Thinking Out Loud

July 9, 2011

Crystal Cathedral a Catholic Cathedral?

Filed under: Church, current events — Tags: , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:56 am

Is the Pope Catholic?  Yes, and perhaps the Crystal Cathedral could become Catholic as well.  The Diocese of Orange County has authorized its people to look into the possibilities.  On their website, this announcement:

Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange [County] Bishop Tod D. Brown has authorized The Busch Law Firm and other lay advisors to the diocese to explore possibilities regarding the Crystal Cathedral complex in Garden Grove, CA.

With interest and concern, Bishop Brown has followed the news of the ongoing Crystal Cathedral Ministries (CCM) bankruptcy proceedings and is concerned for the future of the landmark church remaining a functional part of the liturgical landscape for the region.

The Diocese of Orange does not currently have an adequate cathedral to meet the needs of its 1.2 million Catholics in Orange County, the 11th largest diocese in the nation. “While we continue to develop plans for a cathedral in Santa Ana, it is prudent to evaluate the opportunity to engage in the pending auction of this property and to mitigate the chance that it cease to function as a place of worship, if acquired by others,” says Bishop Brown.

“I have authorized our advisors to contact the appropriate parties in the proceedings to determine a possible course of action. If the Diocese of Orange can prevent the loss of this important Christian Ministry and what the Crystal Cathedral has represented to so many for so long – and meet its own priorities for a new cathedral, we have a duty to at least review the options,” said Bishop Brown.

This is solely an exploratory consideration, not binding upon any party involved in the proceedings. There is no change of course concerning development of the existing Cathedral site or other parishes in the community.

But the Catholic group might have to wait in line because, if you missed the fashion forecast, big glass churches are expected to be all the rage this fall.  Also in line is Chapman University which made this announcement:

Chapman University has submitted a proposal to purchase the property and facilities of the Crystal Cathedral Ministries in Garden Grove, California, for $46 million.  The university’s proposal was referenced on Tuesday, July 5, in a filing made by the Committee of Creditors Holding Unsecured Claims in the court handling the pending bankruptcy proceedings for the ministry.

The nearly 35-acre Garden Grove property is strategically located just three miles from Chapman University’s City of Orange campus. The Cathedral is a well-known icon in Orange County, and the surrounding property includes seven major buildings representing more than 329,000 square feet of space.

The university’s Board of Trustees authorized the proposal at its June 27 regularly scheduled meeting. The offer is designed to address community concerns about the uncertainty of the Crystal Cathedral’s present situation, as well as provide growth opportunities for Chapman University.

“Dr. Schuller’s lifelong message of courage and ambition closely matches the characteristics that are so much a part of Chapman University,” said University President James L. Doti. “We are fortunate to be in a position where we can make this offer and are hopeful our proposal to the ministry and court will be accepted.”

The proposal would allow Crystal Cathedral Ministries to lease back the Cathedral and other property on the campus, with a purchase provision that could be exercised during the first four years of the lease.

A CNN article on both parties’ interest neglected to say if there has been any offers from Disneyland, but apparently a few of the Cathedral’s Anaheim neighbors have their sights set on possible uses for the land and buildings.


  1. It is difficult for me to feel much sorrow. The lite-Christian message was not really gospel effective so I always thought of the Cathedral more as a business than a church.But I do hope that it becomes a church. Something rubs me the wrong way when I see a church turned into a restuarant or a spa. It gives a message I don’t want to hear.

    Comment by Cynthia — July 9, 2011 @ 9:29 pm

  2. […] others being from Chapman College and the Orange County diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, as we reported here last week, and also a real estate group. Leave a Comment LikeBe the first to like this post.Leave a […]

    Pingback by Crystal Cathedral Future Uncertain « Thinking Out Loud — July 17, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

  3. […] UPDATE (JULY 9, 2011) — The story on the potential purchase by the local Roman Catholic diocese is located here.  […]

    Pingback by Crystal Cathedral: Is This The End? « Thinking Out Loud — July 23, 2011 @ 7:48 pm

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