By Gudrun Schultz

SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota, October 30, 2006 ( – Newly ordained Bishop Paul Swain began his leadership of the Sioux Falls diocese with a statement of support for pro-life legislation on the Nov. 7 ballot, Argus Leader reported Friday.

“I’m proud to say that the first vote I will cast as a South Dakotan will be yes for Referred Law 6,” Bishop Swain said, during his speech following his ordination as bishop in the Saint Joseph Cathedral in Sioux Falls October 26.

Referred Law 6 is the bill to ban all abortions in the state, legislation passed earlier this year that will be decided by voters next week.

“This law is not perfect legislation, but it will better respect and protect the vulnerable,” Bishop Swain said.

Bishop Swain also said he would vote in support of Constitutional Amendment C, which would explicitly define marriage in the state as only between a man and a woman.

He was not judging or demeaning anyone by his support for the legislation, he said, but was preserving the common good and encouraging family life, according to the Argus Leader.

The Bishop’s strong statement of support for pro-life and family policies follows in the path set by his predecessor. Swain replaces Bishop Robert J. Carlson, who actively encouraged Catholic voters to be guided by the issue of abortion in election votes

During his time as leader in Sioux Falls, Bishop Carlson repeatedly reminded Catholic voters that they were under a moral obligation to vote, if possible, for candidates who upheld the right to life for the unborn.

Bishop Swain converted to Roman Catholicism when he was 39 years old, entering the priesthood five years later.

Read coverage by Argus Leader:

See related LifeSiteNews coverage:

U.S. Bishop Carlson: Faith Compels Catholics to Make Abortion Prime Vote Consideration

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