The issue of women’s participation in the Catholic Church’s decision-making has been one of the major themes of the Oct. 3-28 bishops synod, which is focusing on how the church can better minister to today’s youth. Many young people have told the Vatican they want women to have greater roles in the church.
Currently, only “synod fathers” can vote on the text, which is then sent to the pope to either approve as an official document of the church or take under consideration for a future teaching document of his own. Church doctrine requires an all-male priesthood, on the grounds that Jesus’ apostles were male. Women frequently complain they have a second-class status in the church.
Pope Francis has called for women to have a greater say in church decision-making, but hasn’t followed through with concrete gestures, though sisters note slow progress in filling mid-level positions in the Vatican with women.
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