IT'S ALMOST always front-page news when a bishop says something obviously true. Dr George Carey has spent most of his time in office pretending he is the spiritual leader of 70 million people in the worldwide Anglican Communion (a figure that assumes about 24 million followers in England alone).
Now, in a final gesture towards his liberal successor, he has cited the obvious, that the Communion is deeply divided over homosexuality. It has, he says, reached "crisis point".
One might have thought the crisis point was reached five years ago, when a Nigerian bishop tried to exorcise the leader of the English Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement on live television. But the crisis over sexuality goes much deeper. Before the Anglicans were feuding about homosexuals, they spent 20 years wrangling about women priests.
But the issue of homosexuality is different because it is a battleground in the civil war raging in the US branch of the Anglican Communion, the bit that pays for all the apparatus that lets the Archbishop of Canterbury appear on the world stage.
The American church is split between northern liberals and southern conservatives, and both sides have staged brutal legal battles over churches and their properties, where liberal bishops (who are elected) have been defied by conservative priests who call them "heretics". …