Nuns roar back at Katy Perry, claiming mistranslation of Vatican decree allowing purchase of convent

Katy Perry will hear an order of LA-area nuns "Roar" after the sisters this week accused local church officials of misquoting the Vatican to smooth the singer's $14.5 million purchase of a contested convent.

Perry had seemingly won the right to purchase the 22,000-square-foot Mediterranean mansion that once housed the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary order after a judge ruled for Perry and the LA archdiocese and against the nuns. But on Monday, lawyers for Sisters Rita Callanan and Catherine Rose Holzman asked the state Superior Court judge to consider new evidence – a translation they say shows a Vatican decree regarding the case was misrepresented.

“In fact, and completely contrary to what [LA archdiocese] represented to the Court, the Decree, when properly translated from its original Latin into English, stated in no uncertain terms that the dispute” was still being decided in Rome, the motion states.

Court documents obtained by allege that the “false translation” implying that the Vatican had not approved the Sisters’ sale and it was no longer under consideration was provided by the representatives for the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Archdiocese.

None of the five nuns remaining from the order, which once numbered 52, live on the property, which has belonged to the order since it was bequeathed to it some 40 years ago. They claim the right to sell it, and had already struck a $15.5 million deal with local developer and restaurateur Dana Hollister.

After striking a deal with the nuns nearly a year ago, Hollister registered the deed and moved into the property. But the archdiocese moved to nullify that sale and, two weeks ago, Los Angeles Superior Court judge Stephanie Bowick ruled that church officials, not the nuns, had the right to sell the eight-acre convent on Waverly Place in the Los Feliz section.

Bowick’s ruling, according to the motion, rested heavily on a translation of the decree from the Vatican, which was provided by the archdiocese’s legal team.

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