Saturday, June 24, 2017

Archbishop of Canterbury says the Church of England needs a miracle to solve its long-running row over gay rights

From The Daily Mail-

The Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday that the Church of England will need a miracle from the Holy Spirit to solve its long-running row over gay rights.

The Most Reverend Justin Welby said the divisions cannot be healed by human hands but only by divine intervention.

His remarks indicate deepening desperation among Anglican leaders over the irreconcilable gap between liberals who demand gay equality within the Church and conservative evangelicals who say that gay sex is sinful.

The Archbishop made his unusual and heartfelt reference to the need for a miracle in a paper on the CofE’s attitude to sexuality written with his most senior colleague, the Archbishop of York, the Most Reverend John Sentamu.

More here-

Priesthood: What It Takes To Thrive

From The Diocese of Washington-

A luminary bishop of the 1970s and 80s, John Coburn of Massachusetts, was once asked if he had a motto in life. He hadn't thought about it before, he said, but upon reflection he realized that he did: You never can tell.

He used two illustrations to make his point. "I've presided over dozens of marriage ceremonies," he said. "I know that a percentage of those marriages ended in divorce. But if I were to have guessed which marriages would make it and which ones wouldn't, at least 50% of the time I would have guessed wrong. Some of the couples that seemed ideally suited for each other didn't make it past 5 years; others whose relationship seemed rocky at best have gone on to have long and healthy marriages. You never can tell."

"I've presided at many ordination services," he continued. "Some priests whom I assumed would be mediocre at best have gone on to serve with faithful and fruitful distinction. A few of our brightest stars are now in jail. You never can tell."

The Diocese of Washington has identified seven qualities and attributes that we believe the Episcopal Church needs now in its ordained leaders. These seven qualities have one thing in common: they are indicators of resilience.

More here-

Illinois Catholic bishop decrees no Holy Communion, funerals for same-sex couples

From The Washington Post-

The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Springfield, Ill., is calling on priests there to deny Holy Communion and even funeral rites to people in same-sex unions unless they show “some signs of repentance” for their relationships before death.

The decree by Bishop Thomas Paprocki also said that people “living publicly” in same-sex marriages may not receive the sacrament of confirmation or be admitted to the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, a process by which many converts become Catholic, preparing them for baptism and confirmation.

At the same time, Paprocki said that children living with a Catholic parent or parents in a same-sex marriage may be baptized. But when it comes to same-sex unions, priests cannot bless couples, church property cannot be used for ceremonies and diocesan employees are forbidden from participating, the decree said.

More here-

Are Protestants concealing a Catholic-size sexual abuse scandal?

From The New Republic-

Over the past five years, in fact, it has become increasingly clear—even to some conservative Christians—that fundamentalist churches face a widespread epidemic of sexual abuse and institutional denial that could ultimately involve more victims than the pedophilia scandal in the Catholic Church. In 2012, an investigation at Bob Jones University, known as the “fortress of fundamentalism,” revealed that the school had systematically covered up allegations of sexual assault and counseled victims to forgive their attackers. Sovereign Grace, a network of “neo-Calvinist” churches, has been facing multiple allegations of child molestation and sexual abuse. In 2014, a New Republic investigation found that school officials at Patrick Henry College, a popular destination for Christian homeschoolers, had routinely responded to rape and harassment claims by treating perpetrators with impunity, discouraging women from going to the police, and blaming them for dressing immodestly.

More here-

St. James the Great: Under Contract

From The Living Church-

Legal counsel for the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, Bishop of Los Angeles, confirmed June 22 that Bruno has signed an agreement to sell St. James the Great Church in Newport Beach, setting up a confrontation between Bruno and a church disciplinary panel that ordered him not to sell.

The sale, scheduled to close on July 3, is to Burnham-Ward Properties LLC, a well-regarded local developer. This potentially sets up a separate confrontation with the Newport Beach City Council, some members of which have expressed strong opposition to changing the zoning designation of the property.

According to email from Julie Dean Larsen, a vice chancellor of the diocese who has been representing the bishop, Bruno was unable to disclose the proposed sale when the disciplinary panel asked about it June 14 because of a confidentiality agreement. Larsen said the confidentiality agreement was modified earlier in the day June 22 to enable her to respond. The email, which does not mention a price or intended use for the property, was provided to TLC by the church’s media spokesman, Roger Bloom.

