Pope allows women to vote in bishops for the first time

Pope allows women to vote in bishops for the first time

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Seventy priests, religious sisters, deacons and Catholics will be chosen by the Pope from a list of 140 recommended by national bishops’ conferences. Youth were encouraged to participate in the conferences. The Vatican has said that 50 percent of the 70 are women.

Synods usually consist of about 300 people, so the majority of those with voting rights will still be bishops. Still, the change is remarkable for an institution that has been male-dominated for centuries.

The new rules follow two major steps taken by Francis last year to put women in decision-making positions in the Vatican.

In one, he introduced a landmark reform that would allow any baptized Catholic, including women, to lead most Vatican departments under a new constitution for the central administration of the Holy See.

In another last year, he nominated three women to a formerly all-male committee that advises him in the selection of the world’s bishops.

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