In June, a small group of nuns embroiled in a real estate dispute with the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles vowed to fight the sale of their Los Feliz former convent to pop star Katy Parry. Friday, the ladies took the case to the courts.
Facing retirement, the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary recently agreed to sell the eight-acre piece of property, which offers views of both downtown L.A. and the San Gabriel Mountains, to local restaurateur Dana Hollister for $15.5 million.
The deal was moving forward, until the Los Angeles Archdiocese, headed by Archbishop Jose Gomez, claimed legal authority over the property and fought to block the sale.
Gomez claimed the nuns’ deal was unauthorized, and instead offered pop singer Katy Perry the compound for 14.5 million, $1 million less than a deal with Hollister would yield.
The nuns used their own money to purchase the property decades ago at a discount from a benefactor, and aside from the conflict regarding who actually has the power to sell the land, and to whom, the women fear their costs will not be covered.
The Los Angeles Times reports the sisters filed legal documents Friday, wherein their attorneys claim the archdiocese only sought to establish control over the nonprofit institute last month, during the conflict, and sent in a team to take things over to force them out of the deal.
Attorneys for the nuns described the move Friday as a “hostile takeover” and said the attempt to seize control was illegal.
The Immaculate Heart ladies first learned of Perry in September of 2014, when she was introduced to them as Katheryn Hudson, her legal name, by the Archdiocese.
After becoming familiar with her music, the nuns met with Perry, but were left unimpressed, despite the singer’s attempt to impress them with gospel music, a tattoo of Jesus, and her sporting conservative clothing.
The attorneys said Friday in documents they did not wish to sell to Perry “for what should be obvious reasons coming from Catholic nuns.”
Additionally, the Times reports Gomez initially told the nuns to proceed with plans to sell the property to Hollister and asked them to present a proposal for him to approve, per court documents obtained by the L.A. Times.
After following the instructions, Gomez allegedly refused to approve the deal and decided to sell to Perry for $14.5 million.
The ladies contend they wish to find the best deal for their retirement and would like their beloved property to end up in hands they trust.
“We have given many years to this archdiocese and we have served them well,” Sister Rita Callahan said a month ago. For the archdiocese to … put us under a bus and run over us, I’m sorry, it was just too much for me.”