In November, Cleveland area artists held a fundraising party for SPACES, a local art gallery. The Plain Dealer gave high profile to the event, including photos of the Catholic baiting participants.

The three photos that accompanied the story on the “Saint Misbehavin” party showed a picture of a woman dressed as Santa Anna and a man dressed as St. John the Baptist; another photo featured a man dressed as St. Francis of Assisi, a man outfitted as the devil and a woman dressed in a see-through Communion gown, wearing nothing but a bra and panties (she was identified as “a naughty First Communion girl”); the third photo was of a woman posing as Mary and a man posing as Joseph.

The league sent a letter to the newspaper explaining its objections; the Plain Dealerpublished the letter. The league commented that “the event spoke volumes about what passes as humor in some parts of the artistic community. Poking fun at Catholic saints and mocking Holy Eucharist may innocent to those intoxicated with relativism, but to those of us who still believe there are some things that are sacred, it appears to be coarse at best, and bigoted at worse.”

Some of the league’s criticism was directed at the newspaper itself: “Why the Plain Dealer gave such a high profile to this event is itself noteworthy. Had the revelers dressed up as Amos and Andy, it is a sure bet the editors would either have spiked the story or held it up for disdain. Why they didn’t give Roman Catholics like treatment is a telling commentary on the newspaper.”

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