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mediation ends dispute in Colorado

The Colorado Springs Gazette reports ‘Everyone just agreed to walk away’ from Grace Church dispute.

Litigation over the Grace Church property downtown seemed destined to drag on for years.

But all that changed Tuesday.

In a marathon mediation session, the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado agreed to drop its lawsuit against 18 Anglican parish members being sued for damages. Also several motions, including an appeal of the March 24 court decision upholding the diocese’s ownership of the Tejon Street church property, were quashed…

And there is this earlier report, Dispute over Grace church property settled.

A press release found at the website of the CANA congregation says:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 3, 2009

St. George’s Responds to Settlement with the Diocese of Colorado

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – St. George’s Anglican Church issued the following statement in response to the settlement agreement reached with the Diocese of Colorado:

“We are pleased with the settlement, particularly since it relieved our staff and vestry members of the burden and expense of defending against $5 million in unjustified claims brought against them personally by the Diocese of Colorado and The Episcopal Church.

“The settlement reached also means that all the costs associated with maintaining the property of Grace Church and St. Stephens, including payment of the $2,500,000 mortgage, belong to the Episcopal congregation and the Diocese of Colorado.

“Our only remaining obligation is to pay final operational expenses we had incurred during our possession of the property, but were unauthorized to pay until this settled agreement was reached.

“We look forward to fulfilling God’s call to us for mission and ministry.”

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Ford ElmsbookguybaltmdFather Ron SmithEmilyHdrdanfee Recent comment authors
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drdanfee
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drdanfee

Nice that things settled so quickly. The jousting explanations? Not so much. Suddenly CANA discovers that paying their local church costs is too high? But they allegedly allowed Don Armstrong to use trust funds to send his kids to school? Maybe new, current monies are worse now for the CANA church folks than before when they were plotting to take over the parish? The critical legal mass of accumulating court rulings in favor of the TEC diocese/church is going to result in a swift change of strategy for many realignment groups which claimed they could take it all with them.… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
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“We are pleased with the settlement, particularly since it relieved our staff and vestry members of the burden and expense of defending against $5 million in unjustified claims brought against them personally by the Diocese of Colorado and The Episcopal Church”

But really, what was the point if these claims were not Justified?

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

Maybe the CANA folks are also anticipating further expense in defending Armstrong in his legal battles and decided to cut their losses. And they, too, are affected by the recession.

I wish this would mean they would abandon the Virginia case, but am not hopeful, since we have that post-Civil War law on the books that theu are hanging their hopes on

Rob Leduc
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Rob Leduc

@Goran Not sure what your point is really. One legal tactic is to load up a complaint with lots of claims to make something stick. The burden is, of course, on the complainant to justify the claims in court. Even so, defendants incur expenses in defending themselves against such claims. It is a tactic that can be used by a party with the deeper pockets to push the other party into settlement. Not saying that is what happened here, but that would appear to be the separatists stated reasoning. More to the point is that the separatists could have relieved… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

At the time of the judgement they said they were going to appeal!

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“We look forward to fulfilling God’s call to us for mission and ministry.” And here I thought they were following what they believed WAS God’s call to them for mission and ministry. Are they saying that they have done all this on their own, with no discernment of God’s will, and are now, in the wilderness, hoping that God will be so pleased with their striving for purity He will NOW call them to something? Justification by works in another form? Wasn’t the fullness of their churches evidence of their obedience to God’s call? Interesting as well that something they… Read more »

bookguybaltmd
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bookguybaltmd

I am alarmed that the cases against the irresponsible secessionists have been dropped. They adopted a clearly untenable legal position in hopes of essentially blackmailing the church into acquiescence in the theft of church’s property. They demonstrated abundantly that they would stop at nothing to get their own way; they even went so far as to sabotage the church’s message, bear false witness as to the church’s true position, and malign the reputation of good honest servants of the church. They deliberately attempted to overthrow the legitimate democratic government of the church as voiced through general convention. They have deliberately… Read more »

susan hedges
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susan hedges

Well, we will see what happens in the Rev. Armstrong’s case. I don’t think there will be mediation there.

Bookguy, mediation and forgiveness are called for in these cases. Jesus did not say that one must be asked for forgiveness in order for forgiveness to be given. The remaining Episcopalians have the church, which was the main sticking point, and hopefully nasty name calling will cease.

drdanfee
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drdanfee

A hard judgment call, pressing the case forward full tilt, or accepting the mediated settlement. Fighting these doctrinal wars on the poorly framed realignment terms and presuppositions can only go so far in bearing real true witness to the kingdom. That is what is wrong with the penal legacy business we have inherited in the first place. Even if mean and scheming folks were prosecuted, ostracized, and put in stocks in the town squares – we would still not really be all that far ahead in bearing witness to Jesus of Nazareth, to the kingdom feast, to the surprise invitation… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“Where Charity and Love are – there is God”
– Antiphon from the Liturgy of Maundy Thursday.

EmilyH
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EmilyH

This settlement is very generous to St. George’s. What concerns me is that the vestry of Grace/St. Stephen’s, while under Armstrong’s leadership obtained a loan from the state bank of Barkley Nebraska of 2+ million dollars. Canon law requires that they obtain the aporoval of the diocese before encumbering property. This they did not do. One of the vestrymen owned the bank. Again an inapropriate financial transaction. It is unclear how the funds were used. Around this time, the John Jay institute, a nursery for the conservative Christian right received free rent at Grace in brand new “state-of-the-art” classroom space… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

EmilyH, perhaps Mr Armstrong’s case will be taken up by the newly-forming (still ghostly) North American Province of the Once Anglicans. After all, they are still backing him on Mr Virtue’s web-site at so-called ‘Virtue-on-line’. His presumed innocence is tighly alligned to their *orthodoxy*.

bookguybaltmd
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bookguybaltmd

To Susan Hedges – I wasn’t trying to limit GOD’s forgiveness to those who repent; You have correctly pointed out that this would be at least error that borders on the heretical. I was just saying that forgiveness is easier for us humans when repentance is present. The secessionists are not making this or anything else easy and they are certainly not repentant. Nonetheless, I think I, personally, could forgive them (especially if they just go their own way to God’s word and leave orthodox christians to preach the word of god). My concern is more immediately practical and has… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“hopefully nasty name calling will cease.”

As we say round these parts, “Live in hopes, die in despair.”