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Published: Wednesday, 8/10/2011

Creditors threaten to sue unless Southern California's debt-ridden Crystal Cathedral agrees to sell


SANTA ANA, Calif. — Creditors say they'll sue unless owners of the Crystal Cathedral megachurch agree to sell the Southern California landmark.

The debt-ridden Garden Grove church recently announced it's not for sale. But a creditors committee filed a plan in federal bankruptcy court Tuesday that calls for sale of the 40-acre property.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange has made a sweetened offer of nearly $54 million and there are several other bids in the $50 million range.

Creditors say the church board could choose a buyer. But if it won't cooperate, they'll push through a deal and then sue, arguing church leaders improperly received payments that should've gone to the creditors.

An email seeking church comment wasn't immediately returned Wednesday.

The cathedral filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last October.

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