5/22/2009

Re: Armstrong. It appears where's there smoke sometimes there is fire.

The Colorado Springs Gazette has published a story with the following headline: "Grand Jury returns 20-count indictment of felony theft charges against Rev. Armstrong."

Mark Barna of the Gazette writes:

"The Rev. Donald Armstrong was arrested Wednesday after a Grand Jury indicted him on 20 counts of felony theft charges, concluding a two-year investigation by the Colorado Springs Police into Armstrong's financial conduct while head priest of Grace and St. Stephen's Episcopal Church downtown."

Read the rest HERE.

This is all very sad.

15 comments:

  1. As you say, sad - sad for so many people, from the fractured congregations in Colorado Springs, through to Fr Armstrong and his family. While, given the evidence of the diocese of Colorado's presentment against Armstrong, it seemed improbable that there could be any other outcome, it is not an outcome in which to take pleasure.

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  2. It would certainly be interesting to know how much of that purloined loot ended up in the hands of Radner's "institute."

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  3. Indeed it is, Mark.

    What I find fascinating is the comments from the church's Vestry. As in my time on the Vestry with a woman priest I SO respected and loved, but who was a strong, strong personality and micromanager, the Vestry did nothing. At least nothing that she didn't control and approve of... and the reason I resigned.

    We have to do a better job in teaching Vestry members what their job IS and that there should be a bright line between the Vestry and the Parish Priest in financial matters at the very least.

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  4. On April 20th 2007, nlnh, Armstrong reportedly stated on T19 that over the last four years Grace Church had funded ACI to the tune of $170,000.

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  5. There is no joy in any of this - just a call to prayer.

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  6. I'm also reminded of the oft-repeated quip along these lines: any halfway competent prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a bologna sandwich. Let the reader understand. ;)

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  7. I do not write to argue but in hope to remind us that because of who God is in Christ Jesus reconciling the world to God's self, there is joy in "this." Think Advent and the coming of Jesus as judge AND redeemer. There is indeed much sadness in the story of Rev. Armstrong but --thanks be to God -- our joy does not wait on him.
    Yes, we pray for God to continue in loving kindness and mercy for ALL just as we have prayed for and rejoice in the prevailing of the light.
    I'm pretty sure that we all know this "Advent stuff" but are prone to set it aside for the sake of expressing compassion for all the "fallen."
    The larger story of which Armstrong's indictment is just a chapter craves the light because it is so sad. We can and should celebrate the light and its prevailing.

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  8. Wow, nlnh, that's some propaganda they've launched. When did TEC take over the neighboring county's DA office? (Colo. Springs's DA is an Armstrong follower who had to recuse himself).

    Again I say, wow.

    As to Lisa Fox's comment about the classic Grand Jury-Ham sandwich line (coined by former NY Chief Judge Sol Wachtler, long before his own indictment on stalking charges--aye, it's a fun life in the law!), as I wrote at my place:

    "The indictment also should put paid to the notion that Fr. Armstrong is a martyr to a tyrannical Episcopal Church, bruited about by his more zealous defenders. At a minimum, unless the Pueblo County District Attorney's office is incredibly remiss, some significant evidence of irregularities must have been unearthed in the two year investigation.

    That said, an indictment is, as I used to remind courts on a regular basis in my criminal defense days, a mere allegation. Even the existence of irregularities does not translate necessarily to criminal wrongdoing. Fr. Armstrong is entitled to the presumption of innocence and a fair trial.

    And, from across the gulf of the internal conflict that is rending our church, prayers--whatever the facts ultimately prove to be."

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  9. Some grand jury needs to indict the Channel 13 reporter for an offense against the English language. ("The former reverend of Grace Episcopal Church and the current reverend of St. George's Anglican Church was arrested...." My goodness!)

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  10. I agree with Cany above.
    This is what happens when the vestry only knows how to say "yes Father (or Mother)."

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  11. I dunno. Consider that Mr. Armstrong was deposed by his diocese and improperly received by an incursion of another. I suppose formerly reverend and reverend is almost descriptive!

    FWIW
    jimB

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  12. You can bet your bottom dollar his Church will be paying all the legal fees.

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  13. IF found guilty, he should step down.....

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  14. Let justice roll down like waters,
    and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

    --Amos 5:24

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