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My Narrow View of the Church

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio - articles - email) | May 05, 2005

I received an email from an unregistered visitor the other day which said simply that the correspondent found my narrow view of the Church disturbing. I immediately grabbed my metaphorical pen and prepared to answer. But, wait, to what could I reply?

Messages like this are rather obviously useless, but they are characteristic of a certain liberal, or Modernist, mindset. To the inveterate Modernist, the sin of narrowness is self-evident. It is such an egregious and deadly sin that it requires no explanation. It is the sin of those who think Divine Revelation is to be taken seriously rather than reinterpreted to suit modern prejudices.

Well, I should be thankful that the writer did not call me rigid. I would much rather be narrow than rigid. For one thing, narrowness is good for the waistline. Moreover, if one is narrow enough, he can turn sideways, disappear, and so avoid criticism altogether. But rigidity, now there's a sin indeed. Heaven forefend that I should adhere inflexibly to principles. It just isn't done, you know. It isn't quite the thing.

On the other hand, think of the time I could save if I were both narrow and rigid. I would scarcely have to answer any email at all. My thoughts on everything could be summarily dismissed without argument. There could be no possible discussion.

Now that I think about it, I believe I can sincerely recommend narrowness and rigidity. There is something about accepting Revelation and refusing to change one's mind that passes the time and energy test wonderfully well.

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and See full bio.

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