More here-

also here-

and here-

World's Top New Testament Scholar - Christians Need To Read The Gospels Through Ancient Jewish Eyes

From Forbes-

I've written here about New Testament scholar N.T. Wright and his most recent book, The Day the Revolution Began. The book was published recently and is now being made available in an online course format. The book (and the course) will bring insights to even the most seasoned student of the Scriptures… And to the least seasoned as well.

There's an old saying among conservative evangelicals that if something is new, it's not true - and if something is true, it's not new.

Wright doesn't see it that way, and I don't think the rest of us should either.

Evangelicals look back in time with appreciation to the Protestant Reformation, but that event was at the time something quite new.  The charge of innovation was frequently invoked against the reformers: If the best minds had been studying the scriptures for 14 centuries, what could Luther or Calvin add? One of the counters to this argument was the cry, 'ad fontes', 'to the source'. 

More here-

Friday, June 23, 2017

Uganda issues statement against anti-gay harassment

From Uganda (via Wisconsin)-

Homosexuality is already illegal under Uganda’s penal code, and in 2009 a lawmaker with Uganda’s ruling party introduced a bill that proposed the death penalty for what he called “aggravated homosexuality.”

Parliamentarian David Bahati said at the time that gays deserved to die for recruiting young, impoverished children into gay culture by luring them with money and the promise of a better life.

The bill has since been shelved. Uganda’s president said it hurt the country’s image abroad. The bill has been condemned by some world leaders, with President Barack Obama describing it as “odious.”

But the bill is highly popular among local Anglican and Pentecostal clerics. Some recently petitioned the authorities to quickly pass it. Bahati said he had been “assured” that the bill would be passed one day.

More here-

The faith of George H. W. Bush

From Arizona-

George H. W. Bush recently celebrated his 93rd birthday. In four and half months, he is on course to surpass Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford as the former president who lived the longest. His son George W. is much better known for his religious convictions, but the senior Bush has a very strong faith as well, which significantly shaped his character and policies as president.

Bush was raised by devout Episcopalian parents and remained affiliated with this denomination almost his entire life. His father Prescott, a Republican senator from Connecticut, and his mother Dorothy led family worship every morning, using readings from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer and A Diary of Private Prayer by Scottish Presbyterian theologian John Baillie. They strove to teach their children how the Bible applied to daily life. While worshipping for many years at Episcopal churches in Houston, Washington, and Kennebunkport, Maine, Bush’s theology and social policies have more in common with evangelicals than with many fellow Episcopalians.

More here-

Jesuit Scholar: Seeking to Defend Islam at All Costs Is Betraying the Truth

From National Catholic Register-

The Church should not defend Islam “at all costs” and seek to “exonerate it from the horrors committed every day in its name” or else “one ends up betraying the truth,” a leading Jesuit scholar of Islam has asserted.

Greek Melkite Jesuit Father Henri Boulad believes that when it comes to dealing with Islam, the Catholic Church has succumbed to a “liberal left ideology which is destroying the West” based on the pretext of “openness, tolerance and Christian charity.”

In a June 10 interview with the Register, Father Boulad reveals that he shared these sentiments with Pope Francis in a letter he wrote to him last August, telling him that many think the Pope’s own views on Islam are “aligned with this ideology, and that, from complacency, you go from concessions to concessions, and compromises in compromises, at the expense of the truth.”

More here-

Diocese of San Joaquin notified of successful canonical consent process

From ENS-

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry and the registrar of General Convention, the Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe, have notified the Diocese of San Joaquin that Bishop David Rice has received the required consents, from both bishops with jurisdiction and standing committees of the Episcopal Church, to become bishop diocesan.

Bishop David Rice. Photo: Diocese of San Joaquin via Facebook
Under Canon III.11.3 (b), standing committees must “testify that we know of no impediment” which would cause them not to support a bishop-elect from being a bishop. Bishops exercising jurisdiction (essentially, bishops diocesan), either consent or do not. In each case, a majority is required for a bishop-elect to become bishop.

