removes statement">Armstrong’s parish website
removes statement

It’s an incremental development, but the statement defending CANA/ACNA priest Don Armstrong issued on his parish’s website has been taken down without announcement. This followed the wide publication yesterday of the plea agreement Armstrong had entered into.

The statement had appeared on the St. George’s ACNA parish website in two places, under “Dragon Tales” (parish announcements) and under “Rector Recommends”. The statement lives on as a Google cache of the parish website.

The Colorado Springs Independent reports this morning:

Armstrong’s camp released incorrect information, claiming that Armstrong had only pleaded “no-contest” to a misdemeanor that carried no possible jail time and minimal fines. The error was repeated as fact in other media outlets, alongside reports that the breakaway church Armstrong now leads, St. George’s Anglican Church, was in good cheer.

Armstrong, accused of stealing $392,000 from Grace and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church while serving as its priest, pleaded “no contest” to a third-degree felony theft charge with a deferred sentence. (If he violates his four years of probation, he could face massive fines and up to 12 years in prison.) He also pleaded de facto guilty to a first-degree misdemeanor theft charge that carries with it a possible six- to 18-month jail sentence and possible fines of $500 to $5,000. Both pleas allow Armstrong to maintain his innocence while admitting that the facts show he’s guilty.

Additionally, and perhaps most pertinently, Armstrong still may be required to pay restitution, which could be — you guessed it — up to $392,000.

There has yet to be any public statement about the plea agreement by CANA’s leader, Martyn Minns, or ACNA’s leader Bob Duncan. Yet Armstrong’s no contest plea to felony falls under ACNA disciplinary canons. Minns has previously maintained the grand jury charges were all about persecution of orthodoxy.

The now deleted parish statement ended,

With only a restitution hearing to be held in the distant future, this essentially concludes this long and expensive attempt to silence orthodox resistance to theological innovations in the Episcopal Church. We are thankful we can now move forward under our Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns, into a future productive for the Kingdom of God.

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  1. Paul Woodrum

    So St. George’s Anglican calls their parish announcements “Dragon Tales” which being translated is “Devil’s Stories.” Why did they ever take down their spin on Armstrong’s fate? It fits the category beautifully.

  2. In regards to comments on this article, I admit, I’ve not followed Don Armstrong’s issues … and if guilty, I agree that consequences and restitution should be made, however, as a parish administrator, and parish treasurer for over 25 years, I know the things we (I) have dealt with in being such, a lot due to the national ECUSA treasurer fiasco many years ago (shades of Ellen Cooke), which probably was a good wake up call to be more fiscally responsible, and have more needed controls in many areas.

    Oh that the Episcopal Church could extend those areas!! …

    However to degrade others isn’t really something I wish to do, (even if some are guilty, I pray for them and as the Body of Christ, I still mourn for their fates), for, we are all subject to temptations, and I hope and pray for those who have succumbed to them, as well as for myself and others who are still in the line of fire from the “enemy”, who desires to defeat us … Lord, in Your Mercy, hear our prayers for all those in harms way .. help me also in the fight, for I know the Victory has been won, yet the battles and skirmishes Jesus Name I pray. Amen!

  3. Zeiguzunt

    Mr. Armstrong faces two much higher hurdles. He will probably be required to pay the full restitution,plus interest if the judge so orders. And he has not yeat finished with the I.R.S. on the matter of falsifying his own W-2 forms. They are not bound by the plea on the theft count and could charge him with filing false statements and knowingly underreporting income. With no statute of limitations.

  4. Ellen Cooke accepted her punishment, the money was repaid and she served 5 years (2 more than the judge recommended – Bp Browning and others pleaded for more time to be served) in prison. Time to stop beating up on her?

  5. The statement from St. George’s Anglican Church and the plea agreement are both available (in somewhat more user-friendly form than linked to above) at Pittsburgh Update. Perhaps more to the point, these documents will not disappear from the Web. The links are in an editorial note at the end of the story on Armstrong.

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