Benedictus' traditional depiction of Judas came during his Holy Thursday homily, a week after the release of an ancient Egyptian Coptic text dubbed the "Gospel of Judas," in which Judas is portrayed not as Jesus' betrayer but as his confidant who was doing his will by handing him over to his enemies to be crucified.
Holy Thursday marks the start of a series of solemn ceremonies in the Catholic Church in which the faithful relive Jesus' suffering, crucifixion and death - and then his resurrection on Easter Sunday.
During the service, the pope humbly washed the feet of 12 men, re-enacting Jesus' washing of his apostles' feet during the Last Supper and saying the act cleansed the "filth" of mankind.
As a choir's hymn filled St. John Lateran Basilica in Rome, Benedict poured water from a golden vase over each of the men's feet and scrubbed each one dry in an act of humility and service.
In his homily, Benedictus said Jesus washed his disciples' feet to purify them so they could join him at the Last Supper, the meal which the faithful believe Jesus shared with his apostles before he was betrayed by his apostle Judas and crucified.