Rorate Caeli

Crisis? What crisis?

Orange, Calif., Nov 18, 2011 / 12:04 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- An bankruptcy judge on Nov. 17 ruled in favor of the Diocese of Orange’s $57.5 million offer for the iconic Crystal Cathedral over a bid from Chapman University.

Bishop Tod D. Brown vowed on Thursday that the diocese will “protect this wonderful structure as a place of worship and will soon provide our Catholic community with a new cathedral, pastoral center, parish school and more.”

The Crystal Cathedral will meet the needs of the 1.2 million Catholics in Orange County, the 10th largest diocese in the nation.

(Tip & image: Fr. Gonzales)

Perhaps we should start a poll in our comment box: what should be the Catholic name of this Cathedral? Hagia Eisoptrophobia?

Update: The Ordinary, who turned 75 three days ago, says in his statement that, "Dr. Schuller has been a key figure both in Orange County and around the globe for many years; I wish Crystal Cathedral Ministries success with their reorganized finances." Dr. Schuller is the "founder" of the Evangelical organization that built this glorified greenhouse: Rorate wishes that "Crystal Cathedral Ministries" be abolished and that its members come to the Catholic Church.


  1. It is my opinion that if you start from the ground up you can get exactly what you want where you want and even keep costs down if you really want to.
    It sort of looks like something from the Emerald City. 'Cept it ain't green.
    Congrats to H.E., but I'm glad I don't live in that diocese. My tastes are slightly different.

  2. The craziest thing is that Bp. Brown just turned 75! This is just like Weakland destroying his cathedral right before he left. This is Brown's version of that.

  3. Is there a hope that the calamitous Bp Tod Brown, a recordman in AmChurch lunacy, can be removed quickly ?

  4. SMCTOD,
    You are right about not supporting Protestant churches. However, my church (run by the FSSP) just bought a Lutheran church. I know that the FSSP in Atlanta and Colorado Springs did so as well. I have been to both and they are very beautiful. We have to look at the fact that this church went out of business- that is a blessing in itself(maybe they'll consider coming into the Church).
    I think it is alright if former churches are converted (no pun intended) into Catholic churches provided they receive the proper exorcisms-yes, exorcisms.

  5. Sanctissima Opscaenissima.

  6. It's a fact, New Catholic, that Trads, bless their souls, relentlessly butcher Latin, as your comment section demonstrates. And now you try to spoonfeed them with Greek? The classicist in me is very scared, although not as much as if he had to worship in that oversized hall of mirrors.

  7. You are terrible, Bedwere!... :)

  8. It is ugly....I can't imagine that thing over here in New England. The NorthEast tends to be a least a bit more Traditional.

  9. My entry into the naming poll:
    "The Grand Façade"

  10. Anonymous9:30 PM

    "vowed on Thursday that the diocese will “protect this wonderful structure as a place of worship""

    If only our bishops were concerned about protecting Catholic churches as places of worship instead of selling them for green.

  11. As someone from the outside looking it, I wonder how much money it will take, and how long, to renovate it for Liturgical worship, what with the planter boxes and such therein.

    The only good thing about it I can see is the magnificent organ (which has its own entrance on Wikipedia).

    Most holy Theotokos, save us.

  12. I was going to wonder why the Vatican would let an old fool of 75 years spend $57MM on a completely inappropriate eyesore of a building immediately before his retirement or death, but then I looked at the Vatican personnel itself, from the top on down.

  13. Grandma9:59 PM

    My question is: Where is the Diocese of Orange getting 57 million dollars?

  14. Dear bedwere: "The classicist in me is very scared." Just so, sir. Yet wouldn't you agree that in today's sublunary world, sheer terror is often the sanest response imaginable (and not merely from classicists), whatever the situation?

    "And now you try to spoonfeed them . . . Greek?" Both you and NC (wryly and rightly, I think) seem to regard this as a lost cause. Yet your remark happily reminded me of something a rather disreputable old friend wrote fifty years ago about something else: "It was the ne plus ultra of plus ça change.

    Now if that doesn't epitomize the Crystal Cathedral, what does?

  15. Tom the Milkman10:29 PM

    I unfortunately remember Tod Brown when he was in the Monterey Diocese before he was given his own diocese, ubiquitous, always self-important, a figure less of division than noticable banality. His "liturgies" were inventions of the moment, dismal. I could have bet he'd grab the crystal cathedral, it's right up his alley. He's 75?.. Geez, I'm old!...

