Bishop Christopher Budd of Plymouth is to be the new chairman of the bishops' Department for Christian Responsibility and Citizenship. Bishop Budd will guide policy development on social welfare, bio-ethics, the world of work, and community relations.
Also taking on new responsibility is Bishop Charles Henderson, auxiliary in Southwark, who becomes chairman of the Bishops' Committee for Catholic/Jewish relations, and Catholic representative on the Council for Christians and Jews.
The role of lay people in the organisation of the Church was discussed by the bishops. The National Council for the Lay Apostolate, marking its 40th anniversary this year, is undertaking a major review of its membership after worries that lay members on pastoral councils are not being included in NCLA activities.
Future genetic research may give doctors the power to alter genes, the Catholic Union warned the bishops at the Low Week meeting. The Union went on to caution of the "severe moral implications" of such a development.