The Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, Michael Curry, recently issued a second restriction against +Bruno, in which he eliminates all pastoral and property oversight that +Bruno might otherwise exercise over the parish of St. James the Great, and assigns it to newly elected Bishop Coadjutor John Taylor. Taylor is slated to succeed +Bruno upon his retirement.
The move is somewhat puzzling. While the Hearing Panel’s decision is in draft form for the next few months, it seems clear that +Bruno will be suspended. In the meantime, he is barred from selling the property.
Given how clearly impaired the relationship between +Bruno and the parish has been, this should have been done at the start of the Title IV proceeding. Assign oversight to another bishop, have ++Curry do it himself–who cares? But by allowing +Bruno to engage with the parish in a manner that inherently involved conflicts of interest, the national church allowed harm to come to all parties involved. And why wasn’t there a gag order prohibiting contact with the parish in the first place?
Perhaps the recent move is intended to bridge the gap until the hearing panel decision becomes final. Or perhaps it’s a signal to +Bruno to make himself scarce. Or maybe just an effort to move the process of healing and reconciliation forward.
In any case, a little more communication from ++Curry wouldn’t hurt. The whole thing is a tad bit weird.