J. Jon Bruno

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The Right Reverend
J. Jon Bruno
Bishop of Los Angeles
Henry nicholas jon bruno episcopal church habitat for humanity.jpeg
Bruno (right) with Henry Nicholas at a
Habitat for Humanity worksite, 2010
Church Episcopal Church
See Los Angeles
In office 2002 — present
Predecessor Frederick Borsch
Successor incumbent
Ordination 1978
Consecration April 29, 2000
Personal details
Born (1946-11-17) November 17, 1946 (age 70)
Los Angeles
Previous post Los Angeles
Bishop Coadjutor

Joseph Jon Bruno (born November 17, 1946) is the sixth and current Episcopal Bishop of Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.

Early life and education[edit]

Joseph Jon Bruno was born in Los Angeles on November 17, 1946 to Dorothy and Joseph J. Bruno. Together with his sister, Bruno was raised in Los Angeles and attended local city schools.

Bruno holds a license in criminology from California State University, Long Beach (1972) and a bachelor's degree in physical education from the California State University, Los Angeles (1974). He holds a Master of Divinity degree (1977) from the Virginia Theological Seminary, which also awarded him an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 2001.

Bruno was a police officer in the city of Burbank, California. He was also briefly a professional football player under contract to the Denver Broncos before an injury sustained early on prevented further activity with the team.


Bruno was ordained to the priesthood in 1978 in the Diocese of Los Angeles by its fourth bishop, the Rt. Rev. Robert Claflin Rusack.

From 1977 to 1979, Bruno was parish associate at St. Patrick's Church in Thousand Oaks, California. He was associate at St. Mary's Church in Eugene, Oregon from 1979 to 1980, while concurrently vicar of St. Teresa's in Junction City, Oregon. He was active both in building church facilities and new congregations. In 1980, he left St. Mary's to help form St. Matthew's Church, also in Eugene, where he served as vicar for several years before returning to California. From 1983 to 1986, he was associate at St. Paul's Church in Pomona, California.

He was named rector of St. Athanasius' Parish in 1986, and there collaborated with Bishop Borsch in construction of the Cathedral Center on the parish's lakefront site in the Echo Park district of Los Angeles. As pastor of this congregation, Bruno continued his advocacy for youth and families, for gang diversion, and for immigration equity, and worked in the wider sphere of human rights.

He served for eight years as Provost of the Cathedral Center of St. Paul, Los Angeles and as pastor to its multilingual congregation of St. Athanasius, which dates from 1864 as the oldest Episcopal parish in southern California. While provost, Bruno chaired the board of the Episcopal Community Federal Credit Union. He was vice-chair of the Nehemiah West Housing Corporation, which has built 300 single-family dwellings for purchase by low- and moderate-income families.

Bruno was elected Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of Los Angeles on November 13, 1999. Within Episcopal Church polity, a bishop coadjutor is elected to succeed a diocesan bishop at such time as the latter chooses to retire.

From 1990 to 1993, Bruno served the Diocese of Los Angeles as its missioner for stewardship and development. He was an elected deputy to the national church's 2000 General Convention, having assisted in the convention's operations and security services for several years.

He is founder of the Institute for Urban Research and Development, the work of which is now related to Episcopal Housing and Economic Development, an institution of the Diocese of Los Angeles.

As bishop, Bruno has launched the "Hands in Healing" initiative for education and action related to eradicating violence in local, regional, national, and international contexts.

Bruno is a member of the wider Episcopal Church's Executive Council, as well as the Los Angeles Council of Religious Leaders. He is board chairman and honorary chairman of various diocesan institutions.


Bruno was ordained to the episcopate on April 29, 2000, in a liturgy at the Los Angeles Convention Center. He was seated on February 1, 2002, surrounded by more than 1,000 Episcopalians and guests who joined hands around Echo Park Lake.

Bruno is the first native Angeleno to be elected as bishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles, which was established in 1895.

