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Convent fight pitting Katy Perry and L.A. Archdiocese against a pair of nuns heats up

Sister Catherine and Sister Rita outside the IHM Retreat House on June 25, 2015 in Los Feliz, California.

Sister Catherine and Sister Rita outside the IHM Retreat House on June 25, 2015 in Los Feliz, California.  (2015 Los Angeles Times)

The bitter fight between the Los Angeles Archdiocese and a pair of nuns who don’t want to sell their former convent to pop star Katy Perry continues in court.

Attorneys for the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the L.A. Archdiocese are scheduled for a court hearing at the end of the month.

The judge in the case will listen to the arguments by the archdiocese that the sale of the hilltop property in Los Feliz by the nuns to restaurateur Dana Hollister for $15.5 million should be nixed, the Los Angeles Times reported.

In the meantime, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Chalfant has asked the attorneys for the two groups to work out the details of a restraining order sought by the nuns against the archdiocese, which has sued the nuns to stop them from selling the property to Hollister, the Times reported.

The archdiocese, led by Archbishop Jose Gomez, argues it has legal control over the property and has already agreed to sell the property to singer Perry for $14.5 million in cash. A judge will listen to this particular argument in October.

According to the archdiocese, Hollister put down $44,000 for possession of the property title and is not required to make any additional payments until July 2018.

“The Dana Hollister deal is horrible,” the archdiocese’s attorney J. Michael Hennigan told the Times. “Forty-four thousand dollars and not a penny for three years, are you kidding?”

The fight between the two groups seems to have begun in September 2014 when the nuns say they were informed that the archbishop had plans to sell the property to a woman called Katherine Hudson. They later learned Hudson was actually superstar Perry.

The LA Times reported the sisters objected to selling the property to the “Roar” singer after learning of her public persona and moved on with their plans to sell to Hollister.

"In selling to Katy Perry, we feel we are being forced to violate our canonical vows to the Catholic Church," Sister Catherine Rose Holzman wrote to an official of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, according to the New York Times.

According to documents filed in court last week, the nuns said the sale to Hollister would bring more money and provide care for the sisters in their retirement.

Gomez reportedly told the sisters to meet with him to present a sale proposal for him to approve, but never met with them and instead moved forward with his agreement to Perry, their attorneys said.

The nuns’ attorney said the archdiocese never sought to establish legal control over the order’s nonprofit institute until June.

As for Perry, the 30-year-old singer reportedly met with the nuns recently at the property, dressing conservatively, showed them her “Jesus” tattoo on her wrist and even gave them a performance of the gospel hymn “Oh Happy Day!”

During the meeting, the singer supposedly revealed she “wanted to live on the property with her mother and her grandmother, sit in the mediation garden, sip green tea and find herself,” the L.A. Times said.

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