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.