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Pope Francis speaks at a pre-synod gathering of youth delegates at the Pontifical International Maria Mater Ecclesiae College in Rome March 19, 2018. (CNS photo/Paul Haring); right: Graphic from the Preparatory Document for the Synod 2021/2023. (Image:

By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, April 26, 2023

Hannah BrockhausRome Newsroom, Apr 26, 2023 / 07:07 am (CNA). – The Vatican announced Wednesday that there will be laypeople participating as voting members in the Synod on Synodality’s October assembly, a break with past custom, which allowed laypeople to participate without the right to vote.

Pope Francis will also approve every member in advance.

The general assembly of the Synod on Synodality will take place in two sessions, in October 2023 and October 2024.

After the vote on a final document for the assembly, the pope alone decides whether to take any actions based on the recommendations in the final text or whether to adopt it as an official Church document. …