April 20, 2009

Baptismal Authority?

The more water thrown on you or that you are thrown into at Baptism does not give you any more authority than you already had. Baptism confers grace upon you but the amount of water used or what you had on or how many pools you had your head dunked into doesn't give you any authority.

Recently, in town there was a gathering of the misguided calling themselves a group leading up to the "2010 Synod of the Baptized". I'm glad they identified themselves to clear up any possible confusion over who they are and what they want.

I think Holy Mass could be a Synod of the Baptized. My Bible study could be a Synod of the Baptized. My meeting the Chant Schola at Elsie's after Mass could be a Synod of the Baptized.

Numbers don't matter. Anyone can apparently call a synod. For that matter, authority doesn't apparently matter either. Anyone can call a synod.

So, next time Adoro and I get together for lunch I think we should call that a Synod of the Baptized. After all, we've both been Baptized and I've decided all on my own that I can call an ecclesiastical synod. To make the lunch look more like a synod, I'll make up some prayers to the Ultimate Electronics and we can gripe about something.

Friends: Baptism, as I prove every day on this blog, does not confer authority. As I also prove daily, baptism doesn't even confer wisdom. Baptism doesn't even make me funny since I am no longer the record holder of Ray's Laughing Jerry . (I was deposed by His Hermaneuticalness ! Apparently, a BRITISH PRIEST is funnier than I am. Whatever. It's ON!) Baptism is an initiation rite. Unfortunately, the initiation, clearly, does not automatically mean we are all going to be of the same mind.

Many, erroneously, think that they have authority when they don't or that authority is an entitlement. Authority is a demand to be met rather than a recognition that any authority you may have is a gift from God. Many, erroneously, believe the Pope is the ultimate authority. I don't believe for one minute that the Holy Father believes that the "buck stops with him". The Holy Father answers to God. We, as Catholics, if we call ourselves Catholics must give respect and the authority due to our duly appointed authorities, both secular and religious, when they speak and teach with the proper authority granted to them.

I may not agree with President Obama. I did not vote for him. BUT, he is the President of my country and I'll give him respect and listen to him and follow the laws. BUT, only when they don't conflict with my professed faith. Unlike JFK, I'm not leaving my faith at the door.

The Holy Father, on the other hand, IS the leader here on Earth of the Faith I profess. I didn't vote for him. I didn't get to vote him. I'll never get to vote for him. I don't expect that I should get to vote for him. I'm not entitled to vote for him. In all the ages past, I would've never been able to vote for him. Jesus didn't ask for my vote before He walked to Calvary. Good thing too because I probably would have voted for Barabbas.

I recognize the authority of the Faith over me as a baptized member into the Faith I profess to believe.

We are fallen and broken. That's why we can't get it together. All the "synods" in the world are NOT going to make us all of one mind if we are not even reading and interpreting the same source documents as one mind.

We can be "many voices, one church" but not if we are not speaking the same "language"-then, we are Babel.


Blogger Angela M. said...

Wow! GREAT post!

April 20, 2009 10:52 AM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

Very good post.

I also love that photo of you when that priest thought you were presenting for baptism rather than just coming up to be confirmed. Tlk about pulling out the laughing Jerry's!

April 20, 2009 11:45 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Hey, Ter, I like YOUR new photo!

Thanks, Angela Baby

April 20, 2009 12:03 PM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

Thanks hon - I wasn't sure - being so casual and all.

April 20, 2009 4:28 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

Does Terry wear undershirts under his T-shirts? Or is that a tan line?


I think I'm going to have to come up with a wisdom award what with all the great posts you have been making. Naturally, they will be "Sophies." I'll have to get my thesaurus out to find the proper adjective.

April 20, 2009 5:29 PM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

I do! LOL! I wear an undershirt under my t-shirt if the neck is too big on the over-t-shirt. Raymond doesn't miss a thing. I also wear my collar up on my jackets because I think the back of my neck may look too fat. Give me a break - I'm probably one of the few people who were consistently told they were ugly all through their childhood, or that this or that feature ws bad - so I learned to camoulflage.

Ray - you could be my brother.

April 20, 2009 8:59 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...


April 21, 2009 10:42 AM  

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