Suit filed in Colorado Springs

The Diocese of Colorado has taken legal action to regain control of the property of the parish of Grace and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. The vestry of the parish recently decided to follow their priest, The Rev. Don Armstrong and leave the Episcopal Church to become affiliated with CANA

From the news report in the Colorado Springs Gazette:

Saying it owns Grace Church and St Stephen’s Parish, the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado asked a judge to evict the breakaway congregation worshipping there.

The diocese filed an answer and counterclaim in 4th Judicial District Court on Thursday asking for possession of the church building on north Tejon Street.

It also asked the court to declare that because the breakaway leadership has renounced its affiliation with the Episcopal denomination, they have no claim to the property, worth an estimated $17 million.

The counterclaim says the group worshipping in the church, which voted to secede from the Episcopal Church in March, has no legal right to the building, which was held in trust for the diocese.

“It is a shame that a small, misguided group has forced this litigation by illegally taking possession of the church property,” diocesan Chancellor Lawrence Hitt said in a statement. “This litigation is not about theology or differences of opinion in the church, it is an effort by that breakaway group to distract attention from the very serious charges of theft and misconduct against (the Rev. Donald) Armstrong.”

The full article is HERE

There’s more local and detailed information in a post on the “Faith at Altitude Blog” along with this bit of news;

Another interesting revelation was that, at least according to the presentment, Grace’s longtime chancellor Derry Adams advised Grace’s vestry back on Dec. 8, 2006, that the parish and its vestry was under the authority of the diocese and the Episcopal Church and that the property was the diocese’s.

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