At the conclusion of the diocesan convention Jan. 25-26 at St. James’ Church, Ormond Beach, Bishop Howe told a reporter for The Living Church that though exhausted, he was pleased with the negotiations.
“We are on the best of terms with all those leaving,” he said. “And we are committed to rebuilding where there have been losses.”
In his address to convention, Bishop Howe said the last three months had been the worst period of his life. However, amicable solutions had been reached with the members of the eight congregations who sought to withdraw from the diocese.
“There are those who simply have to leave The Episcopal Church for conscience sake,” he said. “I understand that. I don’t agree, but I don’t believe we should punish them. We shouldn’t sue them. We shouldn’t depose the clergy. Our brokenness is a tragedy. The litigation that is going on in so many places is a travesty. And although some seem to be trying to do so, I don’t think you can hold a church together by taking everybody you disagree with to court.”