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A vicars' pension scheme could be facing a precarious future unless church chiefs face up to a potentially massive deficit. John Ralfe, an independent pension expert, claimed this week that the pension scheme for some 16,400 Church of England clergy is "the riskiest in the country in terms of asset-type".

Allegations of inappropriate behaviour made against Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, are being investigated by the Pope

Vatican to investigate top Catholic cleric O’Brien over ‘inappropriate acts’

Allegations of inappropriate behaviour made against Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric are being investigated by the Pope, the Vatican said today.

Cardinal Keith O'Brien 'has right to choose next Pope'

Britain's most senior Roman Catholic cleric should be allowed to help choose the next Pope despite facing allegations of inappropriate behaviour, the former archbishop of Westminster said today.

Pope Benedict XVI surprised the world by announcing his resignation

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi criticises rumours surrounding Pope's resignation

Comments come days after report in Italian newspaper that claims a 'gay network' within the Vatican influenced pontiff's departure

Potential Popes - top row from left: Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes, Honduran Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodrigues Maradiaga, Argentine Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Bottom row from left : Austrian Cristoph Schonborn, Hungarian Peter Erdoe, Italian Angelo Scola, Canadian Marc Ouellet

Pope Benedict XVI might be off – but his conservative allies are still there

Of the 120 electors who get to vote 67 of them have been appointed by Benedict

Catholics hand out 1 million anti-gay marriage postcards

A million anti-gay marriage postcards were handed out at Catholic masses over the weekend as the Roman Catholic Church began a last-ditch mobilisation of opposition to the equal marriage bill.

Women bishops: Church leader Dr Philip Giddings wins confidence vote

A senior member of the Church of England today survived a bid to oust him from his position after he spoke against the introduction of female bishops ahead of a crucial vote.

Senior Catholic brands same-sex marriage 'immoral'

One of the most senior Catholic figures in Britain has launched a renewed assault on plans to allow gay people to marry, calling same-sex unions "morally defective".

RELIGION

The threat of schism within the Anglican church grew last night after the leader of a global group of traditional Anglicans condemned the Church of England for "compromising with the secular preoccupations of the West" by allowing celibate gay bishops.

Editorial: The unholy row over gay Christians

It is difficult to know whether to laugh or cry at the latest Houdini-like attempt by the Church of England to extricate itself from the mess it has created over gay sexuality. Its bishops have announced, to the inevitable annoyance of conservative Anglicans, that gay men can now be accepted as candidates for the episcopacy – but only if they declare themselves to be celibate.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, must decide if he will appease traditionalists

Senior Anglican condemns gay bishops as a compromise too far

Statement significantly ratchets up fallout between liberals and conservative over the thorny issue of homosexuality

Archbishop of Westminster

Archbishop of Westminster cancels special mass for gay people

London church ordered to stop providing so-called 'Soho Masses'

Volunteers from the churches and other faith groups who help those in need are like the Games Makers who contributed to the success of the London Olympics and Paralympics, the Archbishop of Canterbury said today.

Archbishop of Canterbury hails church volunteers

Volunteers from the churches and other faith groups who help those in need are like the Games Makers who contributed to the success of the London Olympics and Paralympics, the Archbishop of Canterbury said today.

The leader of Roman Catholics in England and Wales calls on followers to oppose plans for equal marriage

The leader of Roman Catholics in England and Wales has urged followers to write to their representatives in Parliament to oppose the government's plans to allow gay marriage.

Dr Rowan Williams at Canterbury Cathedral yesterday

Williams leaves church service for life of academia

Rowan Williams formally steps down today as the Archbishop of Canterbury to take up a life in gentle academia after nearly a decade of leading the world's Anglicans during one of its most turbulent periods.

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Erik Lamela celebrates his goal
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Argentinian scored 'rabona' wonder goal for Tottenham in Europa League – see it here

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The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
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peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
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Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
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The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
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One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
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Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker