Creditors of the Crystal Cathedral in California have told the family of Robert Schuller the property will be sold whether or not they agree to it.
A creditors' plan filed Tuesday in federal bankruptcy court in Santa Ana calls for the sale of the landmark church in Garden Grove for at least $50 million, The Orange County Register reported. If Sheila Schuller Coleman, who succeeded her father as chief pastor, and other church leaders cooperate, they can continue to use the building, leasing it from the purchaser.
Creditors, including vendors owed millions of dollars, said the sale will go through against the family's wishes if necessary. They also threatened to sue family members, saying they received payments from funds that should have gone to creditors.
The Roman Catholic diocese of Orange announced Tuesday its bid was being increased to $53.6 million, the highest offer now on the table. Chapman University, which has offered the church a plan that would allow the leaseback of the property and eventually a buyback if possible, has increased its offer to $50 million.
Creditors say a 2010 transaction may have been fraudulent. Church property was sold and the money transferred to a pension fund for Robert H. Schuller, the founder of the cathedral.