Nuns have sued a strip club in a suburban Chicago Neighborhood for disturbances to their lifestyle caused by the club being too close. The nuns claim that the club disturbs their prayers and peace with throbbing music at night.
"Our sisters' sacred space has been invaded," Sister Noemia Silva said. "At night now they hear the music when they're praying. That's uncalled for."
The damages are not only of a spiritual nature. They also say that they have been exposed to the normal nastiness that comes with the territory of a strip club. 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.
The lawsuit has been brought by the The Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo, the village of Melrose Park, and three other Melrose Park citizens. They name Club Allure Chicago and the village of Stone Park in their suit, which they filed on Friday under the main issue of zoning laws.
The state of Illinois has a law stating that places of adult entertainment must leave a 1,000 foot buffer between them and places of worship or schools when they build. Allure Chicago happens to be built right along the back fence of the the sisters' property which includes three chapels, a house for retired sisters, and a home for young women who are contemplating becoming a nun.
"The Sisters have every right to pray and work peacefully without disruption from a strip club in their backyard.", said Peter Breen, the lawyer for the nuns.
However, the manager of the club claims that they have acted reasonably and that precautions were taken so that the location wouldn't be a problem. Could this be a ploy to put out of business an establishment that obviously disagrees with what the nuns believe? Maybe, according to Club Allure's manager Robert Itzkow.
"We spent an awful lot of money to make sure that this kind of thing would not occur. The whole thing is just a question of 'we don't like you; you don't conform to our religious beliefs.'"
He went on to say that the dancers "aren't monsters. They're daughters; they're mothers, and some of them are Catholics too."
It sounds like the nuns are more worried about the patrons not the dancers, but either way, the nuns say they are the losers in the deal, not the $3 million club that may have to shutter it's doors.
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