The Denver Post has the news; Episcopal Café has the background. So first, the news:
Pueblo Special prosecutor Stephen Jones announced today that former Episcopalian priest Donald Armstrong, ex-pastor of Grace Church in Colorado Springs, has entered a “no-contest” plea to felony theft in exchange for a deferred judgement and sentence.
Armstrong, 61, indicted by a 4th Judicial District grand jury in 2009 on 20 counts of felony theft, was accused of embezzling almost $300,000 from church and trust funds over eight years to pay for his two children’s college.
Armstrong and his loyal congregation already had lost a civil trial last year to determine who owned Grace Church and St. Stephen’s Parish, a historic downtown property valued at about $17 million.
The Episcopal Diocese of Colorado and parishioners loyal to the bishop won back the church that Armstrong’s congregation had been occupying.
Here is John B. Chilton’s reporting for Episcopal Café:
A charismatic founder of the Anglican Communion Institute and current priest in good standing in ACNA is pleading no contest to felony theft from The Episcopal Church. The Rev. Don Arrnstrong had long contended he would be proven innocent of charges. The charges first came to light while Armstrong was still a part of the Episcopal Church. Armstrong had claimed the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado had trumped up the charges and the true nature of the dispute was rooted in theological differences. Martyn Minns and Peter Akinola immediately accepted Armstrong and his congregation into CANA even while threat of state criminal prosecution hung over Armstrong.
“ACNA” is the anti-Gay, schismatic Anglican Church of North America, which was originally a product of the Anglican Church of Nigeria and its former archbishop Peter Akinola. Martyn Minns is the former rector of the breakaway Falls Church in Virginia; he’s now a bishop in ACNA.
None of the prominent commentators in ACNA Land has anything to say so far about Armstrong’s copping a plea to the theft charges. Viagraville is silent; Baby Blue, George Conger and the other anti-Gay schismatic cheerleaders have put away their pompoms for the weekend.
But let the record show: The Episcopal Church was right all along. The man is a thief and a liar.
Money’s just money, but leading sheep astray is a sin.
Colorado Springs, home of Focus on the Family, Ted Haggard, the indoctrinating machine at the U.S. Air Force Academy and unconstitutional Amendment 2, remains the belly of the Beast foretold in St. John’s Revelation.++