By NICOLE WINFIELD
ROME (AP) — Vatican officials are refusing to say whether women will have a vote when Pope Francis convenes the Catholic hierarchy and experts to the Vatican for a meeting on the Catholic church in 2023. For years, women activists and even nuns have pressed to be able to vote at Synod of Bishops meetings, which gather the Catholic hierarchy to Rome to discuss pressing issues facing the 1.3-billion strong Catholic Church. The next one focuses specifically on “synodality” or the decentralized nature of the church and the role of the laity in it. On Tuesday, organizers declined to say if women would be able to vote in 2023, saying they could and should participate in a consultation phase at the local level over the next two years.