In the Catholic Church is the fight really between conservatives/traditionalists/orthodox -whatever you want to call them- and liberals?
In Anglicanism are the divisions actually between pro and anti women bishops and gay clergy?
The problem, Cardinal Kaspar has frequently identified, is one of Authority, the authority of scripture and tradition versus the authority of personal insight or intuition.
Fr Dwight sums it up nicely:
The question should not be, "Do you think women should be bishops?" or "Do you think two people of the same sex can marry one another?" The question is, "Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, born of a Virgin Mother, died on the cross for the salvation of a sinful humanity, rose again on the third day and is now seated at the right hand of the father?" The real question is, "Do you believe that the Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit, established the Church as the sacrament of salvation and that the Christian's sole purpose on earth is to love God, serve him, make his way to heaven and take as many others with him as possible."
Ultimately the issue is one of continuing Modernism: subjective versus objective revelation - has God revealed himself or not? Which ultimately comes down to the question: did God create us or did we create him?
Christians of all denominations and traditions who fudge on these basic questions of belief will inevitably take either a radical or at least a soft line on the contemporary 'issues'. That is because, whether they are conscious of it or not, they essentially believe that the Christian faith is not a revealed religion, but a relative religion. That the Church is not founded by God through his Son Jesus Christ, but it is a human and historical construct, and as such it needs to adapt to the changing needs of society.
It lies behind the words of Pope Benedict to Bishops of England and Wales:
It is important to recognize dissent for what it is, and not to mistake it for a mature contribution to a balanced and wide-ranging debate.