LOS ANGELES, June 9 (Reuters) - A Roman Catholic diocese that bought the Southern California mega-church Crystal Cathedral in a $57.5 million bankruptcy sale will rename the Protestant place of worship Christ Cathedral, church leaders said on Saturday.
The glass-walled Crystal Cathedral is famous for its "Hour of Power" broadcasts and for its televangelist founder Robert Schuller, 85, who has since retired and left the church.
Crystal Cathedral, in the Orange County suburb of Garden Grove, saw its finances spiral downhill amid a drop in attendance and donations and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, California bought it a bankruptcy sale late last year.
The name change was announced at an event in Garden Grove where new priests were ordained, said Stephen Bohannon, a spokesman for the diocese. The new name was approved by the Vatican, he said.
Protestant ministry leaders at Crystal Cathedral announced on Thursday that their congregation would move in June 2013 to a smaller Catholic church, under the terms of a deal with the diocese.
The Catholic diocese plans to turn Crystal Cathedral into a central place of worship for its growing flock, but Bohannon said it has not determined exactly when that could happen. Making the cathedral into a site for Catholic worship will require certain renovations, he said.
The Protestant ministry at Crystal Cathedral retains the "Hour of Power" broadcasts, which have attracted millions of television viewers since Schuller started the program in 1970. (Reporting By Alex Dobuzinskis)
Crystal Cathedral Renamed Christ Cathedral Under Catholic Leadership