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The Diocese of Orange offers $50 million in cash for Crystal Cathedral Ministries

The CCM board is set to review the all cash offer.

By Karly BarkerPublished: July 25, 2011 12:01 PM

The bidding process for Crystal Cathedral Ministries (CCM) wages on as the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange submitted a proposal to purchase the cathedral for $50 million in cash on Friday.  The proposal comes nearly three weeks after Chapman University offered $46 million for the property, which is currently in bankruptcy court. The diocese is the only religious organization to bid on the property.

"Regardless of the final outcome, this offer and its enabling process are important developments in the history of the Diocese of Orange,” said Bishop Tod D. Brown. “The vision, skills and eloquence of the many lay advisors I rely upon for counsel have resulted in a bid that 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."

The Diocese of Orange is currently in the process of building a new cathedral in Santa Ana to accommodate the nearly 1.2 million Catholics in Orange County, according to a spokesperson from the diocese. If the offer is accepted the church will terminate the building of the Santa Ana cathedral and move all services to the CCM.

The diocese says CCM is welcome to lease back part of the property for an interim period of time for a below the market rate.  However, the diocese states that the shared use of the property would eventually be terminated as the church plans to occupy the entire premises.

“When I first heard of their financial difficulties, I was distressed,” said Bishop Brown. “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.”

The offer must undergo a number of reviews before being accepted.  First, the CCM Board will review the offer.  If accepted, the plan will be presented to the Committee of Creditors and the Bankruptcy Court. If approved by these groups the diocese says creditors could see resolution within the year and possibly sooner.

“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," Bishop Brown concluded.

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