Support the Café

Search our Site

Los Angeles Bishop to stand trial

Los Angeles Bishop to stand trial

The latest development in a conflict that has involved multimillion-dollar real estate proposals, mass eviction, public protest and has left a congregation churchless, is the July recommendation that the bishop – the Right Reverend J. Jon Bruno – be put on trial. From The Living Church:

The Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, Bishop of Los Angeles, will be only the third Episcopal Church bishop known to have faced an ecclesiastical trial since 2000. His trial is believed to be the first under a public hearing process that took effect in 2011, said Mark Duffy, canonical archivist and director of the Episcopal Church Archives. Bruno received his notice in July. The start date and location will be announced soon.

Bruno stands accused of three canonical violations: conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation; conduct unbecoming a bishop; and attempting to dispose of property without the Standing Committee’s consent. When asked to comment on the charges, Bob Williams of the Diocese of Los Angeles referred to a July 21 statement.

The conflict surrounds and impacts a parish which began as a mission church in 2013 on Episcopal property that was itself a battle ground, previously the home of a congregation that is now Anglican:

Bruno’s charges trace to a heated conflict with St. James the Great Church in Newport Beach. In a 40-page complaint, St. James congregants allege that Bruno misled the congregation when it launched in 2013. The church was consecrated after a multi-year property fight with a congregation now known as St. James Anglican Church, Newport Mesa. Members of St. James the Great, led by Vicar Cindy Voorhees, believed the fledgling mission church could grow and expand outreach programs, such as software-coding instruction for local kids. But they argue that Bruno deceived them about what lay ahead.

Even in 2013, Bruno intended to sell the property, the complaint asserts, and it says he kept those plans secret. In April 2015, he entered a contract to sell the property to a developer for $15 million. By June 2015, the congregation was required to leave, and Bruno had the locks changed. Efforts to sell the property have been tied up in litigation for the past year.

Meanwhile, St. James has been a congregation with no permanent home. For months, more than 100 gathered for Eucharist weekly in a nearby park before changing weather forced them to find an indoor space. The congregation now rents a venue at City Hall, but the impermanence of the situation is taking a toll.

The date for the hearing has not yet been set. Updates can be found at  Previous coverage in the Episcopal Cafe:

July 14, 2015, A complaint of misconduct has been filed against the Rt Revd J Jon Bruno, Bishop Diocesan of Los Angeles

July 31, 2015, Title IV charges against Bishop Bruno sent to Reference Panel

August 6, 2015, St James the Great files more charges against Bishop Bruno

October 17, 2015, A family’s memorial gift is caught in the crossfire over St James the Great, Newport Beach

April 7, 2016, Forty weeks in the wilderness

Photo from St. James the Great’s website.



Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
David Allen

Sadly, I’m not actually seeing the intellectual honesty of which you speak. Just your opinion, which appears to have no other value here than to insult & inflame the feelings of the regular Episcopalian/Anglican readers here.

Donald Michael


I met no offense. I was sharing another viewpoint. Agreeing to disagree is a hallmark of Christian charity.

Please take that up with God.

Happy Sabbath.

Ann Fontaine

Guess I don’t see any charity in insulting your fellow Christians.

Donald Michael

My friend,

I believe Cardinal Newman would have disagreed with you.

To be Catholic, even small “c” catholic you must have the four marks of the Church. One, Holy, Apostolic, and Catholic. The Anglican Church has no valid Apostolic Orders, it has no Magisterial Authority to formulate a council.

I think intellectual honesty is in order. Not trying to be difficult or offensive. I believe we can agree to disagree.


Ann Fontaine

I do find it offensive that you believe you can comment at this site with your pronouncement on the validity of our orders. Take your complaint up with God.

Donald Michael

I find that those who use the name Anglo-Catholic very perplexing and potentially offensive to those who are actually Catholic.

There is no Anglo-Catholic Church. There are Eastern Churches that can claim, with legitimate recognition their Catholic identity.

Either you are Catholic or not.

David Allen

There is quite a difference in claiming to be Roman Catholic and claiming to be catholic, which in this sense means universal. One can be a catholic Christian without claiming to be Roman Catholic Christian.

The terms Anglo-Catholicism, Anglican Catholicism and Catholic Anglicanism refer to people, beliefs and practices within Anglicanism that emphasise the Catholic heritage and identity of the various Anglican churches.

Wikipedia – Anglo-Catholic

Anne LeVeque

Dear Cafe –
Please be more precise in your phrasing. When you say, “previously the home of a congregation that is now Anglican,” you are ceding the identity of the Episcopal Church as a member of the Anglican Communion. The previous congregation *calls itself* Anglican, even though before their split they were certainly part of the Anglican Communion. “Anglican” has become shorthand for breakaway congregations who want to maintain their straight boys club. This use is offensive not only to those of us who identify as Anglo-catholic Episcopalians, but to the Episcopal Church as a whole.
– Anne LeVeque

Ann Fontaine

Unfortunately “Anglican” is not a trademarked name. Many who are not part of the Anglican Communion use it.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café