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'Unprecedented change': Pope Francis allows women to vote at upcoming bishops' meeting | Here's why

Vatican City: Francis gave his approval to modifications to the rules governing the Synod of Bishops, a Vatican organisation that regularly convenes bishops from around the world.

Anurag Roushan Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan Vatican City Published on: April 26, 2023 17:55 IST
Pope Francis allows women to vote at upcoming bishops'
Image Source : AP/FILE Pope Francis allows women to vote at upcoming bishops' meeting

Vatican City: In an unprecedented move, Pope Francis has decided to provide women the right to vote at an upcoming meeting of bishops. According to reports, this decision underscores Pope's desire to give women more power over decision-making and allow civilians more influence over the Catholic Church. 

Francis gave his approval to modifications to the rules governing the Synod of Bishops, a Vatican organisation that regularly convenes bishops from around the world. On Wednesday, the Vatican published the modifications, that highlight Pope's vision for the common people playing a bigger part in church issues that have traditionally been handled by clergy, bishops, and cardinals.

Women continuously demanded the right to vote at synods

For decades, women have demanded the right to vote at synods, the next of which is scheduled for October. Ever since the Second Vatican Council, the 1960s meetings that modernised the church, popes have summoned the world's bishops to Rome for a few weeks at a time to debate particular topics.

At the end of the meetings, the bishops vote on specific proposals and put them to the pope, who then produces a document taking their views into account. Until now, the only people who could vote were men.

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What will new changes bring out?

But under the new changes, five religious sisters will join five priests as voting representatives for religious orders. In addition, Francis has decided to appoint 70 non-bishop members of the synod and has asked that half of them be women. They too will have a vote. 

(With PTI inputs) 

 

 

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