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Founder the Rev. Robert H. Schuller also released a statement Thursday endorsing the diocesan offer, which would require the Crystal Cathedral ministry to move after three years. Schuller said that every human has to make a decision that they don't want to make and this was no different. He said prior to last Monday’s court hearing, he and his wife, Arvella, had already decided to diocese’s offer to purchase the campus. "Though we deeply respect Chapman University, the uncertainty regarding the future use of the campus for religious purposes was divergent to the call of both God and our denomination that we embraced nearly sixty years ago," he said in the statement. He said the diocese has been "gracious" and "accommodating" and has given the church terms that "exhibit sensitivity to our history and displays a spirit of honor for the ministry’s purpose and the significant contributions of the Crystal Cathedral Congregation, the Hour of Power Viewers, and our Global Supporters." Schuller said he extends this message to the diocese: "Steward this campus. Keep it a light in Orange County that will never go out. A light that will always remind humanity how very much ... God Loves Them and So Do We." [article link]

Breaking News!! - Crystal Cathedral board prefers Catholic offer - The board of directors of Crystal Cathedral Ministries has decided that its preferred buyer for the megachurch's campus is the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange - The announcement came Thursday just before a bankruptcy court hearing at which a judge will decide between competing offers from the diocese and Orange County's Chapman University


SANTA ANA, Calif. - The board of directors of Crystal Cathedral Ministries has decided that its preferred buyer for the megachurch's campus is the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange. The announcement came Thursday just before a bankruptcy court hearing at which a judge will decide between competing offers from the diocese and Orange County's Chapman University. The Catholic diocese wants the property for a cathedral of its own. The Crystal Cathedral was founded by televangelist Robert Schuller and grew into a megachurch, but revenues plummeted in 2008 and it declared bankruptcy last year with debts surpassing $43 million. Chapman University is offering $59 million while the diocese is offering $57.5 million but the cathedral's board prefers terms of the latter bid. [article link]

Crystal Cathedral Congregants Anxious as Decision in Bankruptcy Sale Likely to Fall Tonight - Bidding War Between Chapman University and Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange Continues - A series of financial scandals have also emerged as a result of the bankruptcy case, including an allegation that pastor Schuller and his family were receiving lucrative salaries as the church filed for bankruptcy


Members of the California-based Crystal Cathedral ministries seem to be more and more anxious about the church’s bankruptcy case, with some expressing fear that losing their decades-old house of worship might damage the integrity of the church. The decision of whether the property will be sold to a Catholic organization or to a local university with Protestant roots is to fall tonight. ... After the 10,000-member strong Garden Grove, Calif., Protestant megachurch was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2010, following a long financial struggle, the founding pastor, the Rev. Robert H. Schuller, who manages the church together with family members, was forced to put the landmark glass-pane-covered property on the market in September. Currently, two Orange County institutions are battling to purchase the 50-acre property in a Santa Ana bankruptcy court - Chapman University and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange. On Wednesday, Chapman University increased its bid to $59 million, in a challenge to the Diocese's of Orange's $57.5 increase offer made Monday, as reported by CP. The Schullers prefer the university, which has a Protestant background. Yet the Catholic diocese has been increasing its bids aggressively throughout the case, and is currently the highest bidder. As the final decision is scheduled to take place Thursday, church members, who have reportedly been attending all hearings, have been showing signs of nervousness about the future of their 50-year-old church. [article link]

Second Mile [a nonprofit organization] knew of abuse allegations - Authorities investigating sex abuse allegations against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky are examining the role of other parties not yet charged in the case whose actions, or lack thereof, may have delayed intervention by law enforcement authorities


STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Authorities investigating sex abuse allegations against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky are examining the role of other parties not yet charged in the case whose actions, or lack thereof, may have delayed intervention by law enforcement authorities. That includes top officials at The Second Mile, the nonprofit organization that Mr. Sandusky founded and, authorities allege, used to make contact with the children he victimized. ... In a statement Monday, The Second Mile said it immediately ended Mr. Sandusky's contact with children in the program after he told them in 2008 he was under investigation for alleged sexual contact with a child, an allegation he told the organization was false. That, however, was at least the third time in 10 years that the organization had been made aware of allegations involving Mr. Sandusky's contacts with children. The organization knew in 1998 that Mr. Sandusky was investigated for alleged sexual misconduct in a Penn State shower involving a different boy from the program, according to a presentment by a statewide investigating grand jury. [article link]

CalvaryChapelAbuse.com: Former CCV [Calvary Chapel Visalia] Board Member's shocking testimony about [Pastor] Bob Grenier of Calvary Chapel Visalia - Bob Grenier confessed Felony Child Abuse to the Board and they covered it up and didn't report - Comments: #70 Not Alone says: Moving on, I feel the same - It is so hard to go to church now - **Every church [too many Churches] has a career politician for a pastor - I don't think most see themselves that way - It's hard to remember the last time I actually learned something while at church


Comments: #49 Alex says: November 16, 2011 at 12:20 pm. Ron said, "Isn't the "Touch not God's anointed" [1 Samuel 24:6] come from when David (who was King of Israel, but not sitting on the throne) didn't kill King Saul when he had the chance? I do not see how that can be translated to a Pastor - I guess you could use the concept for today, but to whom do you use it on? The God ordained leaders in government, surely. But Pastors?" Good point Ron and yes. No application to the "Calvary Chapel Senior Pastor". But, according the idiot Leaders of Calvary Chapel including the main idiot Chuck Smith [Sr.] himself, they are akin to King Saul I guess. CC [Calvary Chapel] Leadership is full of unwise men and scoundrels. "I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers?" Apparently in Calvary Chapel, the "We're all independent, except we can't be independent [to bring in and provide judgment and justice] it's too hard!"...there are no such wise men. [article link]

Paterno Passes on Home to His Wife for $1 - Some legal experts, in trying to gauge the legal exposure of the university and its top officials to lawsuits brought by suspected victims of the assistant, Jerry Sandusky, have theorized that Paterno could be a target of civil actions


Experts in estate planning and tax law, in interviews, cautioned that it would be hard to determine the Paternos' motivation simply from the available documents. It appears the family house had been the subject of years of complex and confusing transactions. Lawrence A. Frolik, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh who specializes in elder law, said that he had "never heard" of a husband selling his share of a house for $1 to his spouse for tax or government assistance purposes. "I can't see any tax advantages," Frolik said. "If someone told me that, my reaction would be, 'Are they hoping to shield assets in case if there's personal liability?'" He added, "It sounds like an attempt to avoid personal liability in having assets in his wife's name." Two lawyers examined the available documents in recent days. Neither wanted to be identified because they were not directly involved in the case or the property transaction. One of the experts said it appeared to be an explicit effort to financially shield Joe Paterno. The other regarded the July transaction, at least on its face, as benign. Last Wednesday, the university's board of trustees fired Paterno and Graham B. Spanier, the university's president. In 2002, Mike McQueary, then a graduate assistant in the football program, told Paterno that he had seen Sandusky with a boy in the football building's showers. How explicit McQueary was in describing what he saw is in dispute. But according to state prosecutors, Paterno testified under oath that McQueary had told him that he had seen Sandusky doing something of a sexual nature to a roughly 10-year-old boy. Paterno did not report the incident to the police or encourage McQueary to make such a report. Instead, he passed along the allegation the next day to the university's athletic department and one other senior administrator. [article link]

Fired Paterno could receive six-figure annual pension from Penn State - Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno's long service at the university theoretically puts him in line for a pension of more than $500,000 a year, according to an Associated Press analysis of state public pension records - The retirement system also confirmed Tuesday that Sandusky collects a $59,000 annual pension and withdrew $148,000 upon retirement


HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno's long service at the university theoretically puts him in line for a pension of more than $500,000 a year, according to an Associated Press analysis of state public pension records. Paterno's pension records obtained Tuesday from the State Employees' Retirement System credit him with more than 60 years in the system. The formula used to determine benefits makes him eligible for a pension equal to 100 percent of the average of his three highest-salary years. His pay rose from $541,000 to $568,000 over the past three full calendar years. When Paterno retires, he will have to make a set of choices to determine his pension, including whether to designate a survivor to receive benefits after he dies and whether to obtain a one-time, lump-sum payment of his own contributions. State Employees' Retirement System spokeswoman Pamela Hile said Internal Revenue Code and Retirement Code benefit limits may also apply, so the agency does not issue estimated pension benefits ahead of time. There also is a long-service supplement that could boost Paterno to 110 percent of his final average salary. A 2006 report on Pennsylvania state pensions said the largest pension at that time within SERS was $254,000, being collected by a Penn State surgery professor who had withdrawn a $554,000 lump sum. [article link]

Column: Schuller makes bishop look humble - Even in bankruptcy, Schuller is asking for $300,000 a year for the rest of his life


The bankruptcy record includes appalling insight into how the Crystal Cathedral Ministry founder and his kin have lived for the last several years as the church was heading to ruination. In late 2005, according to a pleading filed by creditors, Schuller was being phased out as leader and moved into a "roving ambassador" role. For this, according to a transition agreement, he was to be paid $300,000 a year for "discretionary" spending plus a salary that wasn't specified at the time, but was later shown to be as much as $257,000 in 2009. It's one level of avarice to be paid a half-million a year by hard-working congregants for "roving." It's a whole 'nother to be paid that much while your church is collapsing around you. The church filed for bankruptcy in 2010, a year that Schuller's total compensation was at least $447,000, according to the creditors. Shocked yet? How about this: Even in bankruptcy, Schuller is asking for $300,000 a year for the rest of his life. Schuller shamelessly defends the salary. The "ministry has reaped great benefit from that agreement, far in excess of what it has paid, and it stands to receive even more in the coming years," he said in a prepared statement last month. It's further untrue, he said, that ministry officials acted in bad faith - by which I assume he means they had no idea they were in deep financial trouble when they were promising salaries and health care for life for Schuller and his wife. But as early as 2002, the church started borrowing from the special church Endowment Fund to which donors had contributed for a specific purpose. Instead, the money covered salaries and general expenses. The amount of such borrowing ultimately totaled about $10 million. And in 2005, the creditors allege, the church had to stop paying the principle to its major creditor, Farmer & Merchants Bank. If true, these developments would indicate the Schullers knew well before the bankruptcy, even well before the national recession, that their financial plan wasn't working. Yet they kept spending. [article link]

Schuller "Lawsuit allegations unfair and untrue" - Robert H. Schuller [Sr.] shot back in response to a lawsuit filed by creditors saying that he and board members always acted in good faith and in the best interests of the cathedral - Schuller the founder of the Crystal Cathedral, called allegations made in a creditors' lawsuit that the pastor and his family members greatly benefited from the church and provided little in return, unfair and untrue - The complaint was filed after Schuller family members refused to put their own financial claims in bankruptcy court behind the unsecured creditors, primarily **vendors, who are yet to be paid