Misconduct charges[edit]

On May 17, 2015, Bruno announced to parishioners of St. James the Great, Newport Beach, that he had sold the church for $15 million to Legacy Partners Residential Development to be re-developed into 22 luxury townhomes.[1] After dispute and protests from the church's parishioners over their will to remain an active parish and deed restrictions, on June 26, 2015, Bruno sued the original donor of the land of the church, the Griffith Company of Irvine, California, for title slander.[2] On June 29, 2015, representatives of the Diocese of Los Angeles changed the locks of St. James the Great, Newport Beach, so that parishioners could no longer access the church.[3] Proceeds of the church's sale will be held in the bishop's personal corporation to be used at his own discretion and will not be distributed to parishioners of St. James the Great to find a new church home.[4]

In response, the congregation, which continues to worship outdoors near the vacant church, filed a misconduct complaint against Bruno with the national church.[5][6][7]

On June 29, 2017, the Most Reverend Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, placed a "Partial Restriction on the Ministry of a Bishop" on the Rt. Rev. Jon Bruno of the Diocese of Los Angeles. During the period of the restriction, the Bishop, acting individually, or as Bishop Diocesan, or as Corporate Sole, or in any other capacity, is forbidden from closing on the sale of the St. James property, or otherwise selling or conveying the property or contracting to sell the property, or, in any way assisting in the sale or conveyance of the property.[8]

On August 3, 2017, the Hearing Panel issued a final order, finding that Bishop Bruno had violated the Episcopal Canons, by selling the St. James property without standing committee, by misrepresentations about St. James and its congregation, and by conduct unbecoming of a member of the clergy. The Hearing Panel recommended that Bishop Bruno be suspended from his position and from all ministry for a period of three years.

Church and philosophy[edit]

The Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Los Angeles serves 70,000 Episcopalians in 148 congregations located in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties, and part of Riverside County. Served by some 400 clergy, the diocese also includes over 40 Episcopal schools and some 20 social-service and chaplaincy institutions.

The diocese promotes affordable housing and entrepreneurship in Southern California through the Episcopal Housing Alliance and Economic Development.[9] A major project is Chefs Center of California, a small-business incubator in Pasadena, California, that enables culinary entrepreneurs to start and accelerate the successful growth of their enterprises. Primary financial support for the Chefs Center is provided by the Henry T. Nicholas, III Foundation, which has contributed $1,350,000 to the incubator.[citation needed]

Bruno, in collaboration with the Reverend Bryan Jones of Long Beach, published a full-page advertisement in the Los Angeles Times's "California" section, on July 23, 2006. Titled Open Hearted, Open Minded Christianity, the tract called for an inclusive Christianity based on loving God and loving one's neighbor as oneself. With Malcolm Boyd, Bruno is co-author of the book In Times Like These: How We Pray (New York: Church Publishing, 2005).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fry, Hannah (June 29, 2015). "St. James parishioners say goodbye, although deed dispute clouds church's sale". Daily Pilot. Retrieved July 30, 2015. 
  2. ^ Hoffman, Susan (July 8, 2015). "St. James takes services outside for prayer and protest". Daily Pilot. Retrieved July 30, 2015. 
  3. ^ Fry, Hannah (July 3, 2015). "Bishop's pending sale of O.C. church leaves congregation locked out". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. Retrieved July 7, 2015. 
  4. ^ Nicolai, Megan (May 18, 2015). "Newport Beach Episcopal church to be sold". Orange County Register. Santa Ana, California. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  5. ^ Conger, George (July 13, 2015). "Misconduct complaint filed against Bishop Jon Bruno". Anglican Ink. Retrieved July 30, 2015. 
  6. ^ "St. James Church Files Complaint Against Bishop". Newport Beach Independent. July 16, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2015. 
  7. ^ Zint, Bradley (July 18, 2015). "Episcopalians file complaint against bishop over church sale". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 30, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Presiding Bishop places ‘partial restriction’ on Bishop Bruno". episcopaldigitalnetwork.com. June 29, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Episcopal Housing Alliance and Economic Development". www.ehala.org. 

External links[edit]

Episcopal Church (USA) titles
Preceded by
Frederick Borsch
6th Bishop of Los Angeles
February 1, 2002 – present