In a new novel by Mary Gordon, the Catholic League is introduced as a censorial agent. In Spending, Gordon refers to the “Catholic Defense League” as an activist organization that protests the artistic work of Monica Szabo.

Spending is a sex novel about a jaded artist who wants to put a new spin on pictures of “dead Christs.” Her desire is to do “a series of paintings of postorgasmic men based on the great Italian Renaissance portraits of dead Christs.” She is met with a protest from the Catholic Defense League and even debates the leader of the civil rights organization on the Charlie Rose show.

“Mary Gordon’s reputation in Catholic circles,” said William Donohue, “is one of disrepute. Her new book contributes nicely to her status.” Regarding the reference to the Catholic League, Donohue added, “we know this is a work of fiction when Gordon’s heroine wins a TV debate with the Catholic League.”

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