Every year, the bishops of the dioceses of South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota attend a spiritual retreat together.
Paul Swain, a Sioux Falls cleric with close ties to an indicted Minnesota prelate led a prayer service reacting to the recent ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States upholding marriage equality. "We do not judge anyone," Swain said. "Judgment is to be left to god."
The Sioux Falls cassock is closely tied to Archbishop John Nienstedt, a defendant in a criminal pederasty case.
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi on Friday criminally charged the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for its "role in failing to protect children and contribution to the unspeakable harm" done to three sexual abuse victims of former priest Curtis Wehmeyer. Wehmeyer said he asked the archbishop a couple of times, 'Are you aware of my past? Are you aware of my record?' Wehmeyer said that Nienstedt brushed it off and replied, 'I don't have time to look into that stuff.'" [Minnesota Public Radio News]Nienstedt is Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the University of St. Thomas where Swain serves on the Institutional Advancement Committee. They are standing together in the front row in the above photo.
Twin Cities lawyer Joshua Newville represents six South Dakota couples who last year filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court seeking marriage equality in the state. Speaking on Bill Janklow's idea of public radio he said it's no longer same-sex marriage it's just marriage now.
Church officials are calling on the Minnesota sect to release details of the Nienstedt probe while South Dakota covers up atrocities committed against children and others.
What Swain and Neinstedt do together as a couple behind closed doors as consenting adults should not be judged by law enforcement or the courts; but, Swain, like Nienstedt, should resign while investigators expose a century of pedophilia crimes committed by the Roman Church.