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Roman Catholic Diocese Buying Evangelical Crystal Cathedral

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Whoa, stunning reversal in the bankruptcy plan to sell Garden Grove's Crystal Cathedral--the glassy interiors designed by Philip Johnson will be renovated to accommodate Roman Catholic worship. In a late decision last night, a bankruptcy judge ruled that the Crystal Cathedral ministry should sell its campus (home of the Hour of Power show) to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, reports the OC Register. The Cathedral's board had previously voted to support a sale to Chapman University, but on Wednesday changed course and voted to support the Diocese sale instead, saying they wanted to make sure the campus stayed religious (Chapman had continuously sweetened the pot too, eventually offering $59 million).

The Diocese will pay $57.5 million and "the ministry will be able to lease the core buildings – including the cathedral and the Tower of Hope – for three years, at $100,000 a month during the first year and $150,000 for years two and three," according to the OC Register. After that, they're out and the Catholics are in. The Diocese's bishop says they won't change the exterior of the Philip Johnson-designed Cathedral, but that "We will get a renowned architect to renovate that building so it will be suitable for a Catholic place of worship." The campus also includes buildings by Richard Neutra and Richard Meier. Yes, Roman Catholicism is going modern.

Meanwhile, Crystal Cathedral congregants left the hearing in tears last night and one told the OCR that this is "the death of the church...There will be a mass exodus tomorrow."
· Catholic Diocese of O.C. will buy Crystal Cathedral [OC Register]
· Will Crystal Cathedral Have to Sell OC Campus to Catholic Diocese? [Curbed LA]