Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, issued that warning in a BBC interview seen as being a message to U.S. church leaders.
Williams said the split in the church could take years to heal.
More conservative leaders have called on the U.S. group to reverse its stance by June or face excommunication.
Gene Robinson was appointed Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003, becoming the first-openly gay clergy appointed to such a position.
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