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Pope Decides To Allow Women Vote At Upcoming Bishops’ Meeting

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Pope Decides To Allow Women Vote At Upcoming Bishops’ Meeting

The supreme head of the Roman Catholic Church; Pope Francis has decided to grant women the ability to vote at a next summit of bishops in a historic move that underscores his desire to offer laypeople and women greater decision-making authority in the Catholic Church.

Following years of demands by women for the ability to vote, Francis authorized modifications to the rules regulating the Synod of Bishops, a Vatican body that brings together bishops from all over the world for regular gatherings.

The Vatican made public the changes he approved, which highlight his vision for lay believers playing a bigger part in church issues that have traditionally been handled by clergy, bishops, and cardinals.

The action was immediately hailed as momentous by Catholic women’s organizations that have long criticized the Vatican for treating women like second-class citizens.

According to Kate McElwee of the Women’s Ordination Conference, which promotes women’s ordination, “this is a significant crack in the stained-glass ceiling and the result of sustained advocacy, activism, and the witness” of a campaign of Catholic women’s groups demanding the right to vote.

Popes have called bishops from throughout the world to Rome for a few weeks at a time to discuss specific issues ever since the Second Vatican Council, the 1960s gatherings that modernized the church. The bishops cast their votes on specific suggestions at the conclusion of the sessions, present them to the pope, who then creates a document that incorporates their opinions.

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