The Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, former bishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles, died suddenly of natural causes at his home in La Quinta, California, on April 23.
Although anyone who was involved in the Episcopal property wars is well aware of his “take no prisoners” approach to this problem, the first notice this blog took of him was in 2014. In 1985, long before those conflicts, he succeeded Ian Mitchell of American Folk Mass fame as Rector of St. Athanasius Episcopal Church in Los Angeles. At the time the Los Angeles Times noted the following, quoted in this piece:
The Rev. J. Jon Bruno, a former policeman and professional football player, is a large man. Now, the 6-foot, 5-inch, 300-pound Episcopal priest has a job to match his size–a job that may require the spirituality of a clergyman, the street smarts of a cop and the rough-and-tumble doggedness of a defensive tackle…
“You know the old saying about ‘fools rush in where angels fear to tread?’ Well, I’m no angel. So of course I have some fear and trembling about entering this situation. But I do it prayerfully. I feel compelled to respond to the need.”
I’m not going to say anything on this blog about Bishop Bruno that might open either of us to being sued by him. It’s hard to imagine that suing one’s flock is conducive to a pastoral mindset or inspires trust. And the defensiveness of litigation is totally at odds with the cross.
He was dismissed from office, a rare event for a champion of their new idea, which he was.
I’m sure his encounter with God was interesting.