Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange may buy Crystal Cathedral


The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange says it's now exploring the possibility of purchasing the cathedral.

Diocese of Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown noted there is no cathedral in the county, even though it's home to 1.2 million Catholics and the nation's 11th largest diocese.

"If the diocese 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," Brown said in a statement.

Chapman University and a real-estate investment firm Greenlaw Partners LLC have also expressed interest in purchasing the site.

The Crystal Cathedral filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year. The cathedral aims to sell the property and lease back portions for use as a way to help erase its $36 million mortgage and wipe out almost all of the $10 million in unsecured debt.

Marc Winthrop, the church's bankruptcy attorney, has said there is at least one more potential offer and expects the church's board will review the bids jointly once they are filed.

A bankruptcy court hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday to establish bidding rules for the property.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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