Catholics Ok'd to Buy Bankrupt Crystal Cathedral

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After a bidding war and series of negotiations, a bankruptcy court judge has approved the sale of Crystal Cathedral to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange in California.

The megachurch's board of directors voted Wednesday to move forward with the $57.5 million deal.

It was reported earlier that Chapman University would become the new owner of the property, however that deal fell through.

Despite a higher offer from the school, Crystal Cathedral leaders said they wanted to preserve the church as a religious institution.

Under the diocese's deal, all Crystal Cathedral ministries must be off the premises within three years.

The inside of Crystal Cathedral's landmark window-walled sanctuary will be renovated inside to make it more suitable for Catholic services. The outside of the building won't change.

Crystal Cathedral was founded by televangelist Robert H. Schuller. His daughter now pastors the church.

Crystal Cathedral's finances went south in 2008, forcing cutbacks and lay offs. Debts of more than $43 million forced the church to file for bankruptcy last year.

* Originally aired on November 18, 2011.

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