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Amen for architecture: Crystal Cathedral changes holy hands

Photo by Ben Kraal via Flickr Creative Commons

At the holy intersection of business, commerce, art and religion lies the landmark Crystal Cathedral, Garden Grove's nationally-known Protestant church now owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange.

In a case of dollars over doctrine, escrow closed on the $57.5 million court-ordered sale Friday, following Crystal Cathedral Ministry’s filing for Chapter 11 in 2010 in light of a $60 million debt.

The formal title transfer is complete, but a Catholic congregation will not be relocating to their new real estate right away. Under the terms of the purchase agreement the Crystal Cathedral Ministries -- named for the building that is neither made of crystal nor technically a cathedral -- is allowed to worship for three more years.

The ministry will be "leasing it back from the Diocese for $100,000 per month for the first year, and $150,000 per month for the next two years," explains OC Metro, at which point a few architectural changes are expected to make the property "appropriate for the Catholic liturgy."

Bishop Tod Brown told the O.C. Register the name will also be changed to "something dealing with Christ."