Aug 11, 2011 / 03:59 am
The Diocese of Orange upped its previous bid and signaled openness to new negotiations for the Crystal Cathedral after board members recently announced that the building is no longer for sale.
The diocese announced on Aug. 10 that it submitted “a revised non-contingent offer” to purchase the Crystal Cathedral for $53.6 million cash – instead of $50 million – and gave the current church ministry the option of a 50,000 square foot alternative worship space for up to 15 years.
Bishop Tod D. Brown said in his statement that the diocese wants to accommodate its needs for a new cathedral, while respecting the Crystal Cathedral Ministry and its legacy.
“This sanctuary should remain a place of worship and remembrance, nothing less,” he said.
The news comes after church board members announced on July 31 that, despite having four serious offers, the building is no longer for available for purchase. Senior pastor Sheila Schuller Coleman said the church feels a responsibility to pay back its creditors as well an obligation to local church members to keep the ministry's headquarters “intact.”
The Diocese of Orange made its original bid in early July, saying that it was considering buying the Crystal Cathedral as an option to meet the needs of the 1.2 million Catholics in Orange County, the 11th largest diocese in the nation.
Although it has been planning for over 10 years to build a new, 2,500-seat cathedral in Santa Ana, the diocese has only hired an architect for the project and was considering converting the bankrupt church into a Catholic cathedral.
The liturgist for the Orange diocese, Monsignor Arthur Holquin, said July 26 that several changes would need to take place in order for the Crystal Cathedral to become a Catholic worship space.