Comments: CANA in Colorado

According to Lambeth resolutions, Fr. Armstrong may not affiliate with another province unless he is in good standing.

Oh, I forgot, Lambeth resolutions may only be used by the reasserters against the reappraisers.

Posted by ruidh at Thursday, 29 March 2007 at 12:36am BST

Whereas (obviously a well loved word in that part of Colorado - see A Declaration of Anglican Fidelity) this is from the other side of the argument, CANA is carrying on regardless and this is another evidence that the Communiquê is effectively finished along with the Windsor Process and all of it.

Posted by Pluralist at Thursday, 29 March 2007 at 1:01am BST

Don't worry about this TEC.....

you still have all the "inclusive" churches in the area

- they are really healthy and growing strongly, teaching a true and attractive message, "including" more people all the time, right?

Posted by NP at Thursday, 29 March 2007 at 10:05am BST

The difficulty here is because Armstrong has left for CANA, while Presentment charges will likely be published, there is no indication whether the Church Attorney's Report, upon which the Presentment will be issued, will be. Further it is not clear whether there will be civil or criminal charges. Consequently, there will in all likelihood be a cloud over this entire matter for a very long time.

That said however, if the charges can be substantiated or the Church Attorney Report is published and shown to be sound, it will put Minns/CANA in a very bad light - even to other conservatives, destroying their credibility with the very people they wish to attract.

Right now it seems that they (CANA)are banking on the charges not holding up (not looking sound) and using this case to demonstrate that there is no way forward except for a second independent province to be set up for conservatives that is beyond the grasp of the progressives who are out to get them.

Posted by C.B. at Thursday, 29 March 2007 at 12:15pm BST

Colorado Springs is a national haven for right-wing religio-politico operatives. Focus on the Family is there and ousted Ted Haggard's church is there. Ted Haggard was outed by a male prostitute here in Denver for soliciting his services. That's the fair city of Colorado Springs. The town lays claim to national leadership of a rabid anti-gay agenda. And oops, there's an Anglican that has the same agenda from there too. He most likely knows James Dobson and has tactical relations with the movement. He will, no doubt, get special applause at the local minister's prayer breakfast.

Posted by Curtis at Thursday, 29 March 2007 at 12:21pm BST

Seems that Martyn Minns ain't too particular about the company he keeps, but we already had suspicions along those lines, didn't we?

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Thursday, 29 March 2007 at 12:37pm BST

Yeah, pretty much, NP.

Posted by ruidh at Thursday, 29 March 2007 at 12:39pm BST

If a civil court finds Mr. Armstrong guilty of the financial crimes he is accused of, will he be disciplined by CANA? I suppose he might try and defend himself agaist some of the charges by saying he is no longer bound by the constitution and canons of the Diocese of Colorado, but that won't get him off the hook if he has practiced tax fraud. CANA may wish they had left him alone.

Posted by Cynthia at Thursday, 29 March 2007 at 12:49pm BST


Right! Our scandalously liberal parish is about to baptize, confirm, and receive a record number of new members this Easter. Our pledging membership is the highest it's been in almost a century (the parish is 150 years old).

There is one denomination here in the USA which is suffering a sharp decline in members and an even worse rate of retention. Are they the flaming liberal UCC? Or are they those Unitarians who believe in everything and nothing? No, it's the Southern Baptists, your model for religious success and denominational conquest; leaking like a sieve. The hard-right Lutheran Church Missouri Synod is having worse problems with a shrinking and aging membership. That's what's really there in that right-wing crystal ball.

Posted by counterlight at Thursday, 29 March 2007 at 1:10pm BST


R-i-i-i-g-h-t! Chortle. It's the same everywhere in TEC--just let these tiny trouble-makers go, they're unimportant compared to the huge congregations drawn by revisionist "pastors" and the masses rushing to embrace the NEW REVISIONIST FAITH!! Double chortle.


Posted by Steven at Thursday, 29 March 2007 at 2:09pm BST

Cynthia. If there is reasonable cause for the charges against Armstrong, he will surely be looking at criminal charges, Federal and State.

Further to the topic of the company that bishop Mynns keeps is the Washington Post's recent observation on the congregations at Truro and Falls Church: "Their pews are studded on Sunday mornings with such regulars as Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales ...." For an overview of Attorney General Gonzales' ethical standards, check the current lead headlines of any US online newspaper. This is the guy who, as White House counsel, termed the Geneva Conventions "quaint".

Posted by lapinbizarre at Thursday, 29 March 2007 at 3:00pm BST

Funny that our ConsEv brethren seem so cool about allegations of fraud etc which seem to have been levelled at the parish priest some time ago. I would have thought that such allegations were at least as counter to Scripture as other texts they so love to hurl around.

