SANTA ANA, Calif., Nov. 10 (UPI) -- The Roman Catholic diocese of Orange County has promised to honor Robert Schuller's legacy if it acquires his Crystal Cathedral in Southern California.
A bankruptcy judge is scheduled to decide on the future of the complex at a hearing Monday, The Orange County Register reported. At a hearing Wednesday, a lawyer for the diocese said it was adding $1.8 million to its offer for the cathedral, bringing the total to $55.4 million.
The cathedral board has said it would prefer an offer by Chapman University, an institution affiliated with the Disciples of Christ. Chapman would pay $51.5 million in a deal that would allow the Schuller organization to lease back the facility and continue its ministry there and a buyback deal.
Marc Winthrop, a lawyer for Crystal Cathedral Ministries, said the diocese's offer is now more acceptable.
"Chapman is still their preferred buyer," he said. "But, now they are somewhat changing their decision to say that both the proposals are acceptable."
The diocese has said the ministries could continue to use the cathedral facilities for several years and then move to a site nearby now occupied by a Catholic church. A chapel on the Tower of Hope would be an interfaith worship space, and a library dedicated to Schuller and his wife, Arvella, would be opened in the visitor's center.
Schuller retired as the cathedral's senior pastor last year with his daughter, Sheila Schuller Coleman, succeeding him.