More here-

Justin Welby asks George Carey to quit over church abuse report

From The Guardian-

The archbishop of Canterbury has asked his predecessor George Carey to step down as an honorary assistant bishop after a damning independent report found that senior figures in the Church of England colluded over a 20-year period with a disgraced former bishop who sexually abused boys and men.

Justin Welby said the report on the church’s handling of former bishop Peter Ball made harrowing reading. “The church colluded and concealed rather than seeking to help those who were brave enough to come forward. This is inexcusable and shocking behaviour,” Welby said.

“To the survivors who were brave enough to share their story and bring Peter Ball to justice, I once again offer an unreserved apology. There are no excuses whatsoever for what took place and the systemic abuse of trust perpetrated by Peter Ball over decades.”

More here-

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Church of England Head Says It 'Colluded With' Sex Abuse

From NBC-

The head of the Church of England has said that the institution "colluded" with and helped to hide the long-term sexual abuse of young men by one of its former bishops.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, made the statement Thursday as the church published a review of how it handled the case of former bishop Peter Ball, who was convicted and imprisoned in 2015 after pleading guilty to offenses including two counts of indecent assault.

Welby said the report was "harrowing reading" and that the church didn't help those who were brave enough to come forward.

The report said Ball's conduct "caused serious and enduring damage to the lives of many men," and that "the church at its most senior levels and over many years supported him unwisely."

More here-

Evangelical Leaders Push for Criminal Justice Reform

From Sojourners-

The declaration, and a related 11-page paper on how the church can respond to crime and incarceration, were spearheaded by evangelical organizations: Prison Fellowship, the NAE, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and the Colson Center for Christian Worldview.

But signatories on the declaration include a wider range of Christian leaders, such as Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, Bread for the World President David Beckmann and Bishop Frank Dewane, who chairs the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

Despite the unified voices, a new Barna Group poll commissioned by Prison Fellowship found that 53 percent of practicing Christians — Christians who have attended a church service at least once in the past month and describe their faith as very important — agree with the statement: “It’s important to make an example out of someone for certain crimes, even if it means giving them a more severe punishment than their crime deserves.”

More here-

EDS sets the record straight

From Episcopal Cafe-

In an earlier post we reported that there was some confusion emanating from the Cambridge city council concerning the campus property being sold by Episcopal Divinity School.  Local media had reported that the sale had “hit a snag” because some of the campus is owned or co-owned by Lesley University.  EDS Board Chair Gary Hall has since offered a statement to clarify the situation for concerned Episcopalians and local residents.

Statement from Board Chair Gary Hall on EDS Property

 A pair of stories regarding the property that Episcopal Divinity School owns in Cambridge have caused some confusion, particularly a story on the Curbed Boston website suggesting that the sale of the property had hit a “serious snag.” That isn’t the case. Indeed, the brokers with whom EDS is working have not yet circulated any offering materials regarding the Cambridge property that EDS will be offering to sell. Here is how the confusion occurred:

More here-

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Calif. Episcopal Bishop Sanctioned for Trying to Sell Church for $15M Against Wishes of Congregation

From Christian Post-

An Episcopal bishop has been sanctioned by the denomination for attempting to sell a church property despite the congregation opposing the move.

An Episcopal Church hearing panel imposed a sanction on the Right Reverend J. Jon Bruno, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles on Saturday, prohibiting him from selling the St. James property, while the panel considers disciplining him over the property sale case.

"If the Respondent has entered into a contract to sell, or sold, the St. James property before the Hearing Panel has decided the case, that conduct is disruptive, dilatory and otherwise contrary to the integrity of this proceeding," wrote the Rt. Rev. Herman Hollerith IV, president for the hearing panel.


Three Reasons Why Evangelicals Stopped Advocating for the Environment

From Christianity Today-

The recent announcement by the Trump administration that the United States is withdrawing from the Paris Accord, an agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions signed by President Obama and leaders from 194 other countries in 2016, has produced a flurry of reactions. The legalities of the international pact are debatable, with strong opinions on both sides, but either way there is little clear guidance or precedent for withdrawal from such an agreement by the United States. The continued support among evangelicals for President Trump has caused some to wonder why evangelicals seem to be disinterested in environmental activism.

