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California diocese offers $50M for Crystal Cathedral

July 25, 2011

The Diocese of Orange has offered $50 million to purchase Crystal Cathedral, the 3,000-seat Protestant church built by televangelist Robert Schuller.

The bid, said Bishop Tod Brown, “respects the legacy Rev. Schuller worked so hard to establish. Our offer also clearly accommodates future diocesan needs for a cathedral and modern administrative campus.”

Bishop Brown added:

Crystal Cathedral Ministries has been a valued religious resource for many, many years in Orange County and, through the Hour of Power, around the globe. Like our own Mission San Juan Capistrano, its historic and cultural links are important to Orange County. Under this plan, we hope that that ministry can continue.

Dr. Schuller built up this ministry from the humble roof of a drive-in snack stand, and that constant faith in God’s providence, I believe, will sustain their community through these current trials. The Crystal Cathedral underscores the vitality of faith in our modern society and with our offer we will enable this beacon of faith to continue to influence others as an important place of worship.


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  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Jul. 26, 2011 9:40 PM ET USA

    Wow,what a nightmare!

  • Posted by: stpetric - Jul. 26, 2011 3:19 AM ET USA

    I'm not quite as negative commentators here. It's hot my cup of tea architecturally, and it remains to be seen how well it can be adapted for Catholic worship, but it is a striking building. And among other things, it houses a very impressive pipe organ, which can only bode well for a cathedral music program.

  • Posted by: Chelle,SFO-MI - Jul. 25, 2011 10:49 PM ET USA

    The bishop is brilliant for doing this. Not only is he helping these other Christians to get out of the hot water they are in with CREDITORS but he is proposing to use a structure that is already in place with the necessary buildings attached, parking, local, etc. to care for his own diocese. This building was constructed for the purpose of PRAYER and it should be KEPT for that purpose. It can be made into an appropriate place for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Bishop Brown, I promise to pray for you and all involved and for the success of this endeavor. God bless you.

  • Posted by: faithofthefathers8533 - Jul. 25, 2011 7:36 PM ET USA

    Why would any Catholic Diocese want such an ugly monstrosity as a cathedral?

  • Posted by: JimKcda - Jul. 25, 2011 6:53 PM ET USA

    I'm confused! Will Dr. Schuller be made an Auxillary Bishop so he can continue "his historic, cultural and important ministry to Orange County" which Bishop Brown "hopes can continue" as he "sustains their community through these current trials." Why not just give Schuller the $50M and go fishing? I would suggest sending Bishop Brown back to Idaho, except that I know they don't want him. How long, Lord?

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Jul. 25, 2011 3:39 PM ET USA

    How long, O Lord?

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Jul. 25, 2011 2:23 PM ET USA

    I concur with New Sister. But it's not unexpected from Bishop Tod.

  • Posted by: Defender - Jul. 25, 2011 11:38 AM ET USA

    It's only half-atrocious--a lot more money would be spent on a new cathedral. Most of the Catholic churches look Protestant inside and outside already, so what's one more?

  • Posted by: New Sister - Jul. 25, 2011 9:13 AM ET USA

    Atrocious – didn't Benedict XVI say that bad music and architecture are offensive to God?