February 28, 2000
volume 11, no. 41

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    Pat Ludwa, a committed lay Catholic from Cleveland, has been asked to contribute, on a regular basis, a lay person's point of view on the Church today. We have been impressed with his insight and the clear logic he brings to the table from his "view from the pew." In all humility, by his own admission, he feels he has very little to offer, but we're sure you'll agree with us that his viewpoint is exactly what millions of the silent majority of Catholics believe and have been trying to say as well. Pat puts it in words that help all of us better understand and convey to others what the Church teaches and we must believe.

    Today Pat equates the dissident left with the frenzied crowds of the Passion who clamored for the release of Barrabas at the expense of the Son of God. Though today's crowd is more of a minority than they would like you to believe, they have been whining and complaining enough to capture the ear of the media - who personify the pass-the-buck Pontius Pilate, washing their hands of it all while immersing themselves in the middle of the controversy doing whatever they can to keep their jobs or keep the ratings or circulation up. That includes kowtowing to the modernists who, stirred up by the chief priests of malcontent within the Church, call for an agenda that would hand over Jesus and His Church to them so they can tear the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church apart and put it together the way they want, unmindful of the authority Our Lord bestowed on Simon Peter in Matthew 16: 18-19. That is the gist of his column today, Secularizing the Sacred - part five: Give us Barrabas!

    For past columns by Pat Ludwa, click on VIEW FROM THE PEW Archives   If you want to send him ideas or feedback, you can reach him at

Secularizing the Sacred part five: Give us Barrabas!

        "Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, and said to them, 'You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him; neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Behold, nothing deserving death has been done by him; I will therefore chastise him and release him.' But they all cried out together, 'Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas'-- a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city, and for murder. Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus; but they shouted out, 'Crucify, crucify Him!'" (Luke 23: 18-21).

        I think we all would like to think that, if we had been alive then, we wouldn’t have done this. But hindsight is, it’s said, 20/20. "After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again, and told them, 'I find no crime in Him. But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover; will you have me release for you the King of the Jews?' They cried out again, 'Not this man, but Barabbas!' Now Barabbas was a robber" (John 18:38-40).

        Why Barabbas? Wasn’t he just a thief? How was it the people of Jerusalem picked him over Christ? How could they choose a robber, a murderer over Christ Who, even Pilate said, was innocent of any crime. "But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead. And Pilate again said to them, 'Then what shall I do with the Man Whom you call the King of the Jews?' And they cried out again, 'Crucify Him.' And Pilate said to them, 'Why, what evil has He done?' But they shouted all the more, 'Crucify Him.' So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas; and having scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified" (Mark 15:11-15).

        The chief priests knew Barabbas well enough, it seems, to desire his life over Jesus’. Why? "Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the people to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. The governor again said to them, 'Which of the two do you want me to release for you?' And they said, 'Barabbas.' Pilate said to them, 'Then what shall I do with Jesus Who is called Christ?' They all said, "Let him be crucified." And he said, "Why, what evil has he done?" But they shouted all the more, "Let him be crucified." (Matthew 27: 20-23)

        Doesn’t this seem to be a travesty of justice? Barabbas, an insurrectionist, a terrorist, and a robber, is preferred over Jesus. We would never do that, would we? "Upon this Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, 'If you release this man, you are not Caesar's friend; every one who makes himself a king sets himself against Caesar.' When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, and in Hebrew, Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, 'Behold your King!' They cried out, 'Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!' Pilate said to them, 'Shall I crucify your King?' The chief priests answered, 'We have no king but Caesar.' Then he handed Him over to them to be crucified" (John 19:12-16).

        Now things become a bit more clear. How fickle, the people and chief priests weren’t friends of Caesar. In fact, with the Zealots, they worked to be a thorn in Caesar’s side. They looked for a Messiah who would bring Israel on a political/military par with Imperial Rome. Would we do that? Of course not, or would we?

        We have our own Zealots, and their high priests and scribes are busy persuading the people to give them Barabbas and destroy Jesus. All in the name of the ‘spirit’ of Vatican II. Who are these modern day Zealots and Pharisees?

    • Call to Action: The most visible dissenting group which is a movement of laity and religious seeking to reform the "sinful structure" of the "patriarchal" Church. CTA is infamous since its 1994 conference coverage on the CBS news program 60 Minutes. CTA promotes dissent against Church teachings on a broad front, including women's ordination, homosexuality, creation spirituality, married priesthood, and liturgical reforms, while incorporating new age and Wiccan spirituality. Many members belong to local groups called "small faith communities." Renew 2000 also promotes small faith communities. Membership draws heavily from former clergy, feminist nuns, and homosexuals. Members staff COR. CTA serves on the national task force for the We Are Church referendum.

    • Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church: Promotes a so-called "democratic" church whereby the people vote for their own doctrine, and support of pluralism ("believe what you want") via a "Constitution" and a "Catholic Bill of Rights." Sample "rights" include self-determined divorce and remarriage, contraception, and homosexual relationships. Also calls for elected pastors, bishops, and pope. Part of the task force of the We Are Church referendum. Most members also are members of CTA. Membership draws heavily from ex-clergy, and disaffected nuns. Member of Catholic Organizations for Renewal. Protestant churches are "democratic."

    • Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC): Promotes artificial contraceptive "rights," including abortion. Their focus is the "intersection of Catholic teaching and public policy."

    • Pax Christi;(cited in Renew 2000): This group may be the most widely recognized leftist organization to American Catholics. Long a proponent of nonviolence, Pax Christi promotes "action to transform structures of society." Aligned with liberation theology, "ecological justice," and the usual litany of modernist demands.

    • We are Church: Hatched from Call to Action, they are a petition group pushing for radical changes in Church teaching through political pressure ("referendums," lobbying and the like).

    • Catholic Organizations for Renewal (COR): Not an organization per se, but a forum where many dissenting organizations plot their attack on the teachings of Jesus' Church. Their proclaimed mission is:
        a coalition of Catholic groups, inspired by Vatican II, [an indicator of the modernist "spirit of Vatican II" - see one member below with that name]
      1. to further the reform and renewal of the Catholic Church, and [Martin Luther also "reformed" the church and established a church of man based on his personal beliefs - all heretics have done so in the past. Why is COR any different?]
      2. to bring about a world of justice and peace, reflecting the sacredness of all creation." [sacred creation is a pagan belief; true peace and justice result from following God's teachings, not opposing them] (From Our Lady’s Warriors Web site [])

        The list of these ‘reform’ organizations is long as are the lists of their ‘scribes’. They wanted Barabbas to be released because he was the antithesis of Christ. He was an insurrectionist, a Zealot. Political action rather than submission. Just as the people had to choose between Jesus and Barabbas, so we find ourselves having to choose between Christ’s Church and the ‘church’ of Barabbas, a new ‘FutureChurch’.

        Consider what groups connected with COR have done to gain ‘reform’. (From the Call To Action web site) (I actually get ill when I go there.)

      Examples of Public Actions Taken Under the COR "Umbrella":
      Gallup Survey of U.S. Catholics - This 1992 opinion survey was initiated by Catholics Speak Out and co-sponsored by six other organizations in COR. The findings were made public at a press conference in June, 1992 at Notre Dame University during the U.S. Bishops' meeting there.

        Truth determined by opinion polls?

      "White House Meeting - Ten COR groups had leaders in the June 25, 1993 meeting with White House staff. The groups offered the Clinton administration a link with progressive Catholics, especially on issues where most U.S. Catholics differ with the hierarchy. Examples: Vatican blockage of any discussion of contraceptive family planning at the 1992 Rio earth summit, and Vatican complicity with the coup regime that ousted duly elected President Jean Bertrand Aristide from Haiti."

        This is almost beyond words. Besides the obvious absurdity of the notion of ‘good’ (progressive) Catholics showing dissent toward their Church, but they also fabricate notions of an evil Vatican getting involved in coups. This sounds more like anti-Catholic fundamentalism than ‘good’ Catholics. One can almost see the high priests standing with Pilate claiming Jesus subverts the people.


      "Alternative Events during Papal Visit to Denver - Twenty-two COR organizations supported a public forum, a news conference, and several press briefings at World Youth Day, August, 1993. The COR/Denver initiative enabled the national media not only to cover the papal events but to report responsible Catholic disagreement with the Pope on many issues, including women's ordination, gay/lesbian rights, and sexual morality."
    Of course, almost anything is preferable than giving the Pope a forum. Better to cause a distraction, another alternative, Barabbas over Christ.
         "Signature ads in major newspapers - An open letter to the Pope saying he's wrong on contraception appeared in the New York Times in September, 1994, during the U.N. Population Conference in Cairo, with 2,500 signatures. Another letter to John Paul II appeared in the Baltimore Sun in October, 1995 the week of the pontiff's visit to that city. It said U.S. Catholics are hungry for Eucharist and want the priesthood open to women and married men. Both ads were coordinated by Catholics Speak Out and co-sponsored by many COR groups."
    Again, truth via polls, editorials, etc. If they are hungry for the Eucharist, why do they have speakers, leaders and theologians who actively and openly seek to destroy it?
      "WE ARE CHURCH Catholic Referendum - This call for church reforms is similar to referenda which gathered 2.3 million signatures in Germany and Austria in 1995. Coordinated by Women's Ordination Conference and Catholics Speak Out, the drive in the U.S. for signatures is scheduled to run from Pentecost, 1996 to Pentecost, 1997. Completed referenda from many nations were brought to Rome in a joint international action in October, 1997."

        And once more, truth via the ballot. One has to wonder if enough people thought Jesus was the prophet Elijah (ref. Matthew 16:13-14) if they think He would be that? Or if the disciples in John 6 made a poll if Christ would have changed His teaching on the Eucharist to suit them so they wouldn’t leave?

        No, we may think we know better, we may think we are more enlightened than those poor people in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. But we’re still crying: "Give us Barabbas!" And as for Christ and His Church - "Crucify Him."

    "May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most mysterious and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in heaven, on earth and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ in the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar" (Golden Arrow).

        St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do you, O Prince of the heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into hell, satan and all his evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.

    Pax Christi, Pat


February 28, 2000
volume 10, no. 41

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