Blogwatcher - Daniel Mannix icon of the Australian Church


One hundred years ago this week, Archbishop Daniel Mannix arrived in Melbourne to take up his post as co-adjutor. Four years later he succeeded Thomas Carr as archbishop and entered in Australian Catholic history.

Simon Caterson recalls his impact over the next half century in Online Opinion:

Archbishop Daniel Mannix, who died fifty years ago this year at the age of 99, was Australia's most influential and controversial churchman. He did not arrive in Australia until he was in his forties, landing here in March 1913, yet he accomplished enough to fill more than one lifetime. Mannix is the subject of a conference being held this month at the State Library of Victoria.

Mannix, who was Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne for almost half a century, was a powerful presence in the lives of generations of Australian Catholics, and non-Catholics also, as well as having a major impact overseas due to his interest in Irish affairs.

Mannix may well be the only archbishop ever arrested on the high seas by the British navy. In 1920, he was detained on the orders of Prime Minister David Lloyd George, who dispatched a warship to prevent him from landing in Ireland. In those volatile and markedly sectarian times, Archbishop Mannix, being Irish, Catholic and outspoken, was accused of disloyalty to the Empire. Mannix not only made history; he is someone about whom many people, both within and outside the Church, still feel strongly. Even his most critically-minded biographer, James Griffin, acknowledges that "[n]o personality in Australian history is more worthy of the epithet charismatic than Daniel Mannix".

The 7.30 Report also remembered Daniel Mannix with this segment now online, which also includes a clip from an interview with the famous archbishop, as well as comments from Fr Bruce Duncan, Professor Dermot Keogh, Dr Val Noone and others.

Professor Keogh and Dr Noone also presented papers at the Daniel Mannix: His Legacy conference in Melbourne on Saturday as did Sentire Cum Ecclesia blogger David Schütz.

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So Pope Francis not only takes the bus and pays his bills but also makes his own phone calls as the receptionist at the Jesuit Generalate in Rome discovered.

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Perhaps this attitude of Pope Francis has its roots in his working class origins, concerning which Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith notes:

Pope Francis is the third Pope to come from the industrial working class. His father was a railwayman. Pius X’s father was a post office worker, and John Paul I’s was a bricklayer. Saint Francis came from a prosperous town dwelling merchant family, but he turned his back on all that to become a poor man. One can expect our new Holy Father to be a man of poverty. He certainly comes from a country where many are poor, and he will have huge sympathy with the poor.

Pope Francis went on to confirm this prediction as he explained his choice of name to journalists:

It goes without saying that as a Jesuit Pope Francis would have received a strong theological formation. But who (besides St Ignatius) are his main theological influences? I thought the blogosphere would be brimming with background on this but not so.

Many newspaper reports initially indicated that young Fr Bergoglio had completed a doctorate in theology at the University of Freiburg in Germany. The source for this seems to have been Der Spiegel. But what did he study?

Other German newspapers contacted the University which said no, he had not studied there, leading to the suggestion that Bergoglio had studied at the other Fribourg which is in Switzerland.

Still not correct. Finally, Der Spiegel corrected their initial report to say that then Fr Bergoglio had studied at "the Sankt Georgen Graduate School of Philosophy and Theology, which is located in Frankfurt".

A later report (in German) amplifies this explaining that Fr Bergoglio had planned to write his thesis on the Swiss theologian Romano Guardini, a major figure in the lead up to Vatican II as well as an important influence on Pope Benedict. But that's as much as I could glean.

Evidently, we still have much to learn about Pope Francis.

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Life magazine originally published this great collection of colour photos of the Second Vatican Council. Now Time has placed them online here:

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Country Priest blogger Fr John Corrigan attended a hearing of the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Child Abuse recently and found the experience enlightening:

I too easily tire of the media coverage of the clergy abuse scandal. The darkness is overwhelming. It almost threatens to choke one’s faith in goodness and humanity.

Attending the Inquiry itself was a different sort of experience. It actually increased my faith in goodness and humanity. Hearing the stories was still torturous, but hope prevailed. The courage of survivors and whistle-blowers evoked the words of St John.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (Jn 1:5)

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Meanwhile, philosopher Dylan Pahman has been reflecting on the similarities and differences between CS Lewis understanding of Tao and St Thomas Aquinas theory of natural law:

My friend raises a valid point, and provides me with an opportunity for some much needed elaboration and clarification. First of all, I readily acknowledge that Lewis’ Tao and Aquinas’ natural law theory share many fundamental premises, to the point that the two appear nearly identical. In fact, in The Abolition of Man, Lewis recognizes that what he chooses to call the Tao, “others may call Natural Law or Traditional Morality or the First Principles of Practical Reason or the First Platitudes.” Lewis defines the Tao as “the doctrine of objective value, the belief that certain attitudes are really true, and others really false, to the kind of thing the universe is and the kind of things we are.” Like St. Thomas, Lewis maintains that these truths are rationally deducible and objective, universally applicable and recognizable to all mankind. On this fundamental level, there is much in common between the thought of St. Thomas and the tenets of the Tao, including this element of self-evidence.

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CBS Sixty Minutes last week broadcast this update on the progress of Antoni Gaudi's Sagrada Familia masterpiece in Barcelona:

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Finally, it looks as if Pope Benedict forgot to inform at least one group of his plan to retire:

Undaunted, the organisers are going ahead with their First International Meeting of Young Catholics for Social Justice. And we hope to have some more details next week.

Michael MullinsStefan Gigacz is preparing a PhD. at MCD University of Divinity, Melbourne, on the role of Joseph Cardijn at Vatican II.

Disclaimer: CathBlog is an extension of CathNews story feedback. It is intended to promote discussion and debate among the subscribers to CathNews and the readers of the website. The opinions expressed in CathBlog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the members of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference or of Church Resources.

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