To the editor: Catholics will follow the pope, because it is obvious to most of us that Francis is a holy man who follows Christ. He preaches the basic tenets of Christianity, which are to love God and our neighbor, even the "least" among us. ("Who will Catholics follow? Pope Francis or the right-wing U.S. bishops?" Opinion, May 15)
As for laws that conflict with Christian values, practicing Christians take guidance from Jesus, who counseled, "Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God."
And yes, there likely will be a schism: The right-wing people will form a church where they can maintain strict adherence to the rules of their new religion while ignoring the spirit. They will likely embrace Latin, lace vestments and vaccine denial, while ignoring the suffering of the poor, the victims of gun violence and the marginalized.
Linda Mele Johnson, Long Beach
To the editor: Canon law in the Catholic Church states that "people obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion." A politician enabling abortion commits a grave sin.
This is a dogma of the church that even the pope is powerless to change. Even Pope Francis has compared abortion to hiring a hitman to commit murder. Jesus Christ himself said that a public sinner who refuses to repent is to be excommunicated.
I am sick and tired of being lectured by people ignorant of my faith and what my religion teaches on how I should practice it.
Matthew Boswell, Archer, Fla.
To the editor: I believe, you believe, they believe — believing does not make it so. People believed the Earth was flat.
People of all faiths believed, and where is it left us? At each other's throats.
Organized religion? Spare me. Try kindness and acceptance with no vengeful gods hovering.
Therese H.E. Whitney, Sherman Oaks
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.