Church of England General Synod set to approve women bishops

The Church of England's General Synod opened its debate on women bishops with a succession of former opponents announcing that they would accept the legislation even if they disagreed with it.

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Who knows what Jesus thought about gay people? Yet he has come to embody compassion

When Elton John claims that Jesus would have supported gay marriage, this is a bit like saying that Plato would have been a heavy user of Facebook. We can't prove otherwise, but it's more a remark about gay marriage, than the historical figure.

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Archbishop of Canterbury: Same-sex marriage is now legal 'and that's great'

The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has told gay magazine PinkNews it was "great" that parliament had passed the measure he opposed, leaving his aides scrambling to explain that all he meant was it was great that parliament can and does pass laws. Welby, who campaigned and voted against gay marriage last year, remains opposed both to gay marriage and homophobia, his office explained.

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Pope Francis is a far cry from the Reaganist Pope John Paul II he just canonized

Inequality is the root of social evil, Pope Francis has tweeted, only a day after he canonised Pope John Paul II, a man regarded by American rightwingers as the spiritual arm of Ronald Reagan. So, Saint John Paul II is now officially stowed in heaven, and his attitude to capitalism has been consigned to the attic where the Catholic church keeps its lumber of discarded opinions.

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The Old Testament's made-up camels are a problem for Zionism

There are 21 references to camels in the first books of the Bible, and now we know they are all made up.

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Millions of Catholics have been waiting for a pope who talks like Francis

This is going to be an interesting week for Pope Francis. His "countercuria" – a group of eight cardinals from around the world, selected partly for their known hostility to the way the Vatican has been run – is meeting for the first time. Already he has announced that they will form a permanent council. Although that arrangement may not survive him, the intention to remove the church's strategic planning from the curia – the permanent "civil service" in the Vatican – is clear.

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How do religions die?

How to believe: Do they waste away, or get conquered by something better? Perhaps it is easier to think in terms of gods dying, rather than religions

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Anti-paparazzi bill backed by Halle Berry now California law

Anti-paparazzi legislation championed by Halle Berry has been signed into California law by state governor Jerry Brown. Put forward by state senator Kevin de León, the bill sought to prevent harrassment of the children of public figures, and Berry testified before the California state assembly in its support.

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Tony Blair denies praying with George Bush

Former PM said he never prayed with Bush before the invasion of Iraq, but he did pray with the Salvation Army

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