Catholic diocese of Orange County

The Los Angeles Times team acts like it's never seen the Holy Eucharist before

The Los Angeles Times team acts like it's never seen the Holy Eucharist before

Does The Los Angeles Times truly not know what Holy Communion is?

A reader of an article entitled “Bishop of Orange signs construction contract for renovation of Christ Cathedral” in the local news section might well wonder.  

The decline of the late Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral, one of the first mega-churches in the United States with a nationally syndicated worship service, has been discussed at GetReligion over the years. As has the subsequent purchase of the landmark property by the Roman Catholic Church for repurposing as its new cathedral. 

The article in the May 26 print edition reports the first phase of reconstruction has been completed.  

More than 10,000 panes of the cathedral’s mirrored glass already have been re-caulked and resurfaced, under budget and on schedule, Rev. Christopher Smith, rector and episcopal vicar, told guests at the signing ceremony.

So far so good.

However, the reporter’s lack of knowledge of the subject soon overtakes the story.

The contract signing is timely, as the Catholic Church has feast days ahead, Vann said, noting Pentecostal Sunday on June 4 -- often called the birth of the church -- and the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul, who built the great basilicas in Europe, on June 29. 

Perhaps “Pentecostal Sunday” was a spell-checker error, where the thought that passed from the reporter’s brain to her fingers to the page was intercepted by word processing software -- correcting Pentecost to Pentecostal.

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From Crystal Cathedral to Christ Cathedral: It's a complicated story

From Crystal Cathedral to Christ Cathedral: It's a complicated story

In an enlightening piece about how one can transform a glassed-in megachurch into a Catholic worship space, the Los Angeles Times has presented us with an update on the church formerly known as the Crystal Cathedral.

When the original was completed in 1980 at the cost of $18 million, its most singular feature was its 12,000 panes of rectangular glass. It was quite the landmark in Orange County for many years.

However, the congregation inside the famous church went bankrupt in 2010 and was bought by the Catholic Diocese of Orange for $57.5 million in early 2012.  The church’s founder, Robert Schuller, died last year. The article picks up from there:

The Crystal Cathedral was for decades a powerful symbol of a certain kind of church.
The landmark church was built by the Rev. Robert H. Schuller, the famed pastor who brought the drive-in church to Orange County during the beginning of the postwar suburban boom and preached an upbeat, modern vision of Christianity.
The Philip Johnson-designed structure made of steel and more than 12,000 panes of glass became world famous and was a forerunner to other so-called mega churches.
But more than a year after Schuller’s death, the Crystal Cathedral is undergoing a major transformation in both design and ownership. The makeover will transform the building into Christ Cathedral as the Catholic Church takes it over. 

After discussing upcoming tours of the place, the article continues:

Estimated costs for the cathedral are about $72 million, according to the Rev. Christopher Smith, rector and episcopal vicar of Christ Cathedral who is leading the design project.

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Seeing through a famous glass cathedral, rather dimly

The 2010 bankruptcy of Crystal Cathedral Ministries, founded in 1955 by the Rev. Robert H. Schuller atop a drive-in movie theater’s concession stand, stunned much of the church world.

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