Pope Francis grants women voting rights in historic move for the Catholic Church

Pope Francis grants women voting rights in historic move for the Catholic Church

...By Larry John for TDPel Media.

Pope Francis has announced that women will be given the right to vote for the first time in a global meeting of bishops in October.


The move is seen as a significant development in the male-dominated Catholic Church.

Previously, women were allowed to attend the synods, a papal advisory body, as advisors but not to vote.

Under the new rules, five religious sisters will be given voting rights, but the majority with voting rights will still be men.

The Catholic Church does not ordain women as priests.

The US-based Women’s Ordination Conference, which advocates for women priests in the Church, has called the reform “a significant crack in the stained-glass ceiling”.

Women’s groups in the Church have been demanding the right to vote at the high-profile synods for years.


The synod prepares resolutions that usually lead to a papal document.

The upcoming synod has been in preparation for two years, during which Catholics around the world were asked about their vision for the future of the Church.

Proponents welcome the consultations as an opportunity to give a greater voice to lay Catholics, including women, and people on the margins of society.

Conservatives say the process has been a waste of time and could, in the long run, dilute traditional doctrine.

This is not the first step taken by the Pope to increase women’s participation in the Church’s decision-making.

He previously introduced a reform to allow any baptised lay Catholic, including women, to head most Vatican departments.

Last year, he also named three women to a previously all-male committee that advises him in selecting the world’s bishops.

The reforms are significant in that the Catholic Church, as a conservative institution, has been slow to make changes.


The US-based National Catholic Reporter calls it “a sign of the Francis papacy’s commitment to gender equity and inclusion”.

The Catholic Church has faced criticism for its treatment of women, particularly in the areas of contraception and abortion.

The Pope’s reforms may be seen as a small step towards more progressive attitudes.


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