I find the 'ner-ner-ner-ner-ner' postings of NP and Steven remarkably complacent. Is this place really going to be one of their flagships, given that the vestry stands accused by parishioners of extreme autocracy? Are NP and Steven really comfortable with these huge 'loans' apparently being given to parish clergy without any proper paperwork (or is that how investment banking works)?

I know there is a counter-argument, that the number of frauds and scams coming out of Nigeria might make an alignment with any Nigerian institution a comfortable one for Christians who enjoy creative accounting.

The ease with which serious allegations may be dismissed by our resident ConsEvs does lead me to think that their standards are perhaps a little partial...? And we know what the Lord said about such folk....

Posted by Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Thursday, 29 March 2007 at 3:15pm BST

If this were a Roman Catholic parish, they'd dissidents would already be off the property and the Bishop would be in total controll of things.
Where I use to work 7 parishes were merge into one parish with 4 worship sites. One church was made into a parking lot, the two others condominiums and now two more were closed and are on the blocks to be sold. Two of these churches sued the diocese and lost hands down.

Of course If that the kind of church folks want, where you pray, pay and obey??? No need for vestries or public disclosure of funds. It ain't done in RC churches unless the pastor wishes. No choices, no say, just follow along.
(That's twenty years experience working on the inside).

As far as dying churches, then mine should've died. As Duncan remarked during his last visit, "there are a lot of new faces, new people everywhere." Yes, and we're a very friendly, come as you are, all people welcomed parish.

Posted by BobinWashPA at Thursday, 29 March 2007 at 3:17pm BST

The commenters on the Stand Firm! website, who appear to have information the rest of us do not, claim not only that the charges against Fr. Armstrong are false, but that the bishop of Colorado should be sued for libel for making them public.

Am I the only one who is wearied by this sort of continual strident partisanship? If this is the face of the new CANA-and-ConseEvs-only Anglican Communion, I am sure I want no part of it.

Posted by Charlotte at Thursday, 29 March 2007 at 5:28pm BST

Simon - FYI there there is a cursory response from Armstrong to the dioceses' charges at the end of this piece. Roger

Apparently the parish has the interesting habit of transcribing news reports for its web page, rather than linking directly to the original, as you do. Interesting. Don't have the time or the patience for textual comparison.

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Thursday, 29 March 2007 at 9:16pm BST

Apparently the organist and choir director of Grace and St. Stephen's wants to stay in the Episcopal Church, and the rector's decision to jump ship was so precipitous, that no one was told about it until it was a fait accompli.
Anyway, the poor organist is taking a beating over at Stand Firm. What a nice bunch of folks they have over there!

Posted by Counterlight at Thursday, 29 March 2007 at 10:42pm BST

Just as a follow-up to the choir director getting pummeled at Stand Firm, I understand that the keepers of that blog and Titusonenine have been very busy cleaning out the comment boxes on that issue; so many of them were so very offensive.

That says a lot about that crowd.

Posted by Counterlight at Thursday, 29 March 2007 at 11:13pm BST

There are textual differences, including the title of the piece, between the "Rocky Mountain News" item as transcribed on the web page of Grace and St. Stephen’s church (linked in post above)and the piece as it appears on the website of the "Rocky Mountain News":,1299,DRMN_15_5443702,00.html

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Friday, 30 March 2007 at 1:26am BST

I don't know whether Armstrong is guilty or not. The secrecy and actions by the diocese to prevent people from knowing what was going on seems strange. If he is guilty, hopefully the IRS and his church will punish him, but I don't think a church with a man like Bennison as a bishop has a right to mock or badmouth any bad leader.

Posted by Nonanglican at Friday, 30 March 2007 at 1:32am BST

Yes, I pity the poor choir director at the Colorado Springs parish also. But then again we music geeks have a saying, "all this singing would be so fun if it weren't for all this religion."

And yes, there are a lot of "those" LGBT people, probably disproportionately much more in those ensembles, and have been for centuries.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Friday, 30 March 2007 at 3:53am BST

Nonanglican. Thank you for saying what I had wanted to say, but in a much more gracious way. It's interesting that it takes a 'non anglican' to inject a bit of sense and reason into this thread.

I know the issues are very close to the heart but in criticising 'that crowd' (Counterlight) people are stooping just as low.

I feel or anybody who finds themselves out of step with the rest of their church family, be it in a parish or diocesan context. It must be an awful situation and, imperfect as it may have been, can't we see the PV scheme as one way of addressing this?

To do head counts of the number of 'Windsor Bishops' or Network Parishes' in order to portray them as a numerical minority is to diminish the individuals concerned. Let's face it, if numbers mean that we're on the right road then we're all stuffed.

Posted by ChrisM at Friday, 30 March 2007 at 9:40am BST

Stand Firm started censoring the comments when it transpired the music director's wife was 6 months pregnant...


Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Friday, 30 March 2007 at 10:40am BST

I have no idea if Armstrong is guilty of financial malfeasance or not.
However, he needs to get a lawyer, or he needs to get a better lawyer. His timing and the suddeness of his jumping ship really make him look bad, and is certain to get the attention of a district attorney.