Referring to his own agreement in 2005 in which the senior Schuller was given $300,000 and benefits, staff and use of an office suite for life, the founder said the "ministry has reaped great benefit from that agreement, far in excess of what it has paid, and it stands to receive even more in the coming years." Among other things, the creditors' lawsuit filed in bankruptcy court Friday alleges that the Cathedral's board drew about $10 million from endowment funds between 2002 and 2009. Money from those funds was used for church expenses and salaries when they were donated for specific purposes such as caring for the Walk of Faith memorial stones. The lawsuit also specifically names Schuller's daughters, son and their families as well as former Chief Financial Officer Fred Southard, saying that they received lavish salaries, housing allowances and other benefits such as travel benefits and vehicles. Schuller's daughters, Carol Schuller Milner and Jeanne Schuller Dunn, have said the lawsuit has inaccuracies and misinformation. Milner said she and her siblings have always been a part of the church and contributed to the best of their abilities, but that most never had a say in the decisions the board made. The complaint says Robert A. Schuller, son of the founder, and his wife, Donna, were promised a $235,000 reserve fund and $1 million in seed money for a new church. In addition, they also got a Mercedes Benz and occupied a condominium owned by the church in Laguna Beach, the suit says. Donna Schuller, who has also been named in the lawsuit, said Tuesday that the Mercedes mentioned in the complaint was a gift from a family friend in 2005. At the time, her husband requested that the car be put in the church's name so it would encourage their friend to give to the ministry in the future, she said in an email to the Register. "When we left the church in 2008, Robert asked the church to please give the car back to him since it was rightfully his car and he did not have another one to drive," she said. "He still drives the car and it has 125,000 miles on it." Donna Schuller also said she and her husband never saw the $235,000 that was promised to them in 2008, when he was "forced out by a couple of his siblings." The money was meant to go toward their new ministry, she said. "In turn, neither of us was to say anything disparaging about the ministry," she said. "I called it 'hush money' at the time." The contract also agreed to pay up to $1 million to start Robert A. Schuller's new ministry once the cathedral sold a piece of property worth $5 million or more, Donna Schuller said. The amount would then be pro-rated depending on the salaries that had been paid to them, she said. But, the [Crystal] cathedral has not fulfilled their contract to help Robert A. Schuller [Jr.] start a new ministry, his wife said. [article link]

Crystal Cathedral decision delayed - The decision on whether Chapman University or the [Catholic] Diocese of Orange should be allowed to purchase the iconic Garden Grove Crystal Cathedral has been put on hold until Thursday [Nov. 17, 2011] - The hearing that was due to decide the question yesterday was tabled until Thursday, after both sides modified their bids for the property - {Note: The Catholic Church would be a better fit for the Crystal Cathedral property, considering that the location is in a highly Catholic area, enabling and providing the Catholic Church with a unique ministry opportunity.}


As the case currently stands, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange is the high bidder; going into court on Monday, the Diocese's bid stood at $55.4 million, with the option to lease back some of the buildings on the campus for three years, but the end requirement that the congregation move to an alternative worship space. The creditor's committee, however, endorsed Chapman University's offer, in spite of the fact that it amounted to a lower dollar figure. The University came into court on Monday with a $51.5 million purchase bid, the option to lease back core campus buildings and the option repurchase buildings over a period of time.
[article link]

Chapman University sweetens offer for Crystal Cathedral campus - The Chapman offer includes a $2-million reserve fund to pay church founder the Rev. Robert H. Schuller - He [Schuller] and other family members have sought some or all of that money from the bankruptcy court in unspecified "insider" claims, including copyright infringement for using his name and sermons - Carl Grumer, the attorney for the family members, said that $2 million would not be enough to pay the claims


After a daylong hearing to hash out the latest offers, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Kwan said he would give the Crystal Cathedral board two days to discuss the Chapman proposal. A hearing is set for Thursday afternoon [Nov. 17, 2011], when Kwan is expected to rule on a plan. The Crystal Cathedral's board last week said either bidder would be acceptable, but that now could change. The Chapman offer includes a $2-million reserve fund to pay church founder the Rev. Robert H. Schuller, 85, his wife Arvella, their daughter Carol Schuller Milner and her husband, Timothy Milner, for various claims. Schuller had previously arranged to be paid $350,000 in living expenses per year for the rest of his life. He and other family members have sought some or all of that money from the bankruptcy court in unspecified "insider" claims, including copyright infringement for using his name and sermons. Carl Grumer, the attorney for the family members, said that $2 million would not be enough to pay the claims. The newest offer from the Catholic diocese was increased to take those claims into account, diocesan attorney Alan Martin said. "Everything else is the same," Martin said. [article link]

