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Nuns Protest 'Porno Palace' Strip Club Launching Next to Their Convent

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"You know, miracles happen."

There's a bizarre drama unfolding in Melrose Park, Illinois, as a new strip club is scheduled to open next to a Catholic convent. The two buildings couldn't be more different in terms of their intended usage, but the main conflict seems to center upon a "buffer zone" and an alleged failure to alert the nuns of the coming "attraction." Catholic News Agency reports:

A $3 million strip club preparing to open next to a Catholic convent in an Illinois village is in violation of a state “buffer zone,” a legal group representing local residents and the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo has charged.

“For over 60 years, the Sisters of St. Charles have devoted their lives to teaching the children of Stone Park – service for which they’re now being repaid with a ‘porno palace’ towering over their convent,” Peter Breen, executive director of the Chicago-based Thomas More Society, said March 13.

“This facility was located in clear violation of state law, and zoning permissions were given without notice to the Sisters, whose convent is located immediately next to this facility.”

In 2010, the establishment -- which will feature partially nude women and alcohol -- apparently began seeking permission to build. Local officials claim that two public hearings were held, but letters of notification were apparently sent to the wrong address based on an "error."

The club, called "Get It," is going to be 18,000 square feet and will be located only feet away from the convent's property line. In a fit or irony, Catholic News Service reports that the business will open its doors during Holy Week, with a "dry run" scheduled for April 1.

The argument on the nun's behalf is that proper notification about the project was allegedly not given. CNA continues:

Sr. Madonna Daltoe, treasurer of the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo Scalabrinians, told EWTN News in February the sisters objected to the club on the grounds that it would add to the village’s social problems and would affect the prevalence of Christian values in the community.

Breen told a March 12 Stone Park Village Board meeting that state law requires a one-mile “buffer zone” between adult entertainment facilities and “places of worship.”

"It makes me feel sad because they don't have any consideration for the community here in Stone Park," added Sister Noemi Silva. "You know, miracles happen. My dream is that this place will turn into a library for Stone Park, which we don't have one right now."

But the owner takes a different view and touts the jobs his establishment will bring to the community.

"We're going to create jobs for waiters and waitresses and bus boys and janitors and maintenance workers and parking lot attendants, you know, the kind of jobs that people need," said Bob Itzkow, the club's owner.

The nuns have been joined by protesters who stand opposed to the strip club's presence.

(H/T: Catholic News Agency)

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