Bishop Howe: Church Litigation a Travesty

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: Central FloridaTEC Departing Parishes

12 Comments
Posted January 30, 2008 at 12:36 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Jennie TCO wrote:

God bless him.  Well done Bishop Howe.

January 30, 2:05 pm | [comment link]
2. Nikolaus wrote:

I second that.

January 30, 2:10 pm | [comment link]
3. William P. Sulik wrote:

Comment edited by elf. Difficult to understand the meaning.

January 30, 3:03 pm | [comment link]
4. Jason S wrote:

I’m glad there’s at least one bishop who doesn’t think it’s all about the benjamins.

January 30, 4:18 pm | [comment link]
5. KAR wrote:

I can understand why #3 was edited (there are several ways it could be taken), but I did read before the edit & must confess that it made me smile.

January 30, 4:23 pm | [comment link]
6. Cennydd wrote:

If the good bishop truly means what he says in the last paragraph, then may I respectfully suggest that he have a face to face chat with his fellow bishops who are suing fellow Christians?

January 30, 4:40 pm | [comment link]
7. evan miller wrote:

+Howe is one of the good guys.

January 30, 4:43 pm | [comment link]
8. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

I agree with the previous commenters that +Howe is fundamentally on our side and has received a lot of undeserved criticism.  However, the fact remains that he has failed to give clear, unequivocal leadership during this confusing and tumultuous time.  I’m reminded of the famous passage in 1 Cor. 14 that says that soldiers won’t come forth to do battle if the trumpeter gives an ambiguous trumpet call.

But a partial explanation for some of +John Howe’s ambivalence may be evident in the closer-than-I’d-expect vote on the amendment to the diocesan constitution: 89 to 66 among the clergy, and 139 to 91 among the laity.  Given +Howe’s long tenure in Central Florida and how it became a magnet for orthodox clergy during his time, I do think that vote shows substantial resistance to the idea of strongly “differentiating” CFL from TEC.  Of course, that relatively slim (though comfortable) margin of victory for the conservatives may reflect the departure of the 8 or 9 orthodox congregations.  I’m not sure of the timing; but it appears that they have already left and so wouldn’t have participated in that key vote.

David Handy+

January 30, 5:41 pm | [comment link]
9. jeff marx wrote:

Bishop Howe must spend alot of time in prayer and study of Scripture. God bless him

January 30, 5:43 pm | [comment link]
10. William P. Sulik wrote:

Sorry for the unclear comment in #3.  I was just being my typically flippant self. 

In case anyone is curious, I just was trying to indicate that it’s nice to see someone (Bishop Howe) acting like a mature adult.

January 30, 6:50 pm | [comment link]
11. nwlayman wrote:

Is this man next to get a friendly note from She Who Must Be Obeyed?

January 30, 8:48 pm | [comment link]
12. Little Cabbage wrote:

+Howe may be ‘one of the good guys’.  But that doesn’t mean that his statements, given as he nears retirement, will do anything to staunch the flow of orthodox clergy and laity for the exits.

It does mean he will collect his healthy pension when the time comes (and he is probably counting the days).  TEC is long-gone.

January 31, 11:24 pm | [comment link]
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