  16. "...Perhaps we should start a poll in our comment box: what should be the Catholic name of this Cathedral? Hagia Eisoptrophobia?..."

    My name for that monstrosity?

    Saint Martin Luther Novus Ordo Church and Freemason Lodge.


    Yes, Exorcism by Traditional Priests using the old formula.


  17. Joseph11:28 PM

    My understanding is that this building is located on prime real estate so perhaps it isn't a total waste. A new bishop can simply pulverize the existing structure, which should be a fairly simple matter, and build a nice traditional cathedral on the grounds.

  18. Ahh, there's a great Chinese Food near the Crystal Cathedral (I think it's called Hong Kong Express, about half-mile or less across the CC).

    Mass ---> Chinese food combo 2, heaven.

  19. Seriously? That much money could have fed many mouths, clothed many hungry, or been donated to a hospital to purchase medical supplies and hire new graduate students. Matthew 25 people, Matthew 25.
    Instead the institutional church buys out an ugly banal structure. Talk about misplaced priorities.

  20. The man has no sense of taste whatsoever.

  21. Anonymous1:20 AM

    While we all agree this was a waste of money, we should be careful with the comparison of what the Church could do with it instead. That's the argument by liberals now about why our churches should be stripped down bare, no beautiful vestments, gold, paintings, atatues, etc.

    Money for the poor can go to the poor. Moneyntompraise God should go to God. The two are mutually exclusive.

  22. Adfero,
    To add on to what you said, we must remember that Mary Magdalen poured ointment over Our Lord's head. Judas suggested it be sold for the poor instead. (Not comparing Young Canadian RC Male to Judas :))
    I believe that $57mil is nowhere near enough for God, though I also believe it could have made a prettier church from the ground up than this.
    God Bless!

  23. bobby2:35 AM

    One strong earthquake and it wont matter

  24. Brian3:11 AM

    How can anyone spiritually degenerate to the point where they would perceive that structure to be a church worthy of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?

  25. Looks like a mall or a crystalline shopping centre. Perhaps it should be named "Church of the Venerable Shoppers"?

    What monstrosity.

  26. Buying this structure to keep it up is a waste because it is a waste. The precious ointment was not poured down a drain...

  27. Gratias7:58 AM

    My entry is Tod Mahal.

    I am well pleased to learn Bp. Tod Brown turned 75. No friend of tradition he. Happy retirement. Hope he remembers frequently the day a communicant knelt in front of H.E. and he physically pulled him up to his feet.

    Apparently the grounds of the Crystal cathedral are great value, so the awful building will not matter in the end. The Taj Mahony in Los Angeles is much worse.

  28. GQ Rep12:54 PM

    "Is there a hope that the calamitous Bp Tod Brown, a recordman in AmChurch lunacy, can be removed quickly ?"

    Pope Benedict XVI doesn't remove the liberal dissenters right when they at at 75 like he should. He's too busy with other little projects which will produce nothing....his trip to Benin, beatifying John Paul II, the so called upcoming "Year of Faith" commemorating Vatican II, ,writing a book about Jesus, etc. etc.
    Look for Brown to say in office at least 2 more years. : (

    Rosales in the Phillipines stayed on till 79 (replaced by someone, Tagle, 100x worse than himself), Policarpo in Lisbon still in, Tettamanzi was 2 years past, and Pope Benedict's infamous Secretary of State, Bertone is nearly 77 and 2 years past.

  29. They can name it after Pope John Paul. "Blessed John Paul the Great Catholic Community Center. Mass begins immediately following the Protestant Service in our shared worship space."

  30. dave a12:58 PM

    hopefully allowing the former members three years to stay at the cathedral may have an effect on them and some will convert.That would be nice

  31. Anonymous1:35 PM

    Tuche, El Juan!

    Not sure if you've been, but the bankrupt JPII "Cultural Center" in D.C. is even more hideous.

    There's one chapel in there where the stations of the cross are in modern wiring. They are so frightening I had nightmares that night!

  32. To call this monstrosity a cathedral shows just how far we have fallen into the abyss. Lord have Mercy on us.

  33. Seriously, I think this church is better looking than the Los Angeles cathedral inside and out. How many times in history has the Church used something for their benefit.

