Politics & Culture

Bigoted Nun Dies in Court Battling Katy Perry

by Dhika Himawan
The fight over the Los Angeles convent dumps more drama on Perry. But she doesn't deserve it.

Nearly four years ago, Katy Perry’s complicated real estate battle with two elderly Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary begun. A few days ago, Sister Catherine Rose Holzman collapsed in court and died at the age of 89. Thanks to headlines like “Nun Dies in Court While Fighting Convent Sale to Katy Perry” or “A Nun Begged Katy Perry Not to Buy Her Convent — Then Collapsed and Died,” it looks like the singer is to blame for the nun’s death, but we disagree.


Some background: In 2014, the American Idol judge tried to purchase the Los Feliz eight-acre convent in Los Angeles, but two nuns refused to sell it to her. They wanted Dana Hollister to have it instead, a restauranteur who had plans to turn the estate into a boutique hotel. But the court ruled that the nuns had no right to sell the property to Hollister. They needed permission from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, who in fact had agreed to sell it to Perry for $14.5 million. She was even ready to pay the sum in cash and the archdiocese had plans to put part of it to the nuns’s retirement fund. So why have they been fighting so hard to prevent the pop-star from living in the hill-top home?


According to the New York Timesthe recently passed away Sister Rose Holzman said, “In selling to Katy Perry, we feel we are being forced to violate our canonical vows to the Catholic Church.” She was referring to Perry’s image with songs like “I Kissed a Girl” and “Ur So Gay,” after “googling” her on the web. The sisters also looked to Perry’s Super Bowl halftime show in 2015 and asked, "I thought, is that a way to make money?"


"Maybe I could fly around. I could be the flying nun,” said Sister Rita to the Los Angeles Times.


Perry has long been an outspoken supporter of equal rights and the LGBTQ community, and there was no doubt that the sisters took offense to that fact. Keep in mind that all of the sisters moved out in 2011, so it wasn't like Perry was kicking them out somehow. They only had one reason to prevent the popstar from living there: her views on sexuality. Over the past four years, the Teenage Dream singer has been repeatedly refused by the homophobic nuns to live in a house she can afford to pay for, all while the court continues to grant her the right to purchase it. Yet when one of the nuns died in court, the media takes it as an opportunity to present Perry as a nun killer, with sensationalism as the only feasible reason. What's new, world? 


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