BREAKING NEWS: Diocese to retain crystal Cathedral exterior, will renovate inside to make suitable for Catholic servicesNovember 18, 2011 No Comments
Friday, November 18, 2011 10:10 AM | By Catholic Online
The Roman Catholic diocese that has bought Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California, will renovate the building to make it suitable for Catholic services, but won’t change the exterior. A federal bank bankruptcy judge ruled that the Orange diocese can buy the building for $57.5 million.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) – Designed by architect Philip Johnson, the 31-year-old structure of glass and steel was created by church founder Robert Schuller. The worldwide Hour of Power television program was broadcast there regularly.
The building, along with the ministry fell into bankruptcy after more than four years of family and financial turmoil. The ministry is now led by Schuller’s daughter Sheila Schuller Coleman.
Robert Schuller’s ministry had humble beginnings. He first began in 1955 from a drive-in theater in Orange. Affiliated with the Reformed Church of America, Schuller’s ministry focuses on what he believes are the positive aspects of the Christian faith.
Deliberately avoiding condemning people for sin, Schuller believes that Jesus “met needs before touting creeds.” Once in relationship with God, Schuller emphasizes, someone who is sowing positive faith in his heart and actions will discover that the by-product is a reduction of sin. He is known to say, “Sin is a condition before it is an action.”
Known by many as the father of the “dreamer” movement (a new surge of inspiring preaching that increased in popularity in the last decade), Schuller encourages Christians (and non-Christians) to achieve great things through God and to believe in their dreams. He wrote, “If you can dream it, you can do it!”
Schuller did not attend the bankruptcy hearing. A church board member voted in favor of selling it to the diocese.
The 85-year-old Schuller, in a letter to the church said he didn’t entertain the thought that Chapman University, which had also tried to buy the 40-acre facility, might someday use the cathedral for nonreligious purposes.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Schuller’s daughter said in a statement that the decision to select the Catholic Church “breaks her heart.” But she said she is hopeful that “there is still plenty of time for God to do His miracle.”
The Crystal Cathedral ministry will be allowed to lease back the core building and church for three years when it will relocate, likely to a nearby Catholic church, according to the agreements of the sale.
“The cathedral’s administration and the board have really stripped us of our ministry,” congregant Bob Canfield said. “In the end, it was all about the money. The congregants have lost their ministry.”
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