Faces of solidarity
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
The very nature of Holy Communion implies that the followers of Christ need one thing: be together. We mean solidarity. The significance of this unity can be especially seen in the moments of threat, but unity is also important in the so-called ordinary life that prepares us to take proper stand in extraordinary moments. I mean the recent precedence of removing crucifixes from the Italian school and also the attitudes of Poles in similar situations. When we recollect the year 1981 and the famous Polish ‘Solidarnosc’ we can see the huge power of unity in the struggle for certain common rights. The Church had its role, which cannot be overestimated, to build this unity. It was in the churches that people gained strength to struggle against the regime. It was the priests that supported them and in churches people received material help, too. It was also there – in the space of certain moral purity – that the Holy Spirit could act, the Holy Spirit that the Holy Father John Paul II implored to come in the Victory Square in Warsaw in 1979. Therefore, one can see that solidarity – the true and beautiful one, carrying good to numerous people – is not something that only acts as a motto. It requires certain ‘sympathetic setting’: people must meet, feel together and experience certain things, in everything relying on the Gospel. Unfortunately, today many people, especially atheists, would like to show solidarity – even our Polish ‘Solidarnosc’ – only from its secular aspect, claiming that neither Christ nor the Gospel nor the Church are needed for it. We have an example of that attitude in Czestochowa where ‘solidarity’ was used to recall the president, a man who could be hardly accused of anything. Soon one will be able to see the effects, not only the economic ones, of this ‘solidarity’ – solidarity of thoughtlessness and the effect of the so-called psychology of the crowd that has been applied for some time. However, recollecting the famous Polish ‘Solidarnosc’ we must notice that it focused on the highest values and was based on God’s teaching and Christ’s cross. We know the significance of the cross for the workers striking in the shipyard. They asked for it like they asked to have Mass and a chaplain for the strikers. It was the cross of Christ that guarded the workers’ thinking and activities so that they would not be led astray. People wanted to follow the values that evoked humanity in them. Thus the idea of ‘Solidarnosc’ was born – full of prayer, in accordance with the Gospel, seeking a model and conform in Jesus’ Mother. I remember that well, when I was asked to celebrate Mass for the strikers gathered in the Ikar club... When we look at the idea of various phenomena of social solidarity today we can see diverse motives at the foundations of its existence. And we must know one thing: only the solidarity motivated by God’s view at the world has great sense – this is the vision of man as God’s child, having its dignity. Every man has his dignity, regardless of his material status and function performed. Every man has the right to the truth about the purposefulness of work he does and the right to free time that each of us needs. This concept of solidarity – according to the Christian interpretation – will yield blessed fruit. Unfortunately, we have left the ideals of the Trade Union ‘Solidarnosc’. And the other emotions: pursuit of profit, envy towards those who have succeeded, falling under the influence of the battle against the Church and Christianity, etc. have overcome us to a great extent. I think that these reasons are enough to reject the ‘Solidarity’ of the 1980s and at the same time they make us fall into various kinds of animosity and mutual accusations, make us get bogged down. Perhaps there is some limit that one should overcome in order to understand which way one should look at...