Your front-page article concerning Rev. Cihak requires response.

The Catholic Church has certain bedrock faith teachings that are immovable and not up for debate. Defense of life from conception to natural death is one of them.

Catholics are expected to bring their faith into the public square through voting with a conscience informed by Catholic teaching, not personal opinion or popular trends. A properly informed conscience prevents us from voting for a pro-abortion candidate if a pro-life candidate is running for office.

Therefore, when Rev. Cihak told his parishioners that those who voted for Obama needed to seek the forgiveness of Jesus through confession before receiving Holy Communion, his words were no more than a clear statement of Catholic faith and teaching.

Each time we Catholics receive Holy Communion, we proclaim faith in Catholic teachings when we say, "Amen." To receive Holy Communion after falsely proclaiming faith is a serious sin that endangers one's soul. Catholics who do this have removed themselves spiritually from the church.

Rev. Cihak's role as a priest is to save souls, and his words were issued to urge Catholics who have removed themselves from the church in this way to return to faith. — Kris O'Driscoll, Jacksonville

When a priest gives his life to God to serve the Catholic Church, he makes many promises to God and to the faithful he serves. One of the promises made is that he will be a shepherd to his Catholic flock.

If he doesn't teach about issues regarding faith and morals, he would be negligent in fulfilling the promise he made to God and the members of the church. If he doesn't address these issues, what else should he teach about? Isn't that his job?

The Catholic Church has never endorsed a particular candidate or political party. What it has done is defend the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception until natural death.

If a Catholic chooses to ignore this teaching, then he has taken himself out of communion with the church by his own free will. What a loving priest such as Rev. Cihak does is offer the members of his flock a means of returning to the faith through the sacrament of confession. He thus extends the message of mercy and forgiveness given to us by Jesus Christ.

Keep teaching the truth, Rev. Cihak. You have my support and that of many other practicing Catholics. — Lisa Bock, Medford

There are two things that I would like to address.

The election in November ended far too quickly after two years of campaigning. The fact that we in Oregon or on the West Coast receive the election results early really was a stunning fact this year.

At 8 p.m. the election was over. I was expecting a long night, but in fact, I could see the result was decided at the closing of our polls.

The other fact that I would like Congress to look at is this:

If the economy or the state of the world are in a very difficult time after an election is over, there should be a clause that states that the new electee should be able to begin the takeover sooner than January. In the current state, that is two months from where we are now and there are so many important decisions that need to be made today. — Carole Guio, Phoenix

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