Adultery and the breakdown of faithfulness and trust that it represents is more than a mere indiscretion. It is a sin ... We take it for granted that you cannot play a game of football without rules. Rules do not get in the way of the game; they make the game possible. Rules which make life worthwhile and keep relationships faithful and true are inextricably linked to the deepest things we believe about God and the values which transcend us all. Dr George Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, May 1995 God has given us our promiscuous genes so I think it would be wrong for the Church to condemn people who have followed their instincts. For the human race to survive we must go out and sow our seeds. God knew that when he made us, so he has given us a built-in sex drive that I believe is designed for us to go out and propagate as widely as possible. Rt Rev Richard Holloway, Bishop of Edinburgh, May 1995 There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded. - Princess Diana, December 1995

In married life three is company and two is none. Oscar Wilde, `The Importance of Being Earnest'.1895

Christian morality is the cornerstone of civilisation as we know it. And woe betide the public figure who loses touch with the sacred bonds of fidelity. Prime Minister Francis Urquhart, `To Play The King', BBC TV, January 1994

David yearns for the DH Lawrence kind of existence - the romance, passion and glory of an affair. He also thrives on the secrecy of adultery. When we were together, he would say: `This is really exciting and naughty and dangerous.' But once his cover is blown and he comes back to reality, he can't cope. In the end I realised he was a self-centred bastard ... If he had treated me with some dignity and respect, I would have kept quiet. Antonia de Sancha, actress, November 1994

What's the big deal? David Mellor MP, November 1994

It is shameful that they have used the phrase to suggest I'm saying what's the big deal about divorce and family break-up. I am not at all proud of the fact that our private life is splashed all over the newspapers. I am devastated by the fact that once again my life has become public property. David Mellor MP, November 1994

I'll have him back ... I would always want to stand by him whatever he does in the future. He is an excellent member of Parliament and he has a great many strengths. Judith Mellor, November 1994

It's just as well the same rules about adultery don't apply in France, or I should have a cabinet entirely of homosexuals. President Mitterrand at the time of Cecil Parkinson's resignation. October 1983

I've looked on a lot of women with lust, I've committed adultery in my heart many times. This is something that God recognises I will do - and I have done it - and God forgives me for it. Former US President Jimmy Carter, November 1976

Fidelity is no longer important ... Today people get together for reasons other than romantic love. They get together for convenience, shared interests, friendship; adultery may not remain as devastating as it was in the past. Carol Smart, lecturer in sociology, Leeds University, May 1995

Even where children are not involved, adultery strikes me as something foolish and aesthetically repulsive. Either an affair is so trivial that it trivialises those who take part in it, or it is serious, and horribly destructive. Each way, adultery is a betrayal. Amanda Craig, novelist, December 1993

You know of course, that the Tasmanians, who never committed adultery, are now extinct. W Somerset Maugham, `The Breadwinner'