Catholic Charities cancels event at local Hooters



You can’t make this stuff up:

A benefit for the homeless at the Downtown St. Louis Hooters restaurant drew fire and was ultimately shot down Tuesday.  The St. Patrick’s Center’s  “Dine or Donate” event was set for Thursday night.

St. Patrick’s Center cancelled the event after receiving what a spokeswoman said were a “few dozen” complaints.

St.  Patrick’s Center is a Catholic charity that helps provide food, clothing, shelter, and job training for close to 9,000 people in need in the St. Louis area every year.

The event’s opponents felt the Hooters image of scantily clad waitresses serving food, was hardly in keeping with the Catholic faith.  Waitresses in ultra tight tank tops and short shorts rode a scooter and twirled a hula hoop outside the restaurant to lure customers Tuesday night.

There is more to the story:  for years in St. Louis, “Hooters Girls” have been serving  the homeless around them; volunteering at St. Patrick’s Center, serving lunches there in the proper attire; donating time and food to the St. Patrick’s Center’s mega-fundraiser, the annual Sports Trivia Championship.

But the line was drawn at holding an event for St. Patrick’s Center at the restaurant, with the waitresses clad in their skimpy uniforms.

“I don’t think they should have cancelled it,” said customer, Cheryl Waltrip, a non-Catholic visiting St. Louis.  “I think that any opportunity to raise money especially in our times with people being homeless and jobless.  I think they should take every opportunity they get to raise money.”

She said her husband, who is Catholic, would not object.

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30 responses to “Catholic Charities cancels event at local Hooters”

  1. It’s really unfortunate that nobody had the sense not to schedule this to begin with. Instead of being a non-event, it becomes a slap in the face to everybody from Hooters who volunteers (or will that now be volunteered?) at St. Patrick’s.

    One could also question the extent to which outfits such as those worn at Hooters have become sufficiently commonplace as not to be inherently immoral. Perhaps this is a case where the Church should not be implying that going to Hooters is necessarily sinful, and instead leaving it to individual consciences whether they will be tempted beyond their strength.

  2. Then there was the Catholic Charities outfit that had hired the Village People for their big fundraiser. Fortunately, someone mentioned that having Catholic clerics singing along to the VPs hit about the joys of meeting young homosexual boys in a public gym was a VERY bad idea.

  3. None of the members of my family will go to a Hooters. They, especially the women, feel that naming a chain after the crude slang for women’s breasts and being served by semi-clad waitresses is just more of the rampant sexual sleezing down of America.
    (Or could we call it the Weinerization of America??)

  4. Will have to see if the charity will still receive the benefit of the volunteers now that the event at the restaurant was cancelled. Double edged sword here. If the attire is proper you can help us fund raise, if not—forget it.

  5. I just submitted a comment that read “You post too fast.” ???

    I don’t know if it will show up later or not, so rewriting it.

    My point was, that perhaps those most in need of clothing are none other than the Hooter Girls.

    When I read this, Mother Theresa came to mind, forever reminding we Americans that we were the “poorest of the poor”, at least spiritually.

    It actually makes sense that Hooter Girls would be drawn to the physically poor, for the simple reason, it’s usually in the needy that we see Christ. Most women who are OK dressing in a provactive way are usually the same women who have a great void in their lives, and that void is almost always God.

    The paradox of this whole story, I think, is that the Hooter Girls need the poor more than the poor need the help of the Hooter Girls, perhaps what God had in mine when he said the poor would always be among us.

  6. Well, perhaps our older commentators, or young and informed/well catechized commentators, that the The “9 Ways We Participate in Others’ Sins” are:

    By counsel
    By command
    By consent
    By provocation
    By praise or flattery
    By concealment
    By partaking
    By silence
    By defense of the ill done

    So by doing this St. Patrick’s church event at the Hooters, where the women are being “lustful” as it were and much of the food and drink is calorie and fat laden, a number of the 9 ways apply here: consent if you went regardless and exposed yourself to an environment of gluttony and lust, if the Church “counseled” its parishoners to go, if people went there are praised or flattered the lustful waitresses, partaking speaks for itself, and saying nothing unlike the complainers by silence. Thank goodness people spoke up and in essence helped saved each others’ souls in that parish.

