Francis seems to think so!
(underlines are Call Me Jorge...’s for emphasis)
“Judas is the most perfect lost sheep in the Gospel: a man with a bitter heart, someone who always had something to criticize in others, he was always ‘detached’. He did not know the sweetness that comes of living without second ends with others. He was an unsatisfied man!” he said.
The Pope said that because of the darkness in his heart Judas was separated from the herd. He said – more in general - that darkness can lead to living a double life: “a double life that, perhaps painfully, many Christians, even priests and bishops lead...”
Pointing out that Judas himself was one of the first bishops, the Pope recalled a beautiful sermon given by Father Mazzolari in which he described Judas as a lost sheep: “Brother Judas, he said, what was happening in your heart?” Francis said we need to understand lost sheep: each and every one of us has something in us of the lost sheep.
The Repentance of Judas
The Pope went on to explain that is not so much a mistake but a disease of the heart that makes a sheep wander and he said it is something the devil exploits.
Just as it was with Judas whose heart was ‘divided’. And finally when Judas saw what harm his double life had wreaked in the community, when he saw the evil he had sown because of the darkness in his heart that caused him to run away, looking for a light that was not the light of the Lord, but artificial lights like Christmas decorations, he was thrown into despair:
The Pope said that the Bible tells us that “the Lord is good, he never stops looking for the lost sheep” and it tells us that when Judas hanged himself he had repented.
“I believe that the Lord will take that word [repentance] and bring it with Him” he said. And it tells us that right until the end God’s love was working in that soul.
The priest whom Francis mentioned above was the late Fr. Primo Mazzolari. This wasn’t the first time Francis has mentioned him or one of his sermons. Mazzolari was known as a revolutionary and often in trouble with Church authorities until the Archbishop of Milan, Giovanni Montini (the future Paul VI), extended him his protection. Mazzolari had to withdraw books he had written from circulation due to their radical anti-Catholic ideas. Besides preaching about Judas Iscariot, he preached about the “Church of the Poor”, attacked the doctrine of just war, believed in religious freedom, and pluralism. Many of his ideas were incorporated into the documents of the Second Vatican Council, one could say he was one of the spiritual fathers of it. Below is a link to the homily (in Italian) Francis is so fond of mentioning which was given by Fr. Primo Mazzolari on Holy Thursday (1958) and was titled “Our Brother Judas”.
Does Francis see himself as a modern day Judas Iscariot?