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Daniel Mannix : a study of aspects of Catholic education policy in Victoria 1913-1945
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posted on 27.05.2020by McPhee, Robert
This study deals with the major policies in Catholic education in Victoria during the greater part of Daniel Mannix's pastorate as
Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne. He arrived from Ireland in March 1913, and succeeded Dr. Carr as Archbishop in 1917 by which time he had already established himself as an outspoken leader of the largely Irish Catholic community in this State. In chapter one it is intended to demonstrate the distinctive Mannix style by means of a
brief comparison between the two men during the years 1913 to 1917 when the older prelate died. Since these were the declining years of Dr. Carr, it could be argued that such a comparison is not a fair one - so it is hoped that chapter one will be seen, not so much as an evaluation of the earlier Archbishop's leadership style, as an attempt
to create a background, social and ecclesiastical, against which Dr. Mannix can be seen to stand out.
The subsequent chapters two to six are intended to examine the principal events of the three decades to the end of World War Two
so that the role of Melbourne's Catholic Archbishop might be clarified and conclusions reached about the nature of his leadership - particularly in the field of education. It is not intended that this discussion should include the years after World War Two, partly because the educational and political issues involved are
extensive enough to require a separate study, and partly because it seems inappropriate to form judgements about the words and actions of a man approaching his hundredth year. Nevertheless some mention (Chapter 7) of the post war events in Catholic education,together with the gradually diminishing leadership role of Dr. Mannix was felt to be necessary; so that the final chapter "Retrospect", is based largely on the evidence offered in chapters one to six but the "Later Years" cannot be entirely overlooked.
This discussion is not intended to be a record of Catholic education from 1913 till 1945. Neither is it intended to be a
complete biographical accoun't of the Melbourne Archbishop through those years. The intention is to draw together both educational and biographical elements so that certain conclusions might be drawn about each in the light of the other. Problems of Catholic education and the way they were approached give insights into the
personality of the Archbishop and his particular style of leadership.