The Rule of St. Benedict: Chapter 21
One can't spend much time exploring Benedictine spirituality before encountering the issue of authority in the Rule. St. Benedict is not shy about the topic, and his intentions for community hinge upon a very specific vision of how authority is to be held and exercised.
This chapter about deans is a good example of this vision. Authority is never held for its own sake, but for the sake of the community. And one function of Benedictine authority is to empower others to develop into the people they are created to be. When a member of the community is created to be a leader, then those in authority must empower that person to lead, and the way that a person is empowered to lead is by being given a share in the authority of the community. The provision in this chapter for the appointment of deans is a mechanism by which such empowerment takes place in Benedictine community.
Our Father Benedict is a wise and able abbot who understands that the well-being of a community is enhanced by the sharing of authority for the sake of all. But he also understands that with the distribution of power comes the lust for power, and that all authority must be kept closely in check if it is to remain Christlike rather than Caesar-like.