It’s been brought up in discussion among various groups in my parish this semester. This person did appear via Skype last week and this person will speak in another week-and-a-half. Neither appearance is without controversy. Milwaukee priests want to disinvite the latest bishop for whom administrative misbehavior has been uncovered.
I’ve been a fairly vocal critic of the disinvite. Of course, the people disinviting these days are almost always Catholic conservatives and the disinvited are usually the liberals. Generally I believe a person should be permitted to speak, especially when the event has been engaged and the main parties involved, speaker and audience, have agreed. Speakers and organizers should live with the consequences unless something mutually agreeable is worked out.
However, I certainly think others have the right to protest speakers’ appearances. Maybe Milwaukee is a situation in which Father Connell and others offer their own criticism of their speaker, post-talk. Or the disapproving clergy absent themselves from the presentation. Or the laity of the archdiocese rally outside the building. Lots of possibilities. Disinvite seems a rather safe tactic.