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Diocese of Orange officially takes over Crystal Cathedral

February 3, 2012 |  5:05 pm

Crystal cathedral2

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange is officially the new landlord of the Crystal Cathedral, diocesan officials announced Friday.

"I'm very thankful, very grateful and very excited," said Bishop Tod Brown in an interview with The Times after escrow closed.

The sale, approved by Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kwan in November, hit a snag Monday in light of a purported 99-year lease. An original deadline of Jan. 31 was extended to Feb. 17.

"We beat the deadline," Brown said.

The next step for the diocese is to establish a diocesan center on the property. Crystal Cathedral Ministries may remain on the campus for three years.

"Every intention is for this to be a very smooth operation and transition," Brown said.

The Crystal Cathedral, founded by the Rev. Robert H. Schuller, filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 18, 2010, citing more than $50 million in debt.

"I'm certainly very thankful to Dr. Schuller for his support," Brown said.

The bishop said the the diocese will be looking for a "top-notch" liturgical consultant and an architect to help convert the structure for Catholic worship.

And, there's one more step too: a new name.

Brown said that the diocese is taking suggestions from parishioners.

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-- Nicole Santa Cruz

Photo: The Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove. Credit: Arkasha Stevenson / Los Angeles Times

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