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.
Along with a central altar, a tabernacle and a baptismal font, the building would need a “cathedra” or bishop’s chair. While renovations are needed to the building, “not much deconstruction would be required and the iconic personality of the original architecture and design would, for the most part, be retained,” he said.
Purchasing the Crystal Cathedral is an attractive option for the diocese because it provides an instant solution to its building needs and would cost roughly half the $100 million price tag for the planned Santa Ana cathedral.