  7. The article said the waitresses dress appropriately when they serve the homeless at St. Patrick’s so I think they already understand the conflict for a Catholic charity. I doubt if there will be any bad reaction by Hooters – at least I hope not.

  8. Is this “Catholic Charities” or a “Catholic” charity? It makes a difference because CC is run by the diocese, where as a “Catholic” charity could be just about anything.

    Either way though…it’s pathetic.

  9. I think prostitutes and loose women of Judea in Jesus’ day dressed a little bit more decently than the hooters girls at work today. Honestly, if you were a father (and I am to three daughters) would you like to see them degrade themselves dressing like that? Remember “near occasion for sin”?

    The end does not justify the means.

  10. Rudy, So Jesus wouldn’t go? Lets flip it the other way: because Hooter girls wear short shorts and tight tops, does that make them prostitutes or loose women? I have 3 daughters too, and although none ever worked at Hooters, I can see how a young woman, perhaps a single mom, in need of a living might do so. Rudy, have you ever been to Hooters? I have only seen it on TV; but from what I’ve seen it is hardly a near occasion, at least for me.

  11. Whoa – and here of all places, a DEACON commenter has given evidence of the reason we cannot depend upon our own consciences or to that of others, like the planners of the event.

    You can deny to kingdom come that the waitresses costumes have nothing to do with lust but you know the truth. Would the costume be appropriate for your daughter to wear on a date? – or for your wife to wear to church? – or for a nun’s habit?

    You, sir, need to look to Scripture.

    Job 31:1 – I have made a covenant with my eyes not to look upon a maiden with lust.
    Jesus said, “Anyone looking on a woman (child, another human being, pictures or pornography) with lust (disrespect, irreverence, devaluing, dehumanizing, violating) has committed adultery (all unclean or forbidden sexual acts violating her) in his heart.”

    Your comments show why it is foolish, even dangerous to trust people in charge of the church. Pornography is growing like a plague among men, women, and children, even those ordained in the church.

  12. Oh for Pete’s sake. I’ve seen girls in church with less than what the Hooter’s waitress wears. It’s a burger, steak and fries joint. Nothing salacious happens. Such hypocrites.

  13. “Oh for Pete’s sake. I’ve seen girls in church with less than what the Hooter’s waitress wears.”

    But that should not be. I have also sat in church (in FL) behind girls wearing strapless outfits and it looks like they are naked. It is not appropriate for worship. There should be a dress code for church and for Christians. It is not love to tempt our brothers to lust.

  14. Hypocrasy? I wonder how long Hooters would stay in business if they were wearing loose blouses and long skirts and no makeup. Get real. People go there to ogle the girls; the burgers and fries are secondary. Think Playboy – how many would buy it for the ‘articles’ without the photos?

    Jesus may have hung with sinners but he was also teaching them about their sin and expected them to change. Now I suppose a priest could have stood up at the Hooters event and done the same…..yea, right.

  15. Hypocritical? Tell that to the millions of men addicted to pornography.

    If women do not respect themselves, then men will not do either.

  16. Deacon,
    I”m writing from St. Louis, and donate to the St. Patrick’s Center. Just so you know, St. Patrick’s Center is an outstanding service for the homeless that finds them shelter and teaches them and mentors them until they have jobs. To quote from its website: St. Patrick’s “is the largest provider of homeless services in Missouri, with 28 housing, employment and mental health programs assisting more than 9,000 persons annually who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.” And it really does, and it’s programs really work.

    Hooters was just another of the chain restaurants that St. Patrick’s works with for a fund-raising day. If patrons eat at the restaurant on a certain day, a percentage of the bill is automatically donated to the charity. This wasn’t going to be a fund-raising dinner.
    Finally while St. Patrick’s is a Catholic charity, it is not itself Catholic Charities.
    I’ll pass on the debate over the waitresses’ outfits, and whether they are “Catholic” or not.

  17. St. Patrick’s Center is one of many agencies that comprise Catholic Charities of St. Louis, a magnificent metropolitan charity that I once worked for as a fund raiser. Today Catholic Charities is still doing terrific work on fewer dollars because many of its donors are unemployed or under-employed. I’m no prude but there is no way that any Catholic Charities function should take place at Hooters. I don’t know who made the initial decision to book the event there but if Cardinal Burke were still the ordinary in St. Louis, it would not happen again, I’m sure. Some things common sense dictates you just don’t do. This may stand at the top of that list.

