From the unique solidarity of Christ and from His being ‘one for all’, comes the solidarity of ‘all for one’ and ‘all for all’: that is, a human being is in solidarity with oneself and with all others. Christ represents us all, but He does not replace us: He opens up a new path, which we must all travel.
In fact, we are all called to receive the same baptism as He had, that is, to be in solidarity with Him, who was a man for others, even unto death; we are called to drink the same cup, that is, to share in His fate. If, therefore, Christ was one for all, we are all for Him and thus we can be one for the others.
Christian solidarity is not based on feelings of participation, nor does it manifest itself in ‘help’ given to the least: it has its objective roots in the Ultimate, Jesus Christ. Our solidarity with Him leads us to be the last; it is therefore very different from the solidarity of the last. The last is the servant, the one who bears the burden of others.
That is why in the Church, the messianic people of Christ, the dominant criteria of the world are overturned. The first criterion, which is overthrown, is the one that undermines the roots of solidarity: domination, possession, and subjugation of others. If in the world the first is the one who commands and owns many servants, the first now is the one who, in abolishing all command, possession and servitude, has made himself the servant of all.
If the rule in the world is: ‘what do I need others for?’ – the rule of the new people is: ‘I serve others’. To be servants of one another is the only way to be free, having all renounced enslavement, the opposite of which is precisely that of serving.
This is the constitution of the new people, as opposed to any worldly political model. We should therefore in the Church always stay away from all models of power, so common in the political life.
Every political model in fact calculates the negative and assumes it, but always in order to get ready for it. It is always the others who pay for it. The Church, too, is well aware of the negative, but takes it on for herself, as a service to others.
Evil is in fact present in society; it is inevitable. In order to overcome evil, it is necessary to be on the opposing side of those who do it, but on the side of those who bear it. The costs must be paid in any action: those who act in truth are always those who pay, even for others, and not those who make themselves rewarded and benefit from it.
If this is the fundamental constitution of the Church, even her ‘hierarchical’ structure must also be different from the worldly one. In it, any pretension or ambition to dominate must be abolished: the only ambition of all will be to be, like Christ, a servant of all.
It can also be said that the structure of the Church is monarchical if we intend to affirm that we are all ordained to serve the needs and miseries of the least. It is also monarchical in another sense: he who serves the last is the first because at that moment he becomes the last. It is certainly wrong to say that the structure of the Church is monarchical, in the sense of a despotic and authoritarian absolutism: l’état c’est moi! (I am the State!) and the others are all obedient servants.
Certainly, the Church is not democratic either. Democracy is in fact a game of balances, a reconciliation of selfishness, a shrewd and wide-ranging thirst for power – all things that have nothing to do with the Gospel. This proposes an unbalanced game of love for the weak, who have no power. The democratisation of the Church, which is certainly necessary, cannot, however, be a guarantee of fidelity to the Gospel.
The structure of the Church will always be a little monarchical and a little democratic, but it must be dominated by the spirit of service. This is the Word expressed by the Lord: if he was the servant for all, we too must be all for one, who is He, so that we are all for all. (Father Silvano Fausti)