Orange, Calif., Nov 18, 2011 / 10:04 am
A bankruptcy judge on Nov. 17 ruled in favor of the Diocese of Orange's $57.5 million offer for the iconic Crystal Cathedral over a bid from Chapman University.
Bishop Tod D. Brown vowed on Thursday that the diocese will “protect this wonderful structure as a place of worship and will soon provide our Catholic community with a new cathedral, pastoral center, parish school and more.”
The Crystal Cathedral will meet the needs of the 1.2 million Catholics in Orange County, the 10th largest diocese in the nation.
Judge Robert Kwan made his ruling at 7 p.m. on Nov. 17 after a grueling, week-long case that ultimately disappointed Chapman University which aimed to buy the property as a satellite campus.
Bishop Brown expressed sympathy for cathedral founder pastor Robert H. Schuller who filed for bankruptcy last October, after creditors sued for payment.
“We sincerely regret the difficult circumstances Dr. Schuller and his ministry have encountered,” the bishop noted. “Despite these wonderful results, we are nonetheless saddened by the events that led us to today’s award and offer our respect to Dr. Schuller and his ministry.”
Under the terms of agreement, the bishop said that occupancy of the building “will not be immediate” and that the Crystal Cathedral Ministries can continue to use the church and other campus structures for a period of up to three years.
“During the same period a diocesan pastoral center will be established on the Garden Grove campus and nearby parish school and church eventually transferred to the new location,” he explained.