Posted by counterlight at Friday, 30 March 2007 at 11:41am BST

I found the suggestion that this organist, is a danger to children (nudge, nudge), and a thief and an idolator very callous, offensive and verging on hysterical.

I was amazed by the information that 'professional organists' -- 'especially classically trained ones' are not open to the operation 'of the Spirit' !

Can this vicious mind-numbing crap really be Christianity?!

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Friday, 30 March 2007 at 2:36pm BST

Rocky Mountain News is reporting that the Rev. Michael O’Donnell, a priest, and the Rev. Sally Ziegler, a deacon at Grace Church have elected to stay with TEC. That means only the Rector and the Vicar chose to go to CANA. Also, the Choirmaster elected to stay. All this without the congregation getting to vote. CANA and Minns better have a good explanation as to why they took Armstrong and the vestry in under these circumstances.

Posted by C.B. at Friday, 30 March 2007 at 2:41pm BST

As an organist-choirmaster for many years (in a church of a different denomination even though I am an Episcopalian), I am appalled at the comments concerning the organist at Stand Firm. Such hate and ignorance. I'm so glad I didn't spend my entire life working for any of those morons. I think when I retire in a couple of years, I'll just stay home on Sunday.

Posted by Jimmy Culp at Friday, 30 March 2007 at 5:54pm BST

This will not be an eirenic comment. I've read several of the threads on Stand Firm now, including the thread on the choir director's decision to remain in the Episcopal Church.

It is very important for all of us in the US who want to remain Episcopalian to read those comments, particularly if we happen to live in Network-dominated areas. These are usually also areas that are politically and socially extremely right wing. (Brits, Canadians, and Europeans reading this should consider themselves very lucky.)

Blogs like Stand Firm! should serve to us as the murals of martyrdom on the walls of the English College at Rome once served the young Jesuits in training for the "English mission." They should say to us: This, friends, is what the so-called "reasserters" do. This is what awaits you if you remain true to the historic spirit of Anglicanism. Prepare yourself against that day.

Many reading this will have experienced and suffered from this sort of vicious slander and rumor-mongering already. For some it has gone so far as to threaten their jobs, property, families, or even lives. This sort of experience may be new to others. It is important to know that it is coming so we may fortify ourselves against it.

Posted by Charlotte at Friday, 30 March 2007 at 7:23pm BST

I apologize if my use of the word "crowd" caused offense (?), but I felt that I was being quite restrained compared to the abuse being heaped upon a church musician who deserved none of the scorn and ridicule thrown at him.

Posted by counterlight at Friday, 30 March 2007 at 11:30pm BST

This sums up exactly why liberals should be looking to form our own denomination - away from the conservatives. Nothing decent can exist whilst they are a part of it. You only need to look at their sites to recognise what they are actually like.

Posted by Merseymike at Saturday, 31 March 2007 at 12:12am BST

"As an organist-choirmaster for many years ............. I am appalled at the comments concerning the organist at Stand Firm."

It seems to me that the comments on Titusonline are even more self-revealing.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Saturday, 31 March 2007 at 10:17am BST

For all the denials in Don Armstrong's letter to the parish, it makes clear that there are several things worth investigating at Grace church.

The Bishop's letter gives them at 1.2 million dollars of illegal loans, irregular scholarships, pauper's fund used for "representation", and so on and so on.

The same morning the preliminary report was to be published by the diocese the Vestry declared Grace church part of CANA, changing the locks.

The congregation has been promised a full explanation of the charges followed by a vote on seceding Saturday 14th of April at 900 hours.

Of course, the inhibition and the presentment regard the Rector only, but the civil and inland revenue processes will most probably include wardens and vestry.

Also the local prosecutor has resigned from the Vestry, declaring that a process will be conducted not by him but by someone from outside of Colorado Springs.

In short; this is big. It will be long, the end result is several years ahead.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Saturday, 31 March 2007 at 10:39am BST

Goran - Can you point me to the information you have regarding the "local prosecutor" on the Vestry. Thanks.

Posted by C.B. at Saturday, 31 March 2007 at 3:14pm BST

The Colorado Springs Gazette id=...te=article.html

(I found it in an unmentionalble place)

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Saturday, 31 March 2007 at 10:02pm BST

For those of you who may be interested but did not get what Goran is referring to - the local District Attorney served on Grace Church's vestry for three years, but up an resigned two weeks ago, before the vote to leave TEC, because he didn't want there to be a conflict of interest should their be a criminal prosecution of Armstrong and others. He didn't say whether he himself might be subject to prosecution as a member of the vestry with oversight of this mess, but it's clear that he took the situation very seriously and wasn't just expecting Armstrong to be able to just explain it all away given half a chance.

Posted by C.B. at Sunday, 1 April 2007 at 1:04am BST
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