Pope allows women to vote in bishops’ meeting


Alessandra Tarantino/Associated Press

Pope Francis delivers his blessing at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, April 26, 2023.

Ecoi Lewis, Staff Writer

History was made this week in the Catholic Church with Pope Francis’ decision to give women and nonordained church members the right to vote at the bishops’ meeting.

This move is a part of his vision to give women a greater position in church affairs that have previously been left to clerics, cardinals, and bishops, according to the Vatican. Five religious sisters will join five priests as voting representatives for religious orders, and 70 non-bishop members of the synod were appointed to the voting process.

Half of the laypeople will be women.The meeting, scheduled for Oct. 4 to 29, is going to be focused on making the church more reflective and responsive to the laypeople, which the pope has advocated for for years. Catholic women’s rights groups, like the Women’s Ordination Conference, say it’s a step in the right direction, but there is more to do.

When asked about this decision, Loyola Rev. Gregory Waldrop said it shows the coexistence of tradition and modernity.

“I hope it will be encouraging to people, including at Loyola, that the Church, the world’s oldest continuously operating institution, can be true to its ancient traditions, yet responsive to modern initiatives,” he said. “To me, it’s evidence of the Holy Spirit on the move in our time.”