  18. For all you who have never been in a Hooters before, all it is is a restaurant that serves pretty good food. My family goes all the time. Are the girls skimply dressed? NO. You would see more skin on a girls basketball team than five waitresses at Hooters.

  19. This post is just a reminder that anybody can call themselves what they want here. For that matter, they do in real life, too. Doesn’t Cam Newton’s dad call himself at least a deacon?

  20. #14 Sibyl, we are REQUIRED to follow our formed and informed connsciences, even if it contradicts church doctrine. Have fun with that one……………………..

  21. If you’re offended by the sight of a Hooters waitress then what do you do when faced with women joggers, swimmers, gymnasts, cheerleaders, track and field athletes, ice skaters, ballet dancers and most of the girls at the mall?

  22. In a world where Pornography is bigger than General Motors I think the idea that hosting and event where women are ogled as sex objects is a very stupid, stupid thing to do. Jesus would not go. He would draw in the sand and say I will not condemn you but “go and sin no more!” Unfortunately even great sinners will do “good worldly” things in order to sell us on doing unholy things. When that is the case we should always, always! forgo the worldly goods they can provide for our own and their eternal salvation.

  23. #24 David B, the point of Church doctrine is to form our consciences. So if your conscience is contrary to Church doctrine, then it is either malformed or uninformed. It is a very arrogant statement to claim you know better than the Church that speaks for Christ.

    #25 dympha, part of the issue is the intent of the uniform. A gymnast, etc, wears their uniform for its functionality in what they do. Imagine a gymnast who tried to do what they do in jeans and a parka. The chances of overheating and falling would increase. Hooter’s uniforms are not for functionality, they are simply for trying to induce lust for the segment of the population that would be drawn in by it.

  24. “for years…”Hooter’s Girls” have been.. volunteering at St. Patrick’s Center”. So they serve two gods? One being our Lord who stresses the works of mercy, and the other being the things of this world? Hooter’s isn’t the only place to find gainful employment. And God save us from liberal Catholics! Yes indeed, Jesus hung around with sinners and I know for a fact that before He parted company with them, they knew they were to ‘go and sin no more’. Any female who wants to be identified by her female body parts is engaging in the sin of pride and possibly other sins. To say “I will sin to make money, but I will also perform a work of mercy” doesn’t cut it. It’s insincere. Why is there even a deacon defending this? And there is so much error in so many of the responses posted here and on other Catholic sites. How can there be so many Catholics who don’t know the Faith they claim to profess? I’ll answer my own question: not enough priests and deacons who are CORRECTLY instructing the ignorant. Some, yes…but not enough. And too many ‘Catholics’ engaged in the sin of pride themselves when they decide for themselves what is right and what is wrong, rather than following Church teachings. Wake up, everybody!

  25. #24 Dennis And Sibyl My statement wasn’t just some words in passing. Until recently I may have agreed with you. Quoting from James Bretzke’s A Morally Complex World (2004) …”it is the constant teaching of the Church that an individual always follow his or her conscience, even when that conscience might be in “objective” error on what is morally right. However, it is still a basic teaching of the Church that we are bound to follow our conscience faithfully in all of our activity even if our conscience be incorrect, incompletely formed, and we cannot rectify these failings.”

    He goes on to say we cannot overlook our obligation to form and inform our conscience and this freedom in not absolute, limited by the common good (suicide/murder).

    “…the CCC states emphatically that no one must be forced to act contrary to his or her conscience, and that one must always follow his or her conscience,”

    I may have gotten away from the Hooter’s argument. It seems to me that a reasonable person could decide for himself using his moral compass on wheter he’d attend the charity event, or not. I’d expect to see this kind of holier than thou attitudes here in the deep south where I’m among the 5% of Catholics.

    Dennis, I didn’t claim anywhere in my simple sentence that I knew better than the Church.

    BTW, Hooter’s food sucks, but I don’t know how I was able to determine that.

    Deacon Greg I’m new her but I greatly appreciate your blog. I repost many of your entries on my facebook page for our parishioners.

    David, sinner


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