But there is a clear case to be made for ecological stewardship within the pages of Scripture. In the Garden of Eden, Adam was given the task of tending the garden (Gen. 2:15). God preserved both human and non-human creation while judging the earth through a cataclysmic flood and entered into a covenant with all living creatures not to destroy the earth again by a flood (Gen. 8–9). The Psalms bear witness that creation testifies to God’s character (e.g., Ps. 19:1–6). Paul tells us that Jesus came to reconcile “all things” to himself (Col. 1:15–20), which is a state for which creation is eagerly longing (Rom. 8:18–25). There is a biblical case for evangelical Christians to be actively engaged in environmental activism, but political polarization has put creation care among the issues that often divide the right and the left. It has not always been this way.

More here-

Episcopal Divinity School’s Harvard Square sale hits a serious snag

From Boston-

The news that the Episcopal Divinity School was shopping its 8-acre campus at 99 Brattle Street in Cambridge’s Harvard Square dropped like a thunderclap in late May.

Given its location alone, never mind the size, it appeared the parcel had the potential to be one of the Boston region’s most important sales in living memory.

Yet, there’s a potential snag to any smooth sale: Lesley University co-owns several of the campus’ buildings through a nearly decade-old condo agreement with the divinity school.

It was already known that Lesley and Episcopal had a property agreement. It turns out that that deal is much more intimate than previously thought—and, per Cambridge Day’s Marc Levy, it doesn’t look like Lesley is as keen to sell as Episcopal.

More here-

Has Evangelical Christianity Become Sociopathic?

From Huffington-

Since Evangelical Christianity began infiltrating politics, officially in the late 1970s, there has been a disturbing trend to limit or remove rights from those who don’t meet the conservative idea of an American. Many of these initiatives come in the form of “religious freedom” laws, which empower discrimination, while other legislation targets immigrants who believe differently. The result has been a sharp division in American culture, and the redefinition of Christian theology.

Evangelical speaker, author, and university professor, Tony Campolo, said Christianity was redefined in the mid-70s by positions of “pro-life” and opposing gay marriage. “Suddenly theology fell to the background,” he said. And somewhere in the middle of all the change, Evangelical Christianity crossed the line of faith and belief to hatred and abuse. Those who cruelly implement the actions of their faith are oblivious to the destruction they cause to their religion, or the people their beliefs impact. Is it fair to call it sociopathic?

More here-

Everyone Can Sing: How to Stop the Non-Singer Epidemic in Our Churches

From Patheos-

Yes, you can. Everyone can sing.

Our culture is obsessed with musical superstars. We see American Idols high and lifted up as the pinnacle of vocal prowess. The commercial music industry has furthered the idea that those who can truly sing should be rewarded with recording contracts, while others are better off sitting and being spectators. Those who love to sing but feel they are lacking in talent will relegate themselves to singing along with the radio, or only sharing their voices with an audience of shampoo and conditioner bottles.

Sadly, instead of counteracting the myth that singing is something only a few are born to do, churches embrace this musical culture. We place a holy microphone in a few select hands, reducing the congregation to an inaudible, unnecessary backup group.

But singing isn’t a talent. It’s a skill, one that must be developed, encouraged, and consistently used. Oh sure, not everyone is a potential Callas or Pavarotti (or, for my fellow baritones, Fischer-Dieskau). But the truth is that everyone can sing. Science tells us that tone deafness is a rarity. Practically anyone with functional hearing can distinguish pitch and learn to replicate it vocally. My experience as an elementary music teacher confirms this. Having taught more than a thousand children in an underprivileged school, I never found a student who, with instruction and practice, couldn’t improve as a singer. Even those who began with monotone droning would show some improvement over time.

More here-

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Should Churches Keep Their Civil War Landmarks?

From Christianity Today-

The most recent chapter in the story of America’s relationship with its Confederate past began in church.

Since Dylann Roof, a rebel flag-waving white supremacist, opened fire at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal in Charleston two years ago, the debate over historical markers of the Civil War South has taken on more urgency and more widespread concern.

The flags came down first, starting with the contentious one that flew on South Carolina’s capitol grounds. A year after the Mother Emanuel massacre, the Southern Baptist Convention called on Christians to stop displaying the Confederate flag. The Episcopal Church made a similar statement, and its National Cathedral in Washington, DC, opted to remove two images of the flag in its stained glass windows.

