Plans for a wholly or mainly elected House of Lords have been shelved until after the next general election, Jack Straw announced yesterday, but bishops would remain in a reformed Second Chamber if it is not wholly elected.
Members of the Church of England's General Synod have been told that it is 'highly unlikely' that a vote to allow women to become bishops will be taken before 2010. In the meantime the UK Parliament will continue to be the only democracy in the world with places exclusively reserved for men.
Rowan Williams clarified the nub of his thinking and showed contrition for clumsiness, but he declined to apologise and is not off the hook, say commentators and other public figures today, amid calls for disestablishment.
Self-giving and voluntary generosity with possessions for the well being of others are Christian duties which point towards the desirability of church people taking a lead in post-death organ donation, the Church of England has suggested in parliamentary evidence.
These days, it can so easily feel as if religion is an anti-democratic force in our polity, writes Giles Fraser. No one votes for Bishops in the House of Lords, for example. So it's worth remembering that in this country, as indeed in many others too, religion was the nursemaid of democracy.