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'Love thy neighbor'? Nuns sue nearby strip club

Nuns File Lawsuit Against Strip Club

The Sisters of St. Charles named Club Allure Chicago and the village of Stone Park in their lawsuit filed Friday in Cook County Circuit Court. They claim the club violates Illinois zoning laws, which require a 1,000-foot buffer between adult entertainment facilities and places of worship.

The sisters' property in Melrose Park includes three chapels. The strip club opened in the neighboring village of Stone Park in September.

The sisters have seen "public violence, drunkenness and litter, including . empty whiskey and beer bottles, discarded contraceptive packages and products and even used condoms," according to the lawsuit, which also mentions the "pulsating and rhythmic staccato-beat noise and flashing neon and or strobe lights" that disturb the nuns.

"Our sisters' sacred space has been invaded," Sister Noemia Silva told the Chicago Sun-Times. "At night now they hear the music when they're praying. That's uncalled for."

The nuns have a right to pray and work peacefully without interference, said attorney Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based public interest law firm representing the convent.

Stone Park Village Attorney Dean Krone said the village has acted legally and reasonably. Club representatives said they aren't a nuisance to the nuns and the lawsuit's claims aren't backed up by police reports.

While the Bible says, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," the manager of the club said the nuns are not being very neighborly.

"We spent an awful lot of money to make sure that this kind of thing would not occur," Club Allure manager Robert Itzkow told WMAQ-TV. "The whole thing is just a question of `we don't like you; you don't conform to our religious beliefs.'"

Itzkow said the club's dancers "aren't monsters. They're daughters; they're mothers, and some of them are Catholics too."

The village of Melrose Park and three of its residents joined the nuns in the lawsuit.

"We are violated," neighbor Patricia Zito told WMAQ-TV. "We have a new generation of young families who should not put up with this."

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dal June 18 2014 at 5:56 AM

I am not a big fan of religions but I got to side with the sisters here, if what I just read is a daily thing I would be pissed as well. There is nothing redeeming about a strip club and the class of people it attracts is not one any town should want to encourage. I can only hope the sisters get some justice in this case.

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3 replies
mamatiger919 June 18 2014 at 7:00 AM

It is simple. If there is a rule that says that there has to be a 1000 ft buffer and the owner is not in compliance, he has to go. I don't think any church or residential area want to be next to a strip joint.

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9 replies
onionson June 18 2014 at 5:31 AM

I'm not a big fan of The Catholic Church but I'm with you on this one. Go Sisters!

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2 replies
savannahswithgod onionson June 18 2014 at 6:10 AM

Be a fan of whatever you want but I venture the Lord does not need a Church!

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14 replies
lulu onionson June 18 2014 at 1:55 PM

If they got a permit from the City that is all they need. What about if the owners of the Club were the ones demanding that they get out of that area because is bad for their business?

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3 replies
JO ANN AND TOM June 18 2014 at 7:02 AM

JUDGING FROM THE COMMENTS, WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE. GOOD LUCK TO THE SISTERS..

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3 replies
traysteph23 June 18 2014 at 7:27 AM

It comes down to the zoning law, and if they are less than 1000 ft, then the nuns are right. Also, how many of you would want to walk outside of your home and see the streets and side walks littered with beer bottles and condoms. I doubt any of you would tolerate that. I have nothing against clubs. Don't like them, but I am not against them. Owners of these clubs just need to use common sense and courtesy when choosing where to put them.

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7 replies
Mike June 18 2014 at 5:17 AM

The nuns should know that there is more sex going on in the rectories than in a strip club.

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17 replies
pboucard50 June 18 2014 at 6:10 AM

At least the club doesn't kill babies...Almost 800 'forgotten' Irish children dumped in septic tank mass grave at Catholic home run by nuns.
The reason the nuns' prayers are not answered is because God is at the club.

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17 replies
Victor June 18 2014 at 5:40 AM

oh get a grip these nuns and priests are carrying on worse than anyone

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7 replies
ExAZtential June 18 2014 at 8:42 AM

Looks like the Nun's want many of the Club Allure patrons to kick their Habits!

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1 reply
Welcome MSGT ExAZtential June 18 2014 at 2:30 PM

Funny

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dtrevdav1 June 18 2014 at 7:39 AM

What are these nuns job anyway? To get sinners to repent and change their ways isn't it? Well they have a whole mother lode of candidates right at their doorstep. They'll have more than enough work here to justify their chosen profession.

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4 replies
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