Bishop Jon Bruno was the sixth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.
On May 17, 2015, Bruno announced to parishioners of St. James the Great, Newport Beach, that he had sold the church for $15 million to Legacy Partners Residential Development for redevelopment. Members of the parish objected, citing the deed to the property, which restricted its use for other purposes. In response, Bruno sued the original donor of the land of the church to eliminate the deed restriction and changed the locks to the property, preventing parishioner access to the building.
The congregation continued to meet for worship outdoors near the empty church and filed a misconduct complaint with the national church against Bruno.
Presiding bishop Michael Curry placed a “Partial Restriction on the Ministry of a Bishop” on the Rt. Rev. Jon Bruno of the Diocese of Los Angeles. During the restriction, the Bishop, acting individually, or as Bishop Diocesan, or as Corporate Sole, or in any other capacity, was forbidden from closing on the sale of the St. James property, or otherwise selling or conveying the property or contracting to sell the property, or, in any way assisting in the sale or conveyance of the property. Subsequently, Curry issued further restrictions on Bruno’s ministry, preventing him from exercising pastoral oversight of the parish.
On August 3, 2017, a Title IV hearing panel ruled that Bishop Bruno had violated church canons by selling the St. James property without standing committee approval, by misrepresentations about St. James and its congregation, and by conduct unbecoming of a member of the clergy. The Hearing Panel recommended that Bishop Bruno be suspended from his position and from all ministry for a period of three years. Presiding Bishop Curry
Bruno died suddenly of natural causes on April 21, 2021
Full disclosure: Bishop Bruno was a friend of Anglican Watch editor Eric Bonetti