The local and national media are tripping over themselves in reporting how the Crystal Cathedral's board of directors has approved Chapman University's offer to purchase the iconic church's Garden Grove facilities for $50 million. All the reports are also making the cursory comment that Chapman's bid beat the $53.6 million offer by the Catholic Diocese of Orange led by Bishop Tod D. Brown. Most will note the rationale behind the Crystal Cathedral's decision: Chapman would allow the Rev. Robert H. Schuller and his brood to continue business as usual, albeit as renters with a buy-back option, while the Papists wanted the Schullers gone after three years.
But none will note what we know: that this is yet another massive strikeout in Brownie's career--and now, like Schuller, is in desperate need of someone saving his ass.
As we wrote during the summer, the only reason the Orange diocese made a bid for the Crystal Cathedral was because Brownie realized that his long-proposed Christ Our Savior Cathedral (up the street from South Coast Plaza) and its $100 million-and-rising price tag could be easily ditched if he bought the already built cathedral. This was perhaps the only smart thought Brownie has ever had cross his mind--but instead of, say, letting the Schullers keep the Cathedral until their congregation withers away and designating the original Richard Neutra sanctuary for Papist purposes, Brownie's greed let the Crystal Cathedral slip away from his hands.
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Now, Brownie's faced with raising $100 million to build Christ Our Savior, thereby screwing over the county's 1.3 million Catholics even further. Heckuva job, Brownie!