One Melbourne Catholic told the Sydney Morning Herald that Comensoli's decision was "foolish arrogance" and another said that Comensoli "has betrayed his own rhetoric and has gone against the spirit of what Pope Francis wants - for us to be open and accountable."
But the Archdiocese of Melbourne says there is only one problem with that account: Comensoli never vetoed Chittister's appearance.
On July 26, after more than a month of controversy over the matter, the Archdiocese of Melbourne issued a statement saying that during the month of May, Comensoli was "advised (as part of early Conference planning discussions), of a proposal for Sister Joan Chittister to speak at the National Catholic Education Commission Conference to be held in Melbourne in September 2020."
According to the archdiocese, "Comensoli requested that more names aligned to the themes of a national Catholic education conference be considered."
Comensoli was apparently unaware that Chittister had, in fact, already been invited.
But according to communications acquired by the Australian newspaper The Sunday Age, Chittister had agreed to speak at the conference before the idea was even proposed to Comensoli.