Pope grants women right to vote at pivotal bishops meeting
Pope Francis took unprecedented decisions Wednesday for a pivotal bishops meeting, for the first time giving women the right to vote, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency.
The pontiff approved modifications to the norms governing the Synod of Bishops, a Vatican body that gathers the world's bishops together for periodic meetings, the Vatican said in a statement.
Changes also include allowing the participation of 70 non-bishop members – half of them women – at the synod set for Oct. 10. They too will have a vote.
Ever since the Second Vatican Council, the 1960s meetings that modernized the church, popes have invited bishops from all around the world to Rome for a few weeks at a time to discuss specific issues.
At the end of the meetings, the bishops vote on particular proposals and put them to the pope, who then prepares a document paying regard to their ideas.
Catholic women’s groups have long criticized the church for relegating women to a secondary role. They praised the pope’s changes as steps in the right direction.