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The he said, she said regarding St James the Great Newport Beach continues.

The he said, she said regarding St James the Great Newport Beach continues.

The Living Church has published an article on line that quotes the Revd Cindy Voorhees, former vicar of the Dio Los Angeles mission, St James the Great in Newport Beach CA. In the article, she says that during mediation between the former congregation and the bishop of Los Angeles, that the Rt Revd J Jon Bruno offered them $1 million to drop the charges against him. However, diocesan Canon for Communications, Bob Williams, is quoted as saying that Bishop Bruno was again making the same offer he made a number of months ago. Mr Williams says that it was not offered in return for the former congregants dropping their presentment.

iu-2The two parties to the mediation never were in the same room together. The mediator carried information between the groups. Likewise, the Revd Voorhees has stated that the former congregants offered to allow a mixed use scheme on a parcel of the property which now serves as a parking lot. Canon Williams says that no such proposal was presented by the mediator to Bishop Bruno. The mediation has failed to bring resolution to the issue and both parties are awaiting word from the Reference Panel as to the next steps to be undertaken regarding the presentment.

In the mean time, friends in the diocese of the former mission congregation are preparing for the diocesan convention which will be held 4 & 5 DEC. They hope to present three resolutions to the convention: first, an audit of the Corporation Sole, controlled by Bishop Bruno; second, the transfer of properties controlled by the Corporation Sole that are actively being used by Episcopal ministries in the diocese, to the Corporation of the Diocese and third, the cancellation of the sale of the St James property. For his part, Bishop Bruno has stated that the Corporation Sole is audited annually. He also challenged the former congregation to establish a Bishop’s Committee and to file monthly financial reports, both required of mission congregations in Dio Los Angeles.

Photo of the Newport Beach property from here.
The Living Church article.


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Eric Bonetti

Both sides to this claim are fortunate, in that their claims are being taken seriously and the national church is trying to conciliate. My heartfelt wish is that both sides will take advantage of this opportunity and seek common ground.

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