Have you encountered Diarmaid MacCulloch's magnum opus (literally, it's huge!) "A History of Christianity"? I iplayered the TV series, and have been working through the book - currently sat around the 9th Century, although we've got as far as Cluny in one bit of the story. It's very readable, and pretty broad in scope. The ABoC reviews it for the Grauniad here
Why am I talking about a vast history book in a comment to this post? I think some of the issues you're raising here are about authority, tradition, and the Church. More and more, I find that people indulging in church politics appeal to a vision of the past that is ... narrow, shall we say? If we're to understand Tradition and what it can teach us, we have to, I think, try and grasp some of the complexity behind the Church as we find her now. Also, I think you'd find it a fascinating read ;-)
I'm pretty sure I've encouraged you to consider anglicanism before, but I hope you won't mind me doing so a little again. Of course, we're as imperfect as any church, though the bits in Sweden seem to have got rather more of a grip on equality of genders and orientations than the CofE. We do, though, at least manage to keep talking at each other about important issues, and sometimes even talking with each other! I sometimes feel tempted by more liberal churches, but I think that groups such as Affirming Catholicism and Changing Attitude mean that there is room for me within the breadth of anglicanism.