The Rt. Rev. John Taylor, Bishop Coadjutor of Los Angeles, praised the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno on Aug. 2 as “a courageous, visionary leader” who would “acknowledge that there are things he would have done differently.”
Taylor issued his statement after a disciplinary hearing panel confirmed its decision that Bruno was guilty of misconduct and should be suspended for three years. The panel’s final order is essentially unchanged from the 91-page draft that surfaced two weeks earlier.
On Aug. 1, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry ordered that Taylor, not Bruno, exercise authority over St. James the Great Church’s property and vicar, the Rev. Canon Cindy Voorhees. This means further action on the church need not wait until the end of a possible lengthy expected appeal. Voorhees and the parish have been locked out of the 40,000-square-foot church building for two years, while the property sits empty.
Taylor pledged to work with the diocesan standing committee toward “a just solution that takes into account the interests of all in our community (including the faithful members of the Newport Beach church).”
Taylor was consecrated in July as bishop coadjutor, making him the eventual successor to Bruno. Bruno, 70, reaches mandatory retirement age in November 2018, but reportedly plans to retire sometime this year.
Here is the complete text of Taylor’s statement in response to the final order:
Bishop Bruno’s 40 years of ordained ministry and 15 years as sixth bishop of Los Angeles are not summed up by this order or the events that precipitated it. He is a courageous, visionary leader. Like every successful executive inside and outside the church, he would be the first to acknowledge that there are things he would have done differently. I look forward to continuing to learn from him and consult with him about the life of the diocesan community he has served and loves so well.
Regarding the property on Lido Island, the Standing Committee and I, at the request of the Presiding Bishop, will do everything we can to promote a just solution that takes into account the interests of all in our community (including the faithful members of the Newport Beach church) and gives us the opportunity to move forward together.
In a dispute such as this one, truth-telling, open communication, and reconciliation can be difficult for everyone involved. As this work gets underway, let us all remember St. Paul’s words (Rom. 8:28): “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”