More here-

Episcopal bishop calls on Mayor Sarno to support sanctuary church in Springfield

From Western Massachusetts-

The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts has asked Mayor Domenic J. Sarno to reverse course and support South Congregational Church as a temporary sanctuary to undocumented immigrants whose deportation has become a priority under the Trump administration.

"I ask Mayor Sarno to reconsider his opposition to this compassionate initiative. I ask the Mayor to consider the impact the fear of deportation is having on our children, our neighborhoods, our businesses," the Rev. Douglas J. Fisher in his statement released Saturday.

"If Springfield were to become a 'sanctuary city,' what harm could come from it? Our vulnerable neighbors would have no fear in calling the police or an ambulance. I know Mayor Sarno is a good man who has the responsibility of upholding the law. I ask the Mayor to give South Congregational its sacred space in this community, to allow the Church to be Church. I intend to support South Congregational as my office permits. I ask Mayor Sarno to do the same."

More here-

Lexington's R.E. Lee Episcopal contemplates name change

From Virginia (with video)-

 Lexington is a place full of history, where into a house built for him, Robert E. Lee came after the Civil War to be president of Washington College.

“He also, as a good Episcopalian, always attended the Episcopal church wherever he was," says David Cox, the author of “The Religious Life of Robert E Lee." "And that certainly was in Lexington.”

He joined the vestry, and was chosen to lead.

“Yeah, I’m filling the same job. He was senior warden of this church when he died,” says Woody Sadler, the Senior Warden today.

Leaving him with a problem. When Lee died, what was then Grace Episcopal was rebuilt as a memorial. A memorial that – as statues and parks honoring Lee and others are removed and renamed – some think should go back to being Grace Episcopal.

More here-

Disciplinary panel sanctions Los Angeles Bishop J. Jon Bruno

From ENS-

The Episcopal Church ecclesiastical disciplinary panel considering a complaint against Diocese of Los Angeles Bishop J. Jon Bruno has sanctioned the bishop for again trying to sell St. James the Great Episcopal Church.

The Hearing Panel told Bruno on June 17 that he is prohibited from “selling or conveying or contracting to sell or convey the St. James property until further order of the Hearing Panel.”

The original case against Bruno involves his unsuccessful 2015 attempt to sell the church in Newport Beach, California, to a condominium developer for $15 million in cash. That effort prompted the members of St. James to bring misconduct allegations against Bruno. The members alleged Bruno violated Church law. The Hearing Panel is still considering whether or how to discipline Bruno.

More here-


From The Living Church-

“It is more attractive to go in quest of the real Church than to seek for the pattern of Cross and Resurrection in the heart of where we happen to find ourselves. But Ramsey implicitly warns us that the quest can be a way back to the self-defining and self-protective religious institution that always distorts or stifles the gospel. Somewhere in this is a very substantial paradox — that the harder we search for a Church that is pure and satisfactory by our definition, the less likely we are to find it.” (Rowan Williams, “The Lutheran Catholic,” in Glory Descending: Michael Ramsey and His Writings, p. 221)

This comment from Rowan Williams identifies a thread that caught my attention in my latest reading of The Gospel and the Catholic Church. Covenant bloggers were reading and discussing it together at Nashotah House Theological Seminary as a prelude to the recent Living Sacrifices conference. Readers of Covenant will be very familiar with the lines at the end of Ramsey’s book, where he claims vindication for Anglicanism only in that it points to something beyond itself, of which it is a mere fragment:

More here-

Is Your God Dead?

From The New York Times-

Is your God dead?

I don’t mean the God of the philosophers or the scholars, but, as Blaise Pascal said, the “God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob.” With no disrespect, I hope the question comes as a jolt. And without being outraged or quick to accuse me of “blasphemy,” know, too, that I am a hopeful monotheist. I might even be called a Christian, only I continue, every day of my life, to fail. Friedrich Nietzsche’s observation weighs heavily on me: “There was only one Christian and he died on the cross.” Call me a failed and broken Christian, but a Christian nevertheless.

