Nun involved in Katy Perry convent lawsuit collapses, dies in court

A nun who was involved in a legal battle against Katy Perry and the Los Angeles Archdiocese died on Friday during related legal proceedings in Los Angeles County Court.

Sister Catherine Rose Holzman, one of the two nuns who were fighting the sale of the eight-acre convent Perry sought to buy, collapsed and died during a hearing to decide who owned the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart convent in Los Feliz, Los Angeles.

“Sister Catherine Rose served the Church with dedication and love for many years and today we remember her life with gratitude,” Archbishop Jose H. Gomez said Friday in a statement. “We extend our prayers today to the Immaculate Heart of Mary community and to all her friends and loved ones.”

READ MORE: Katy Perry to buy 8-acre former Catholic convent after judge gives ruling

“To Katy Perry, please stop. It’s not doing anyone any good except hurting a lot of people,” Holzman, 89, had earlier told KTTV as she entered the courthouse with Sister Rita Callanan.

Perry sought to buy the hilltop property in the Los Feliz neighbourhood in 2015 for US$14.5 million and to relocate an adjoining house of prayer used by priests. Her bid had the approval of Los Angeles’ archbishop but would have to be approved by the Vatican.

Holzman and Cullanan, among five nuns who had lived at the convent, had sought to sell the property for US$15.5 million to restaurateur Dana Hollister, who wanted to convert the property into a hotel.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles sued to block the sale in 2015, arguing the nuns did not have authority to sell the property to Hollister. A judge ruled in 2016 that the sale was invalid, paving the way for Perry to buy the site from the archdiocese.

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In December a jury ordered that Hollister pay almost US$10 million in compensatory damages to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Perry for interfering with the Archdiocese’s sale of the property to the Dark Horse singer.

A spokeswoman for Perry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Los Angeles County medical examiner and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles have not revealed Holzman’s cause of death.

—With files from Reuters

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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