A free-thinking, iconoclastic novelist and Anglican cleric, Sterne was a well-known critic of Roman Catholicism and the church’s monastic orders. His second novel, A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy by Mr. Yorick (1768), published shortly before his death, received the censure of the Roman Catholic church in 1819, when an Italian edition translated by Ugo Foscolo was listed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. By eighteenth century standards the novel was considered salacious, but it was its religious commentary that most concerned Catholic officials. At one point in the story, Sterne’s protagonist—an Anglican priest named Yorick, based loosely on the author himself—refuses a Franciscan monk’s request for alms, declaring, “we distinguish, my good Father! betwixt those who wish only to eat the bread of their own labour—and those who eat the bread of other people’s, and have no other plan in life, but to get through it in sloth and ignorance, for the love of God.” Yorick also mocks Catholicism when discussing the three stages “in the empire of a French-woman”: “coquette,” “deist,” and “devôte.” In the last stage, he jests, she “re-peoples” her dominions “with the slaves of the Church.” Ironically, Sentimental Journey expresses significantly more tolerance for Catholicism than much of Sterne’s earlier work, including his collection of sermons, published as Sermons of Mr. Yorick (1760), and his first novel, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1759-1767).