Daniel Mannix  and his position on anti-Semitism


Daniel Patrick Mannix (4 March 1864 – 2 November 1963), Irish born Catholic Archibishop of Melbourne for forty-six years, has been rated as one of the most influential public figures in twentieth century Australia. Always a controversial figure, he was well known for his public views on politics, and social justice, and his strident views on Catholic education. In addition, Catholic Ireland's National Weekly noted on 24th October 1949 that "His steadfast adherence, while being a good Australian, to the cause of liberty in Ireland, assures him of respect amongst Irish Catholics the world over."* Less well known are his views on the relations of Catholics with Jews.

The same issue of the paper bears the caption: "Archbishop Mannix warns Catholics against anti-Jewish 'infection'." The occasion was whilst the Archbishop was addressing 500 members of the young Christian Workers' Movement, where he referred to the fact that the Soviets had recently turned their persecution against the Jews. He warned Catholics against any tendency to anti-Semitism. "I hope", he said "that no Catholic is infected with this irrational and despicable anti-Semitism." The archbishop went on to record his experience of Jewish people in his the See city of Melbourne, Australia, "good, generous and charitable citizens". He urged Catholics and others to do all they could to stamp out any evidence of anti-Semitism.

Each day Mannix would walk from his home, Raheen in Kew to St Patrick's Cathedral. His tall figure replete with cane and bishop's hat, was well known in the area. He died suddenly in November 1963, aged 99, four months before his 100th birthday. "Raheen" is now the home of the Jewish entrepreneur, Richard Pratt, who is a strong supporter of the Council of Christians and Jews.

Ruth Weyl supplied me with this clipping which was among some archives she donated to the Archive of Australian Judaica.

Marianne Dacy