Robert Runcie

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Runcie, Robert (1921–2000). Archbishop of Canterbury. After war service as a tank commander, winning the MC, Runcie graduated from Brasenose College, Oxford. He was successively principal of Cuddesdon Theological College (1960), bishop of St Albans (1970), and archbishop (1980). A liberal catholic, witty and intelligent, he developed Canterbury's quasi-patriarchal role by frequent visits overseas, including at least seven to Africa, two to China, and several to eastern Europe and in 1988 to the USSR. To ‘Europeanize Canterbury’ he fostered relations with other west European churches, whether catholic or protestant. As the first archbishop to propose ‘an ecumenical primacy’ for Rome, he welcomed Pope John Paul II on the first ever papal visit to Canterbury cathedral (1982). Vilified by the media for compassion towards bereaved Argentinians after the Falklands War (1982) and also for Faith in the City (1985), a report exposing poor urban conditions, Runcie also faced controversy over women's ordination. The first women deacons were ordained in his primacy (1987). He retired in 1991.

Revd Dr William M. Marshall

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Runcie, Robert Alexander Kennedy (1921–2000) English clergyman, Archbishop of Canterbury (1980–91). He was ordained in 1951, and became Bishop of St Albans in 1970. In 1982, during Pope John Paul II's historic trip to the UK, Runcie signed a pledge to move towards unity with the Roman Catholic Church. He was succeeded by George Carey.

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Robert Alexander Kennedy Runcie (rŭn´sē), 1921–2000, archbishop of Canterbury (1980–91). Bishop of St. Albans from 1970 to 1980, he was enthroned as the 102d archbishop of Canterbury in 1980, succeeding Donald Coggan. Runcie supported the ordination of women and other liberal Anglican positions and was often a critic of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government. He also was noted for developing links with the Orthodox Eastern churches and the Roman Catholic Church and for his work on behalf of the Anglican ministry in Africa. Runcie was created a life peer in 1991.

See biographies by A. Hastings (1991) and H. Carpenter (1996).