Pope appoints first woman to senior synod post

Vatican: Pope Francis has appointed Frenchwoman Nathalie Becquart as an undersecretary of the synod of bishops, the first woman to hold the post and have voting rights.

The 52-year-old is one of the two new undersecretaries named to the synod, the body of bishops that studies major questions of doctrine and where she has been a consultant since 2019.

The body’s secretary-general, Cardinal Mario Grech, said the appointment showed that “a door has opened”.

The appointment signals the pontiff’s desire “for a greater participation of women in the process of discernment and decision-making in the church,” said Cardinal Mario Grech, the secretary general of the synod.

The synod is led by bishops and cardinals who have voting rights and also comprises experts who cannot vote.

The pope named Spaniard Luis Marin de San Martin as the other undersecretary.

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