Panel’s final ruling maintains 3-year suspension for bishop who tried to sell Newport church

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The top bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States has removed J. Jon Bruno, the embattled bishop of the Los Angeles diocese, from any jurisdiction over the St. James the Great church in Newport Beach, which Bruno has tried twice to sell.

The Most Rev. Michael Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, issued the restriction Tuesday, transferring pastoral and property oversight from Bruno to Bishop John Taylor, who has been named Bruno’s successor upon Bruno’s planned retirement at the end of the year.

The restriction comes about a week and a half after an ecclesiastical disciplinary panel issued a tentative ruling July 21 recommending that Bruno be suspended for three years and that St. James — which was closed as Bruno tried to sell it to would-be townhouse developer Legacy Partners in 2015 — be reopened to its congregation. The board found Bruno guilty of misconduct related to the sale attempt, which fell through after Legacy’s investment partner dropped out.

Curry’s decision also comes on top of a partial restriction he placed on Bruno’s ministry on June 28, barring him from completing another planned sale of the St. James property — this one to Newport Beach-based developer Burnham-Ward Properties — that was about to close escrow.


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