Late Thursday evening U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kwan issued the ruling, acknowledging the tremendous work put in by Chapman University, the diocese's competitor, which offered as much as $59 million for the 40-acre Crystal Cathedral campus. The diocese will get the property for $57.5 million. FILE: ANA VENEGAS, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTERI’ve blogged several times already about that monument to Christian ostentatiousness known as “the Crystal Cathedral” in Garden Grove, CA. Years of incredible profligacy left the C.C. teetering on the financial brink, and eventually the church had to declare bankruptcy. A bankruptcy court directed the sale of the property in order to pay off the colossal debts (something like $50 million). As the Orange County Register reports, it looks as though the Roman Catholic diocese of Orange (Calif.) will be the buyer (WebCite cached article):

A court hearing is in progress to confirm the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange as the buyer for Orange County’s iconic Crystal Cathedral property.

The Crystal Cathedral’s board decided Wednesday night to select the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange as its preferred buyer. The board last month named Chapman as its preferred buyer, but last night’s decision changed that stance. It is still up to the judge to decide who will eventually buy the cathedral.

Naturally, there’s some discontent in the pews over this. The C.C. is, after all, an evangelical Protestant congregation, with little fondness for those “Mary-worshipping Catholics”:

Many longtime congregants who have been attending the court hearings say they are shocked and disappointed by the board’s decision. Several who spoke in court Thursday stated they want Chapman to purchase the property so the ministry can continue its work and they can continue to attend their Protestant church at the iconic location.

What I still cannot understand is how and why, exactly, such an opulent edifice is an appropriate place to worship Jesus Christ, who taught the virtues of poverty and humility, and who explicitly opposed splashy displays of piety. Anyone out there care to explain … ?

Hat tip: Mark at Skeptics & Heretics Forum on Delphi Forums.

Photo credit: Orange County Register.

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