Comments: Colorado Springs: more reports

Whatever else happens, I hope they do not decide for summary judgement. He is already making this out as persecution of him by the EHBLs. That would just play right into his hands. Let it all come out. Let everybody see. Then, if he's guilty, his cries of persecution will be shown to be just so much hystrionics. If he's innocent, again the idea that he's not being treated fairly will be shown to be false.

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 2 August 2007 at 2:27pm BST

Witch hunts don't usually have such a large amount of documented evidence. My opinion that is that the good Father is not defending himself because there is no defense to offer other than to junp ship to CANA and claim a lack of jurisdiction. I hope he is aware that that defense will not work in a Colorado or Federal Criminal Court. Perhaps he will try to duck criminal charges by claiming that the church building is now Nigerian soil.

Posted by Deacon Charlie Perrin at Thursday, 2 August 2007 at 3:53pm BST

What an interesting story. I have served on a vestry and as senior warden. I have tried to project myself into that vestry's position. Either the rector is lying about authorization to use the foundation money for his children, in which case the vestry members must feel great betrayal; or he's telling the truth and the members may be worrying about any personal ramifications of the misappropriation of restricted funds. It can't be comfortable for them any way you slice it.
I would agree with Ford except the man has chosen not to defend himself. I don't think the ecclesial court has much choice excpet to render some kind of judgement. The yelling and screaming about persecution is inevitable no matter what they do. They need to announce a decision and move on.

Posted by Lou Poulain at Thursday, 2 August 2007 at 5:48pm BST

This is very damaging testimony. A Motion for Summary Judgment is appropriate because you can;t have a trial without the other side participating. If Armstrong refuses to participate, the court *should* rule on the strength of the evidence presented and defrock him for cause.

CANA has already shown a complete disregard for Lambeth Resolutions they don't care for. So the one requiring that a priest be in good standing and receive letters dimissory from his current bishop prior to a transfer are bound to be ignored as well.

It just shows both Armstrong and Minns as complete scoundrels.

Posted by ruidh at Thursday, 2 August 2007 at 6:41pm BST

This would not be the first time a cleric was found to be contumacious. Absent the secular authority to force him to make his case, a summary judgment is appropriate if the evidence supports such a determination. There will be ample time for him to clear his name should this come to the secular courts.

Posted by Tobias Haller at Thursday, 2 August 2007 at 9:42pm BST

"Crippen said Grace's secessionist board is conducting a separate audit that will be made public this month." I wonder if the auditor will be available for questioning.

Posted by C.B. at Thursday, 2 August 2007 at 9:48pm BST

I'm still waiting to see Armstrong - and Crippen, it now seems - explaining and justifying the Bowton Trust exenditures.

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Thursday, 2 August 2007 at 10:53pm BST

I agree with Ford....this is not persecution.
There is a case to answer and Armstrong should answer it.

WE all need to know the truth of what happened. And if he committed a crime like fraud or theft, he must not be a minister given he has not repented.

Posted by NP at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 9:20am BST

On Alan Crippen, Armstrong's+ spokesperson. Please recall that Crippen is the director of the John Jay Institute. John Jay is a quasi-educational organization offering post-grad training to conservatives entering politics, religion or legal field. The institute whose website speaks highly of the quality of their teaching facility, is resident at Grace, rent free. Prior to coming to Grace/John Jay, Crippen ran a similar program that was part of the James Dobson conservative(Focus of the Family) family of charities. If, as highly possible given the recent uncovering of a document forever ceding the property to the Diocese of Colorado, the current Grace vestry looses its copurt battle to hold on to the property, it is likely that Mr. Crippen's institute will be looking for new digs. When a diocesan spokesman was asked about the Institute, she replied that it was a very unusual ministry/outreach for an Episcopal church.

Posted by EPfizH at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 3:36pm BST

EPFizH,
For people like myself, the things you cite serve to deepen my suspicions. People like Dobson are, in my eyes and those of many others, dishonest ideologues who use Scripture to back up their own prejudices, who sponsor propaganda and call it science in order to dehumanize gay people, and so on. For Conservatives, however, they are upright defenders of the Gospel and its values. This, citing their connections to Grace is simultaneously a condemnation and a support, depending on who is doing the listening.

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 4:54pm BST
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