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Catholics Call for Vatican to Embrace Women in Leadership

Originally published by Nicole Winfield for PBS New Hour

An unprecedented global canvassing of Catholics has called for the church to take concrete steps to promote women to decision-making roles, for a “radical inclusion” of the LGBTQ+ community and for new accountability measures to check how bishops exercise authority.

The Vatican on Tuesday released the synthesis of a two-year consultation process, publishing a working document that will form the basis of discussion for a big meeting of bishops and laypeople in October. The synod, as it is known, is a key priority of Pope Francis, reflecting his vision of a church that is more about the faithful rank-and-file than its priests.

Already Francis has made his mark on the synod, letting lay people and in particular women have a vote alongside bishops. That reform is a concrete step toward what he calls “synodality,” a new way of being a church that envisions more co-responsibility in governance and the key mission of spreading the Catholic faith.

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