With the Synod on the Family just days away, the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith cautioned against deconstructing the Gospel message to make it artificially easy. “We can talk a lot about God, and in the end, do so without faith,” warned Cardinal Gerhard Mueller during a Sept. 28 Mass at the cathedral in Cordoba, where he delivered an address on St. John of Avila. “We can 'deconstruct' the Gospel and Tradition and remake them to the liking of today's world, making their demands easy and accommodating them to the fragile, superficial, immature and post-modern man.” However, he cautioned, if we were to deprive ourselves “of the chance to confront our lives with the divine Word, we would also lose the chance to enjoy the authentic happiness that Christ brings, who did not come to take away the crosses of life but to make our burden lighter and to encourage us to always do the will of God.” We encounter the Lord's company “on the road that leads to Easter” and not in a watered-down form of Christianity that makes no demands, he said. “Only Christ and his love can make the cross of illness, of a job loss, of loneliness and widowhood, of infidelity or the failure of marriage, less burdensome,” the cardinal explained. He also stressed the importance of defending life, the family and religious freedom. “The family should be firmly defended as the place and environment in which each person is filled with love and grows in his or efforts and willingness to sacrifice,” he said. “The duality between man and woman is necessary for the constitution of a marriage and a family, and no child should be deprived of his natural right to have a father and a mother.” Citing St. John Paul II's encyclical Centesimus Annus, Cardinal Mueller underscored the defense of “the right to life, of which the right of a child to grow up under the heart of a mother is an integral part.” He noted that “the Christian promotion of the rights of man is clear with regards to the information and construction of a collective conscience, in everything related to the questions of the inviolability of human life, seeking to influence the norms and laws aimed at defending life.” The Church stands up for the dignity of each person, “as the foundation of life in common for all people of different beliefs,” he said. “On the basis of natural law, the Church, in close union with other social groups, must confront the State or certain totalitarian ideologies that seek to suppress or eliminate religion or freedom of conscience, as the Second Vatican Council made clear in its Declaration on religious freedom, Dignitatis Humanae,” the cardinal explained.