From Orange County-
Church proceedings began in Pasadena, Tuesday, March 28, with regard to misconduct charges leveled by a Newport Beach congregation against J. Jon Bruno, the Episcopal Bishop of Los Angeles.
The disciplinary hearing, similar to a court trial, is being conducted by a panel of five officials of the Episcopal Church, in a meeting room at the Courtyard by Marriott-Old Pasadena.
At issue is the bishop’s move to lock the congregation out of the 71-year-old church in July 2015 after he received an offer from a developer who proposed to build 22 luxury townhomes where the 40,000-square-foot church building stands on prime real estate on Via Lido.
That deal fell through, but the congregation remains locked out of the property that also houses the cremated remains of 12 former parishioners. The congregation now gathers at the Newport Beach Civic Center in a community meeting room.
The hearing takes place even as the property remains mired in litigation.
It began Tuesday with opening statements from both sides. Jerry Coughlan, an attorney representing the congregation, told the panel that church members were under the impression that this was a ministry they could grow and worship in together.
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