80-Y-O Cancer-Stricken Nun Says Katy Perry Legal Battle Over Convent Has Left Her Broke

Singer Katy Perry arrives at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, on Feb. 12, 2017.
Singer Katy Perry arrives at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, on Feb. 12, 2017. | (PHOTO: REUTERS/MARIO ANZUONI)

A nun who is suffering from breast cancer and involved in a legal battle with pop star Katy Perry and the archbishop of Los Angeles over over the sale of a convent in California says she doesn't have money for groceries or health insurance. The other nun involved in the case had recently collapsed and died in court.

Sis. Rita Callanan, from the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, says after years of the legal fight over the sale of the 8-acre property in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, she is struggling to pay her bills, according to The Daily Mail.

Archbishop Jose Gomez claims the convent is under the archdiocese ownership and sold it to Perry, but the two nuns said they have the documents proving they are the rightful owners of the property that they have been trying to sell to a restauranteur.

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"All these years of my religious life, I would never have expected to be fighting an archbishop to keep our own property and money, so we can care for ourselves," Sis Callanan told the Mail. "All we are asking is to sell our own property, keep our own money so we can take care of ourselves until the last person dies, then the money and property can go to the archbishop. There's not many more years, give me a break. He's supposed to be a chief shepherd."

She added, "The archdiocese pays my rent and bills where I am … but the rest comes out of my stipend, which they've reduced by ($750) a month. My health insurance has only been partly paid recently — I got cancellation notice from health insurance, as they didn't pay the bill, so I had to borrow money from a friend as I didn't want it cancelled. I was two months in arrears. They better pay it back to me. I have health issues, I have diabetes and breast cancer. They don't pay some of the bills on time, I said when it comes to this sort of insurance, you have to pay it. I don't know if I'm covered, I'm supposed to be, that's all I know."

On March 9, Callanan's companion, Sister Catherine Rose Holzman, collapsed in court and died.

The nuns tried to stop the archdiocese from selling the convent to the pop star for $14.5 million by making a deal with restaurateur Dana Hollister for $15.5 million. "We asked her (Hollister) to save us, to buy the property," Holzman earlier told Fox.

Hollister was accused of filing a grant deed behind the archdiocese's back which led to this legal dispute. A jury found last November that Hollister interfered with Perry's property deal and asked her to pay millions to the archdiocese and the pop star.

The money was meant to cover the lawyer fees that had been racked up in court by both parties after a judge ruled that the nuns had no legal right to sell the property to Hollister. Michael Geibelson, the lawyer for the restaurateur, insisted at the time that his client thought she had legal rights to sign a contract for the property and was not intentionally trying to stop the sale to Perry.

Holzman had also suffered financially, Callanan told the Mail. She had an unpaid medicine bill and when she gave a check to the pharmacy, it bounced.

"He (the archbishop) is claiming he's taking care of us, that's not true. We send bills up there and they don't get paid. I get my stipend, but it's not leaving me enough for living expenses for the way the cost of living has risen groceries."

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