We have a significant challenge before us which is every bit a portion of our collective witness to Christ Jesus, a continuation of our standing for the truth in the public square, and finishing our current fight with the principalities and powers of both the State and the Episcopal Church of Colorado.
As the result of obsessive efforts by the Episcopal Bishop of Colorado and his attorneys, the false allegations against our Rector have escalated into full criminal proceedings. A trial is set for February 22, 2010.
We have always paid Father Armstrong's compensation according to the long standing procedures and practices of our church, and have verified by a forensic auditor that the criminal charges against him are false. We now need to prove these allegations false in a court of law.
It is important to understand these charges are simply part of the attack against our Rector and the parish purposes he has served in Communion-wide theological debates. For twenty years, the minutes of the Vestry praise our Rector for doing our theological and political bidding in the councils and processes of the church. In the same way he was successful in building our parish to a significant stature within the Episcopal Church, he was also successful in bringing together people to clearly articulate an orthodox Anglican theological understanding of the faith.
In the eyes of those who longed to change the gospel of sin and redemption, our parish and our Rector needed to be eliminated to undercut his successful campaign and our funding of this work. An attack was mounted from both a small minority within our previous congregation and the Diocese of Colorado from without. The call for us to fightback continues. It is critical we remain engaged as long as the battle against us rages on.
Our Rector has taken many personal and public attacks on our collective behalf, becoming the focal point in this fight. It is imperative that we participate in this suffering for the Gospel's sake and fully fund his legal defense. We have walked him to the end of the plank, and unless we fund his defense, we will have essentially pushed him off. We cannot allow this to happen.
An immediate $100,000 is needed to hire investigators, expert witnesses, researchers, and mount a case equal to the one funded by the Diocese of Colorado, the DA's office, and Colorado springs Police Department. In difficult economic times, we are asking you to dig deep and help us assure that the Bishop of Colorado and those he has effectively lobbied will not be victorious in their attempt to silence our conservative voices and jail our Rector.
The $100,000 is part of the legal defense included in our debt we are working to retire and is not an additional amount. So the Vestry is again asking those who haven't contributed $1,500 per household to retire our dept, to join us in taking care of our first debt priority -- paying the money to the Legal Defense Fund. When the battle is over and our Rector has been vindicated, our parish will flourish, and we will be in a position to do those things we would all much rather .
but we first need to eliminate this cloud over us and the burden that has befallen us. Your Vestry asks you to answer this call and stand firm in our faith.
Yours in Christ,
John Wroblewski, Senior Warden
Chad Friese, Junior Warden
John Newsome, Chancellor
Gib Weiskops, Chancellor
This letter is troublesome for many reasons, and, in my opinion raises some civil issues that the court and the IRS might find interesting.
At any rate, this letter proves the Stockholm Syndrome is hard at work in Colorado.
For background on this issue, see this post.