A Victorville man whose wife is buried in the cemetery at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove has filed a lawsuit asking for $30 billion in damages.
The man, David E. Phillippe, is suing in bankruptcy court claiming that his religious and civil rights have been violated by the sale of the famous religious ediface and its surrounding campus to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange.
His argument is that the sale of the property by the financially struggling congregation amounted to “descrecrating” the property. His complaint included criticisms of the Roman Catholic Church.
The premise of the lawsuit has been rejected by the bankruptcy agent, saying that the complaint was irrelevant and untimely.
The Diocese purchased the facility, located at Chapman Avenue and Lewis Street in Garden Grove, in November, after outbidding Chapman University of Orange, which wanted to expand and perhaps build a health sciences/medical center there.
Declining attendance and contributions, probably fueled by divisions in the founding Schuller family and economic conditions, pushed the congregation into debt and eventually bankruptcy.
The Crystal Cathedral congregation can remain at its present location for three years before it must move.
One strong possibility is to relocate to the nearby St. Callistus Catholic Church at Lewis Street and Garden Grove Boulevard.