I just read the full text of address to the U.S. House of Bishops by the bishop of Exeter, said by some to have been an emissary of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The bishop's remarks were a bit more nuanced than much of the traditionalist commentariat seems to have thought. His speech did not strike me as a cease-and-desist letter, a blunt knock-it-off-you-heretics warning (as some trads have joyfully proclaimed). It impressed me more as a sober reminder to the American bishops of the possible costs of prophetic leadership, concerning a contentious issue on which intelligent, God-fearing people disagree. Here's an excerpt I thought was significant:
So the judgments ahead will not be easy.
And we may well have to remember that there have been times and moments in the Judaeo Christian tradition when the demands of a prophetic imperative have at least in the eyes of those who felt that they must respond led to a significant disruption and disjunction.
That is painful, particularly as I recall that one of the first things I learned about the biblical prophetic tradition was the view that prophecy became necessary when priesthood and the binding power of the cultus had failed, when traditional religion had become empty or impoverished in its integrity - a false or hollow shell. Then the only response is 'Here I am I can do no other'.
Of course it is only the hindsight provided by history that determines whether such action was right, and discerns the true prophets from the false.
It is also clear that when real division, as opposed to temporary drawing apart, has occurred; it has then taken centuries for the break to be healed.
It seems to me that a key issue of discernment is currently about the relationship between the perceived integrity of the Communion's wider life and the prophetic imperative that a particular mission context might involve.
(Bold-face italics and extra paragraphing added; other emphasis in original)