Catholic diocese raises offer for Crystal Cathedral found by televangelist Robert Schuller - Many church members have been pushing for the offer from Chapman University - which is also preferred by the ministry's board - because they want the glass-spired church and cemetery to remain in Protestant hands - But the Schullers' attorney, Carl Grumer, said he backed the [Catholic] Diocese's proposal because the extra money would help cover some of his clients' [Schullers'] claims against the church [Crystal Cathedral], which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year - Milner [Carol Schuller Milner], the Schullers' daughter, said her parents have dedicated their lives to building the ministry - {I wonder if the Schullers' think that they have dedicated their lives to building a church in the same way that Jesus dedicated and gave His life for His Church.}


Much of the at-times heated discussion Monday focused on how big a reserve fund the church needs to cover these claims by Schuller, his wife and daughter over rights to use of his books and sermons, and an agreement by the church to pay the elderly couple's housing allowance, travel expenses and insurance until they die. Grumer had suggested the court set the reserve fund at $6.5 million. But Kwan found that no money was needed to cover intellectual property claims, citing a lack of sufficient evidence, and that only $500,000 was needed to cover a gap in the annual payments owed to the Schullers under an earlier agreement, noting the church recently voted to pay them $290,000 a year for life. Upset by the decision, Carol Milner, the Schullers' daughter, said her parents have dedicated their lives to building the ministry and have refrained from filing an intellectual property lawsuit to help the church get back on its feet. Milner said her father has continued to help with fundraising and his image is still used everywhere, but she doubted that would continue much longer under the strained relationship with the church. 'We're really treading on thin ice here. This is going to be a slap in the face,' she told reporters after the hearing. ... The church declared bankruptcy last year. Today, the decline in revenue is slowing, Michael VanderLey, a corporate finance consultant in the case, told the court Monday. Church revenue fell to $4 million in December 2010 from $6.7 million in December 2009 and is expected to reach about $3.5 million this December, he said. About 70 percent of the church's revenue stems from the 'Hour of Power' program, VanderLey said. Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. [article link]

Update: 11-15-2011 - Update: back home and should resume blog postings soon ~ God bless everyone, David Anson Brown [article link]

Should Penn State cancel or move Saturday's game against Nebraska? - It bears asking again - Tonight, in light of Joe Paterno's firing and reports of unruly mobs in State College, I want to reiterate that question but with an important distinction: Should Penn State cancel or move Saturday's game against Nebraska? {Note: It is important to note that it is the consequences from the actions of a very few people [i.e. Sandusky, Paterno, McQueary, Spanier, a few students, etc.] that have continued and escalated this very difficult situation. By far the vast majority of Penn State faculty, staff and students are not a part of the disastrous events that have unfolded.}
I think it's become clear that Penn State needs to cancel Saturday's home game against Nebraska. Or, if it is somehow possible, they should move the game either to a neutral field or even to Nebraska. I know how "unfair" this is from a football standpoint, but frankly I think any football issues should be the last issues dictating what is done in this case. Making important decisions with football as the #1 barometer is what got Penn State in the situation it's in; I think it should go without saying that it should now be moved to the bottom of the importance scale, even though I'd hate the negative effect on the innocent players who currently man the Nittany Lion roster. There were reports tonight of media vans being tipped over and rocks being thrown at reporters. When I shut down Twitter to start writing this, police dogs were on the verge of being unleashed according to multiple reports. Does this sound like a campus that is ready to host a football game on Saturday? I don't think so. And to those who will say that things will die down by Saturday, I respond thusly: yes, maybe they will…but what if they don't? And it leads me back to where the benefit of the doubt now needs to go in Penn State's decision making: away from football and as close to an 100% assurance of safety as possible. I don't think a football game just days after all of this, with emotions still likely to be raw and even unbridled, guarantees 100% safety. If Penn State is committed to making changes that will ensure innocent people aren't horribly violated on their watch in the future, this is a no-brainer first step. Cancel Saturday's game against Nebraska, or move it out of State College if you can (my preferred resolution, for the record). Any other decision is putting football over safety, and in case you need to know why that's wrong, just remember that it's the most likely reason for why we are here in the first place. [article link]

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