March 24, 2017

September 2, 2016

Bishop Bruno, the Consummate Hypocrite

Your Curmudgeon has on previous occasions taken to task the Bishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles for, as stated, speaking “with a forkèd tongue.” Thus, those few Episcopalians who still bother to follow this blog written by a-no-longer-Episcopalian might be comforted to know that Bishop J. Jon Bruno continues in top form. And for this once, since the hypocrisy of Bishop Bruno on this occasion is so outlandish, I will forego my resolution to write no more about the apostate Episcopal Congregations of the United States of America, i.e., ECUSA—yes, that rapidly diminishing group that has now endorsed collective blasphemy every time they celebrate a same-sex union.

As I previously reported, Bishop Bruno was the recipient of Title IV disciplinary charges filed against him by various Episcopalian members of St. James the Great, the choice parish in Newport Beach, California built upon donated property worth millions in today’s real estate market. Prior to filing those charges, the same group had filed a civil action against Bishop Bruno in the Superior Court for Orange County. I discussed the background and the gravamen of the civil and canonical charges against +Bruno in this previous post.

Bishop Bruno rejected all efforts at mediation or conciliation under the Title IV disciplinary canons, and simply refused to recognize that he had violated any canons as to the remnant congregation of St. James the Great—whom he eventually locked out of their church, and forced to hold open-air services in a nearby park. Meanwhile, his attempt to sell the property on which St. James was built met with a roadblock filed by the original donor of the property, who had imposed a condition that the property be used only for church, and not real estate development, purposes. (Unfortunately for the donor, California has a statute that eradicates any such limitation after a stated period of years, unless the donor files a renewal—so the condition may turn out to be unenforceable, after all.)

Thus the fate of the civil proceedings is currently uncertain, although the original prospective buyer long ago withdrew its offer. The disciplinary proceedings under Title IV, however, are now headed (after time allowed for any discovery on both sides) for a hearing.

Comes now Bishop Bruno, he of the forkèd tongue, and for a response to the charges files a motion to dismiss the Title IV proceedings against him in their entirety. His reasons stated are twofold:

(1) The complainants violated the confidentiality provisions of Title IV by disclosing the substance of their charges, and of ECUSA’s responses to them; and

(2) [Now get this] The complainants violated Canon IV.19.2 by resorting to a proceeding in the secular civil courts before filing their charges against +Bruno under Title IV.

Note that while +Bruno is technically correct that the earlier stages of the Title IV proceedings against him were confidential, the violation of that confidentiality by the Complainant (i.e., the members of St. James the Great) does not furnish canonical grounds for a dismissal of the charges. Under the Canon he cites (IV.13.9[a]), it is only misconduct “that the Hearing Panel deems to be disruptive, dilatory or otherwise contrary to the integrity of the proceedings” on the part of the Respondent (i.e., Bishop Bruno) or the Church Attorney that can provide grounds for the imposition of sanctions—which, by the way, do not include the dismissal of all charges, as +Bruno requests.

And now that the proceedings have reached the Hearing stage, the Canons provide that all proceedings (except its private deliberations) “shall be open ... to persons from the public.” (Canon IV.13.6.) So this blog is not violating any confidentiality of the proceedings by publishing Bishop Bruno’s hypocrisy for all to see.

Hypocrisy? Why, certainly: as is typical of ECUSA’s bishops in these matters, they ignore the language of the Canons, and proceed as though the Canons said what they want (for the moment, at least) them to say. (ECUSA’s former Presiding Bishop made a career out of so misreading the Canons, and is mostly at fault for the current trampling of the Canons that has led to ECUSA’s institutional blasphemy, and its disqualification to be considered any longer as a Christian church.)

Most notably, the other Canon cited by Bishop Bruno as grounds for dismissing the charges against him—Canon IV.19.2—is so regularly ignored by ECUSA bishops in bringing civil lawsuits, that I have previously had occasion to write about their hypocrisy in ignoring it, in this post, for example—where you may read just what it says.

Thus Bishop Bruno demonstrates a par for the course by invoking that Canon as grounds to dismiss the proceedings against him. For in doing so, he blithely and supremely ignores the fact that in suing the original congregation of St. James the Great for their property, and in eventually forcing them to go elsewhere, he himself violated that Canon. What is sauce for the goose ...

To state a tautology: hypocrisy, thy name is ECUSA—or in this particular case, +Bruno.

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ECUSA canons seem to have been merely “suggestions,” not church law, for many years.  It will be mildly interesting to see if this argument flies.

[1] Posted by Katherine on 9-3-2016 at 08:04 AM · [top]

Sun rose - check

Another ECUSA bishop makes a mockery of the faith - check

yep seems like another day in Sodom and Gomorrah

[2] Posted by Jackie on 9-3-2016 at 10:17 AM · [top]

Ordinarily, I would say that this was an act of desperation that did not have a chance in Hades to succeed, but since TEc has descended into the depths of Hades, it just might work. I would never call this a “Hail Mary” because I don’t want to insult the Lady, and I think Bruno is invoking another spirit altogether.

[3] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 9-4-2016 at 08:01 PM · [top]

Bruno will not even question his approach as being hypocritical or improper in any manner.  In TEC the diocesan ordinary has virtually unbridled authority to interpret Canons of the Church in any manner they choose without fear of being overturned or rebuked by any one especially in matters of this sort, which have elements of ecclesiastical authority attached to them.

[4] Posted by aacswfl1 on 9-7-2016 at 11:34 AM · [top]

If I understand correctly, after Bruno and TEC were successful in their 10 years of lawsuits and depositions, and got a judge to misinterpret the law so as to void deeds and a written statement from the diocese acknowledging ownership by the parish (amounting to a quit claim over and above the actual property deed), the property was turned over not to the corp sole, but to the diocese.  And it took a vote of the diocesan council to move the property from diocesan control to the corp sole (effectively a real estate investment trust in the bishop’s control).

But is my understanding correct?  Did the diocesan council not vote to transfer title from the diocese to the corp sole?  And if so, why is it Bruno on trial alone, and not the lot of them, if indeed there is something legally or canonically improper?

I find it very telling that a bishop who openly gives communion to non-Christians, deposes faithful clergy and backs open heresy in the church is backed on all of that by TEC, but a real estate transaction results in a Title IV trial over what is, in effect, the bishop closing a mission.

[5] Posted by tjmcmahon on 9-8-2016 at 08:30 AM · [top]

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