. Actually, it was both unsuitable and unacceptable. Unacceptable to the point of provoking its adversaries to a political assassination. It was, after all, a matter of state security and national survival.
“This, then, is the essence of the Judas complex: the compromise of one’s basic principles in order to fit in with the modes of thought and behavior that the world regards as necessary for its vital interests. The principle of that special group was Jesus – his physical existence, his authority, his teaching. Judas had been persuaded by his tempters and corrupters that all that Jesus stood for had to be modified by a decent and sensible compromise.
“This provides us with a sure norm by which we can identify the members of the anti-Church now sitting foursquare within the Roman Catholic institutional organization. While the last twenty years of that organization’s history is littered with compromises and hundreds of misfeasances by Churchmen, we must seek out and identify the major compromises that can be accurately described as acts of genuine malfeasance in high ecclesiastical and ecclesial office.
“An act of malfeasance has been aptly described as “the doing by a public official, under color of authority of his office, of something that is unwarranted, that he contracted not to do, and that is legally unjustified and positively wrongful or contrary to law,” according to Webster.
About “misfeasance” and “malfeasance”
“Both “misfeasance” and “malfeasance” are used to describe abuse of office. The appreciable difference between the terms seems to lie in the extent and effect of the abuse. Misfeasance seems to be particular and limited. For instance, using the authority of one’s office in obtaining incidental pleasures. Malfeasance subverts, the office itself, converting it into something totally different from and contrary to what the office was meant to be.
“A survey of the past twenty-five years of Roman Catholic history leads one to the conclusion that the greatest single act of malfeasance in high ecclesiastical and ecclesial office has been the tolerance and propagation of confusion about key beliefs among the Catholic rank and file, this tolerated confusion being a direct result of a tolerated dissidence by Catholic theologians and bishops concerning those same key beliefs. For to tolerate confusion is to propagate confusion. A primary and fundamental duty of every ecclesiastical office and the ecclesial responsibility attached to all offices in the Church comprise the clear, unmistakable teaching and enforcement of the basic rules and fundamental beliefs the Church holds and declares to be necessary for eternal salvation. There can be no compromise on both points: teaching and enforcement. If Roman Catholics have any rights in the Church, they have a primary right to receive such unequivocal teaching and to be the subjects of such forthright and unhesitating enforcement.
“Furthermore, it is relatively easy to identify the four key areas in which ecclesiastics and ecclesial members have tolerated and propagated the maleficent confusion that affects Roman Catholics today. These areas are: the Eucharist, the oneness and trueness of the Roman Catholic Church, the Petrine Office of the Bishop of Rome, and the moral of human reproductive activity.
“When you talk of the Eucharist, you are talking about the Roman Mass, which has been and still is the central act of worship for Roman Catholics. The value of the Mass for Catholics is twofold. A Mass, in Catholic belief, presents the real live Sacrifice of the body and the blood and physical life of Jesus consummated on Calvary. It is not a commemoration of that sacrifice, nor a reenactment after the fashion of a historical drama, nor a symbolic performance.
“Therein lies the mystery of the Mass. When a Roman Mass is said to be valid, it is believed to achieve that mysterious presentation of Christ’s sacrifice of his bodily life. It has validity; and Roman Catholics can then literally adore their Savior under the physical appearance of bread and wine.”
Otherwise, the adulteration of the Holy Sacrifice is the “great sacrilege ‘, a terminal sign, as it was predicted by the Prophet Daniel.