The Times reports that Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury has acknowledged that the Anglican Church is in schism in all but name.
In what is one of his most conservative arguments for upholding the traditional biblical stance on homosexuality, Dr Williams said that discrimination against gay people was "sinful" and "disgraceful" - but that just because society had changed its attitude it did not mean that the Church should follow suit. The importance lay in maintaining a tradition that was recognisably Anglican, he said.
Dr Williams a made clear that whatever the secular world's view of justice and equality, the Church's Bible-based teaching against practising homosexuality could not be overturned without in-depth theological study.
This "chosen lifestyle is not one that the Church's teaching sanctions". Practising homosexuals "should not be ordained priests, and especially not bishops".
The question was not a simple one of human rights or human dignity, he argued. "It is that a certain choice of lifestyle has certain consequences. So long as the Church Catholic, or even the Communion as a whole, does not bless same-sex unions, a person living in such a union cannot without serious incongruity have a representative function in a Church whose public teaching is at odds with their lifestyle."