News

Catholics are more likely to vote Labour while Church of England worshippers most consistently back the Conservatives, according to new research.

Leonardo Sandri: A top contender to become Latin America’s first Pope, Argentinian Cardinal Sandri is currently the head of the Vatican’s Eastern Churches department

Pope Benedict XVI resigns: Who is next in line? A selection process shrouded in secrecy

Pope Benedict XVI’s shock resignation may be virtually unheard of in modern times but the system that will choose the Catholic Church’s new leader follows centuries of well-rehearsed and high secretive tradition. It is a process that has, by and large, enabled successors to be picked quickly and we could even see a new Pontiff enthroned before Easter Sunday.

Will the next Pope face south or north?

Benedict failed to reform the Vatican, preferring to write his books

Christianity is not the problem. The Bible is.

Despite the Church of England receiving so much criticism in recent months, the issue of the Bible's relevance to the modern world is yet to be addressed

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.

Snow hits rate of sales growth at John Lewis

John Lewis sounded the alarm bell for Britain's retailers yesterday when it warned that snow had hit sales.

Jerome Taylor: Religious freedom is not an absolute right

At the heart of this  legal and moral debate is the question of  competing rights

Nadia Eweida claimed she suffered discrimination at work because of her faith

Mobiles drive sales rise at Shop Direct

The shift to online shopping continues apace, the latest figures from Shop Direct confirm.

Debenhams clocks up record December sales

Department store Debenhams hailed its best ever December performance today after ramping up pre-Christmas discounting to attract cost-conscious shoppers.

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 Rev Colin Coward, 67, from Devizes, Wiltshire, Director of Changing Attitude

Fresh storm hits C of E after move to allow gay bishops

Celibacy condition sparks unholy row between gay members of the church and traditionalists

A gay bishop might be the painful medicine the Anglican Communion needs

The Church of England has dropped the opposition to gay clergy in civil partnerships becoming bishops

Director Abrams grants 'Star Trek' fan his dying wish

A terminally ill Star Trek fan has been granted his dying wish by the film's director, JJ Abrams, inset – a private screening of the forthcoming sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness.

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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas