A SANCTION was imposed on the Bishop of Los Angeles, the Rt Revd J. Jon Bruno, this week, after he failed to confirm or deny that he had again tried to sell St James the Great, Newport Beach.
The Episcopal Church ecclesiastical disciplinary panel is in the process of considering a complaint of misconduct brought against Bishop Bruno by members of St James, after he unsuccessfully tried to sell the church in 2015 (News, 7 April).
The President of the Hearing Panel, the Bishop of Southern Virginia, the Rt Revd Herman Hollerith IV, issued a statement outlining the sanction, on Saturday, in which he said he had received a “colorable claim” [a plausible legal claim] by one of the complainants that Bishop Bruno “may have entered into a contract to sell the St James property”. Asked about the allegation, Bishop Bruno’s legal representative “did not address the substance of the Complainant’s allegation”.
Bishop Hollerith goes on: “If the Respondent has entered into a contract to sell, or sold, the St James property before the Hearing Panel has decided the case, that conduct is disruptive, dilatory and otherwise contrary to the integrity of this proceeding. The same applies to his failure to supply information concerning the alleged sale.”
The sanction, effective immediately, states that Bishop Bruno is “prohibited from selling or conveying or contracting to sell or convey the St James property until further order of the Hearing Panel.”
The Hearing Panel has not ruled on the initial complaint. Possible outcomes range from the removal of the Bishop from ordained ministry to the dismissal of the allegations.