Pope John Paul II offered his condolences on Thursday for the death of Robert Runcie, expressing hope that the memory of the former archbishop of Canterbury ``will stir us all'' to work harder for Christian unity.
    In a telegram to Runcie's successor, George Carey, the pope said he was ``deeply saddened'' and recalled his meetings with the late archbishop, including at Canterbury Cathedral in 1982.
    ``It is my fervant hope that the memory of Archbishop Runcie will stir us all to love more deeply the past which is our common heritage and to work more eagerly for the future,'' John Paul said.
    Runcie, 78, died Tuesday of cancer.
   John Paul has often said that the ordaining of women by the Anglican church was a serious obstacle to unity.
    Though Runcie was not personally opposed to ordaining women, he feared welcoming them into the priesthood would split the church and hamper its ecumenical overtures to Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians.
17 July 00

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