So, is your God dead? Have you buried God in the majestic, ornamental tombs of your churches, synagogues and mosques? Perhaps prosperity theology, boisterous, formalistic and mechanical prayer rituals, and skillful oratory have hastened the need for a eulogy.

More here-

Monday, June 19, 2017

Theresa May has held private PRAYER sessions with the Archbishop of Canterbury

From The Daily Mail-

Theresa May has held private prayer sessions with the Archbishop of Canterbury, it was claimed today.

The Prime Minister, who is regularly pictured at church, is said to find the meetings with Justin Welby a 'great comfort' as she battles with life at No 10.

Today's Sun on Sunday revealed the private meetings but neither Lambeth Palace or No 10 were prepared to comment.

Mrs May is not thought to have visited the Archbishop since the disastrous election, in which her gamble on an early poll cost her a Commons majority. 

More here-

Justin Welby says Mosque attack is an 'attack on us all'

From Premier-

He also posted on Facebook: "The freedom to worship without fear is a right we cherish as a nation and was won at great human cost over many years.

"The appalling attack on Muslims in Finsbury Park is an attack on us all and on the culture and values of our country."

Metropolitan Police said one man died after the driver, described as a large white man, targeted people near the Finsbury Park Mosque early on Monday.

Witnesses described hearing the man, who was detained by members of the public at the scene, shout: "I'm going to kill Muslims."

Police have treated the killing as a terrorist attack.

More here-

The sermon is not dead. And it mustn't be allowed to die

From Christian Today-

Let's play a word association game: what do you think of when you read the word 'sermon'? I'd hazard a guess there are some negative images and feelings in the mix. Boredom. Frustration. Being lectured at. Being talked down to. Doodling on the notice sheet. Thinking about lunch and finding your tummy is rumbling loudly.

Preaching might have an image problem, but does the problem run deeper? Is it time to rethink the entire concept?

I was interested by a Twitter thread from @SkyeJethani on June 7 and the resulting conversation. His argument was that Bible teaching worked back in the day because demand was high and supply low. With the reverse now true, he says: 'Rather than asking, "Are people coming to hear me talk on Sunday?" we should ask, "How can I best utilize ALL of the tools available to me to help people become disciples, including beyond my church programs?"'

More here-

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Americans united when it comes to saying grace

From Houston-

One by one, the Weiss family rounded up the nine grandchildren, who had been running circles around the barns. They gathered under a towering maple tree, around a table laden with barbecue meatballs and French silk pie, and grabbed one another's hands.

"We ask your blessing on the meal we're about to eat," said David Weiss, 75, head bowed under his camouflage hat.

"Amen," his family responded - a quintessential display of one of America's most enduring religious traditions.

A poll by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that saying grace is a widespread practice in the United States. About half of all Americans take a minute to say a prayer over their food at least a few times a week, the poll reveals, making grace an unusual commonality in a politically divided nation.

More here-

Sticking to Scripture is one way pastors avoid alienating congregations

From Lancaster PA-

Back in March, I interviewed local clergy about the impact our polarized political culture was having on the way they approached preaching to congregations that most likely reflected those divides.

Three months later, the picture has, to all appearances, only grown bleaker.

But as I checked back with a few pastors and reached out to several new ones, I found they hadn’t changed course. While the culture wars outside the sanctuary doors continue to rage, they strive to remain focused on the Scriptures that, they say, continue to be both challenging and relevant.

Reached the day before her installation as rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, the Rev. Jennifer Mattson said she is still charting the same course as in the early spring, “given that this is a new call for me, and I’m still getting to know my congregation. I’m still trying to faithfully interpret the Gospel.”

More here-

Episcopal Church panel prohibits local bishop from selling Newport Beach church

From Orange County-

A panel of officials from the national Episcopal Church issued an emergency order Saturday, June 17, prohibiting J. Jon Bruno, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, from selling a piece of prime real estate in Newport Beach, previously occupied by congregants of St. James the Great Episcopal Church.

The sanction came after members of the hearing panel, who presided over misconduct charges against Bruno in March, said they have not received a clear response from the diocese regarding whether the property at 3209 Via Lido has been sold or if the diocese has entered into a sales agreement for the property.

A spokesman for the diocese could not be reached for comment Saturday.

More here-