This article explores the motivations of three enforcers of the Licensing Act of 1662 in regard to their treatment of the illicit Catholic book trade in London during the Restoration. As censors, the Stationers’ Company, the Surveyor of the Press, Roger L'Estrange, and the bishop of London, Henry Compton, were intended to unite the concerns of the book trade, the state and the church. However, each used the Licensing Act to pursue their own interests. Contemporaries and historians have both viewed the act as being unsuccessfully enforced; this article explores whether full enforcement was ever the goal. Using the case of Catholic print, it posits that it was precisely the act's flexibility that encouraged its repeated renewals. Moreover, exploring the print of the Catholic minority in London highlights the differences between the written law and the enforced law. Finally, this article suggests that at times there existed an informal toleration for the printers and booksellers engaged in Catholic book production that enabled books to escape detection and the Catholic book trade to continue despite the Licensing Act.