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Federal judge OKs diocese to acquire Crystal Cathedral

The Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, Calif., is seen in this undated photo.
November 17, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
A federal bankruptcy judge Thursday approved a plan by the Orange County Roman Catholic Diocese to acquire the debt-ridden Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove.

The Crystal Cathedral board members voted on Thursday for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange to buy the campus.

Chapman University and the Catholic Diocese of Orange had both made offers.

The court heard from dozens of people mostly in favor of Chapman University buying the property. The university increased its offer on Wednesday night to $59 million, and the school is willing to let Crystal Cathedral followers continue to use the glass church if the bid is accepted.

Under the Chapman bid, the church would be allowed to operate the Memorial Gardens cemetery as well as continue to broadcast the TV program "Hour of Power."

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange has a $57 million bid.

As approved, Crystal Cathedral followers would have to find another place of worship in a few years, and the "Hour of Power" program would no longer be broadcast from the Crystal Cathedral.

The Memorial Gardens cemetery will be run by the Diocese, but it assured the bankruptcy judge that the cemetery will continue to be a resting place for anyone who is already there or has purchased plots there, regardless of whether they're Catholic.


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