  34. Oh, and for a name--Our Lady of the Crystal Cathedral.

  35. Sell the damm thing to Disney! They can make it a part of Fantasyland! (Can you just see Tinkerbell sprinking pixie dust on it? It would be soooo darling!)

  36. hieromonk gregory3:57 PM

    It will complement the San Francisco, often referred to our Lady of Maytag, patroness of all agitators.

  37. YoungCatholicSTL4:04 PM

    While I am always leary of new Catholic cathedrals in light of the recent mistakes (to put it nicely) in Oakland and LA, I'm willing to take a wait and see approach on this for several reasons:

    (1) Bp. Brown is 75 years old and as part of the agreement to purchase the crystal cathedral (the "cc"), the diocese will rent it to the cc congregation for at least 3 more years. Most likely Bp. Brown will be gone before that lease expires, thus giving a new, and hopefully more conservative bishop, a chance to handle the remodeling of the cc.

    (2) The current cathedral of the Orange Dio is not much to look at. This isn't like LA where the diocese had a gorgeous cathedral prior to building the new one. In fact, I think most would consider the cc a step up from what the diocese currently has, and will provide them with significant more space for a neighboring parish that would have been looking to spend and expand in the coming years anyways.

    (3) The cc isn't thaaaat bad. It has a nice bell tower type structure on the front. Has actual pews (not the chairs you find in many churches these days). Has a wonderful organ (something almost unheard of in many modern churches). It could be a lot worse place to be purchasing.

    (4) As some have mentioned, this is a great chance to convert some of our Protestant neighbors to the Catholic faith.

    (5) Those who complain about the money need to remember where this is located - ORANGE COUNTY, CA - which is a county with some of the wealthier Americans living in it (quite a few of the "1%" live there). The Diocese has a lot of money and Bp. Brown previously noted that if the cc wasn't purchased, he would authorize the building of a new cathedral at roughly twice the cost of the cc purchase. And lets be honest, based on Bp. Brown's track record, a new cathedral wouldn't end up looking any better than the cc. No reason to spend twice the money for something that won't be any better looking than the cc.

    (6) I don't see what the big deal is about converting a non-catholic church/building to a Catholic church. Converting non-Catholic buildings has been going on for at least 1500 years. Obviously the Pantheon is one of the most famous, but the same happened with many former Muslim buildings in Spain. Obviously those buildings were a little prettier than the cc (although who really thought turning a building with a giant hole in the roof - the Pantheon - into a Catholic church was a good idea??), but criticizing this purchase simply because the cc building is not Catholic is a mistake.

    Again, I am not confident that this will work out well. Obviously, I would much rather the Dio of Orange build the next Notre Dame, but in light of recent cathedral building projects, this is sadly a step in the right direction.

  38. Peter D4:05 PM

    Isn't that the Fortress of Solitude from the Superman films?

  39. YoungCatholicSTL,

    I don't think anyone is complaining of the conversion itself - but, let's face it, this is not Saint Paul's of London or the Berliner Dom (to name two of several structures built for Protestant congregations).

  40. Peter D said...
    Isn't that the Fortress of Solitude from the Superman films?

    We have a winner. :-)

  41. Delphina7:23 PM


    And under the name "Fortress of Solitude" should be in Latin:

    "Abandon hope all ye who enter here."

  42. Gratias said:

    "The Taj Mahony in Los Angeles is much worse."


    There was a Cardinal named Baloney
    Or was it Cardinal Macaroni?

    He built a church out west brand new.
    A church for me, a church for you.

    Where people drive their pristine cars,
    Emission pure no ozone mars.

    A church for many kinds of sexes
    Even witches casting hexes.

    There was a Cardinal named Marconi
    Or was it Cardinal Boney-Maroni?

    He built a church ten million three.
    For gender-benders by the sea.

    For all to sit not kneel awhile
    And share your peace with ped-o-phile.

    An all new church on L.A. sod
    For me and you...thank God, not God!

  43. Gratias6:20 AM

    Thank you Long-Skirts, poet-in-residency.

  44. For what it's worth, it would appear that at least one person from the Crystal "Cathedral" side of things is converting to the Roman Catholic Church (beware the drivel in the article):

    I too find this modernist edifice rather disgusting and by no means sufficient to be a Catholic Church, let alone Cathedral. I hope the Holy Father accepts the Bishop's resolution at once and appoints a Bishop more concerned with having a properly Catholic Cathedral rather than praising the work of a heretical group.


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