Sister Simone Campbell from the group Network (Nuns on the Bus) was the keynote speaker December 6 at the California Catholic Ministry Conference in San Jose. Participants came from the dioceses of San José, Monterey, Oakland, Stockton, Fresno, Salt Lake City, and the archdiocese of San Francisco.

According to a September, 2012 article in California Catholic Daily, Sister Campbell has dismissed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s efforts to reform the Leadership Conference of Women Religious as a ‘Vatican kerfuffle’ and, in the words of the Charlotte diocesan newspaper, ‘scorned the US bishops for their continued opposition to the health insurance law.’”

A Cal Catholic reader on Dec. 16 sent an email so answer the question of how a situation like this could be avoided. He attached the following set of guidelines from the LaCrosse, Wisconsin diocese:

Speaker Policy
Canon 386 §2 requires the Diocesan Bishop to defend the integrity
and unity of the faith.
Speaker approval avoids difficult situation of having to dis-invite someone.
Speakers who are being considered to give a presentation on faith and morals on Church property must be approved by the Diocesan Bishop before an invitation is extended.
Catholic parishes and schools cannot promote or sponsor a speaker unless he or she is approved (even if the presentation is not being given on church property)
Any speaker under consideration to give a presentation on matters of faith and morals who do not fall in the exempt category below
(i.e. those who are exempt) INCLUDE:
Cardinals and Bishops in communion with the Holy See
Those who hold appointed or staff positions in the
Diocese of La Crosse: +Priests/Deacons of the Diocese of La Crosse who are in good standing; +Staff of Diocesan Institutions (whether paid or volunteer) including: Pastoral Associates/Pastoral Ministers; Campus Ministers; Parish Staff; Catechists; School Teachers/Administrators,
Members of other Catholic institutions officially in the Diocese of La Crosse, including: +Members of Religious communities, Catholic colleges/universities, hospitals, etc., officially established in the Diocese or officially allowed to be in the Diocese
Before a firm invitation is extended to the speaker (preliminary contacts, checking availability, etc., are OK), a request must be submitted to the Office of the Bishop from the inviting party.
Will have to include:
A completed Cover Letter Request form from the inviting party, which includes the speaker’s name and topic(s). It should attest to the speaker’s fidelity to the Magisterium, and the conformity of the topic to the pastoral direction of the Diocese.
A curriculum vitae for the speaker.
In the case of a lay person: A letter of support from the speaker’s pastor establishing that he is a Catholic in good standing. In the case of a cleric/religious: A letter of support from the speaker’s superior/ordinary attesting that the speaker is a cleric/religious in good standing.
A cleric must also have a celebret, indicating he has permission to celebrate the sacraments outside of his diocese.
College or university professors should provide a mandatum from their bishop, if they have one. If not, please indicated that they do not have one.
If the speaker is not a Catholic, the curriculum vitae should be accompanied by written assurance that the speaker’s presentation will not conflict with Catholic teaching in any way.