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Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
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Defend the family, don’t accommodate it to world’s demands: Cardinal Müller

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“The family should be firmly defended,” stated Cardinal Gerhard Müller, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in a homily just days before the beginning of the Vatican’s much-anticipated Extraordinary Synod on the Family, which takes place in Rome October 5-9.

Speaking at a September 28 Mass at the cathedral in Cordoba, Müller warned against deconstructing the faith so as to make Christian discipleship appear superficially easy.

“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,” he said, as reported by Catholic News Agency.

“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,” he said.

Defending life, the family, and religious freedom is a component of the Christian faith, the cardinal said, stressing that both a man and a woman are essential to bring about the reality of marriage and the family.

“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.

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“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.”

Müller was appointed prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012. He was elevated to cardinal by Pope Francis in February of this year. He is considered to be one of the pope’s top advisers in the Vatican.

In his new book released today on the crisis faced by the family titled “The Hope of the Family,” Müller contends that the main problem facing Catholic families today is not the small number of civilly remarried divorced Catholics who want to receive Holy Communion, but the large number of Catholics who live together before marriage, who marry civilly, or who do not even bother with marriage, as if such choices were sound options for Catholic living. The problem is exasperated, he says, by the widespread failure of married Catholics to understand marriage as a way of Christian discipleship.

Müller has been outspoken in defense of the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage and the impossibility of the divorced and remarried receiving Holy Communion. He has also been leading the reform of dissident U.S. Catholic nuns who believe they can advance New Age ideas while keeping their Catholic identity. 

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