It’s all a bit confusing, but here are several further articles relating to this story.
Colorado Gazette Paul Asay Anglican group cuts ties with Armstrong which reports on the meeting yesterday at which Fr Armstrong spoke.
Denver Post Virginia Culver Episcopal priest denies funds misused
Sarah Dylan Breuer the “Communion” afterthought which examines the history of the ACI website in great detail.
A letter to the editor of the Gazette (apparently as yet unpublished) from Fr Armstrong’s senior warden (scroll down)
Diocese of Colorado letter from the bishop, and press release dated 14 April: full text below the fold.
From: Bishop O’Neill
Sent: Saturday, April 14, 2007 5:37 PM
Subject: Update and Media Statement re. Grace Church
You will undoubtedly read various accounts in tomorrow morning’s papers regarding a meeting held this morning at Grace Church in Colorado Springs in which Don Armstrong offered a public response to the charges of financial misconduct that he is currently facing.
I am attaching to this email the media statement that my office released this afternoon in response to that meeting. I hope that you will find it helpful in the event that you have any questions from any members of your congregations.
I am indeed sorry that Father Armstrong has chosen this course of action. As you will see in the media statement, Father Armstrong has been offered a number of formal and informal opportunities to provide either me, the Chancellor, or the Church Attorney any evidence or explanation that would mitigate the allegations against him. Sadly, he has consistently declined to do so and has not been willing to respond to any reasonable questioning by those who are informed about the facts of the case against him.
With regard to both Father Armstrong’s conduct and the seizing of the property of Grace and Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church, I will certainly continue to pursue every legal course of action available—ecclesiastical, criminal, and civil—that I deem appropriate.
If there is any specific information that you would find helpful, or if you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to be in touch with me. It is important to me to do all that I can to keep you informed, particularly to the degree that it will support your pastoral leadership in your congregation. Again, please don’t hesitate to ask.
In the meantime, please know that I am grateful to you for your patience with this very sad and unfortunate situation. I continue to ask your prayers for Don and his family and for all the people of Grace Church.
God’s peace and blessing be with you all. Yours faithfully in Christ,
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2007
Contact: Beckett Stokes, firstname.lastname@example.org
(303) 748-9835 mobile
(303) 837-1173 office
The public meeting conducted by the Rev. Donald Armstrong today does not constitute a legitimate response to the serious charges of financial misconduct pending against him.
The Canons of the Church provide a clear and reasonable process by which allegations of wrongdoing against any member of the clergy can be investigated and resolved. This process – which is based on the United States Military’s Uniform Code of Military Justice – is designed to protect the interests of all involved, and provides those accused of wrongdoing with particular protections and avenues of appeal. The bishop and diocese have followed this process faithfully. In the course of the investigation, Rev. Armstrong has been formally and informally invited by the bishop, the diocesan chancellor and the Church Attorney on several occasions to offer information and evidence that would mitigate or provide reasonable explanations for the allegations against him. He has not availed himself of these opportunities.
Rev. Armstrong has chosen instead to violate the terms of his inhibition (or temporary administrative leave), make many misleading and false public statements, and work actively – along with former members of the parish’s vestry – to illegally take the real property of the Episcopal parish of Grace and St. Stephen’s from its rightful occupants and put it under the control of a Nigerian bishop.
Rev. Armstrong remains an Episcopal priest, under inhibition by his bishop, facing trial on several charges of financial and other misconduct in Ecclesiastical Court.
The Presentment prepared by the Church Attorney and the Diocesan Review Committee, which outlines these charges and the evidence supporting them, is a public document and available from the diocese upon request.