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Judge's Ruling Clears The Way For Katy Perry To Buy Los Feliz Convent

The Los Feliz convent at the heart of the battle. (Photo by Michael Locke via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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An L.A. judge has invalidated the sale of a former convent in Los Feliz to restaurateur Dana Hollister, clearing the way for Katy Perry to buy the property. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephanie Bowick announced her decisions during a brief hearing Wednesday morning. The case had pitted Perry and the Los Angeles Archdiocese against five elderly nuns, who preferred that their former convent be sold to Hollister. The archdiocese filed suit to stop the Hollister sale in June 2015.The Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary purchased the 8-acre gated, hilltop property in 1972. The aging convent was home to the California Institute of the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary for nearly 40 years, but none of the order's remaining five sisters currently live on the property—the Archdiocese of Los Angeles kicked them out in 2011, according to a Billboard story.

"I think it’s because they were trying to sell our property," Sister Catherine Rose Holzman, 86, told Billboard. "They had been trying for years even when we lived there. But none of us ever wanted to leave.”

Billboard reports that the archdiocese's treatment of the sisters "devolved into a troubling pattern of neglect and broken promises" over the last two decades, and that the sisters fear they won't see a penny from a sale to Perry (the archdiocese brokered Perry’s offer to pay $14.5 million—$10 million to cash—for the property without the nuns’ involvement, according to Billboard). Billboard reports that Hollister’s offer for $15.5 million (with only $100,000 in cash) was made directly to the sister's order.

The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary argue that they had the legal authority to sell the property to Hollister because it is among the assets of their order's nonprofit institute, according to the L.A. Times.

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Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Archdiocese has fought to stop the sale, countering that the church has exclusive legal authority over the property, meaning the nuns were unauthorized to broker a sale.

“Katy Perry represents everything we don’t believe in,” Holzman told Billboard. “It would be a sin to sell to her.” City News Service reports that a sale to Perry will likely occur soon.

In a statement to LAist, Perry's attorney Eric V. Rowen said that although they were still awaiting the judge's written order (it will be released later today), his team was "very pleased with the Judge’s description of her ruling this morning, which indicates that we won the real property issues, clearing the way for our client to buy the property at issue."