Thursday, November 5, 1998 Published at 19:49 GMT
Charles should marry Camilla - Bishop
Prince Charles: Meeting a clergyman in Romania
One of the UK's most senior churchmen has called for Prince Charles to marry his partner Camilla Parker Bowles.
He said that marriage was "more desirable morally" than the couple's current situation of "flux".
When Charles becomes King, he will also adopt the role of Supreme Governor of the Church - a position that would, theoretically at least, be impossible should he choose to remarry.
In early 1997, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, controversially warned that Charles's remarriage would throw the church into crisis.
But a recent reports have indicated that opposition, voiced by more than half of England's bishops in a poll two years ago, has begun to soften.
The Bishop of Durham's comments follow an encouraging message from the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Rev Richard Harries, chair of the Church of England's board of social responsibility.
Speaking to the BBC, Bishop Harries said: "The fact they can get some support and mutual encouragement from one another, and clearly have a very deep relationship, I think deserves understanding and compassion."
However, he added that no pressure should be put on the couple.
"Prince Charles has made it quite clear he and Camilla have no short-term or medium-term plans and I don't think - whether it's Prince Charles or anyone else - we should push a couple into any kind of precipitate action."