The Life of Henry Mannix
Mannix was a national consultant in health care who pioneered the idea of prepay hospital insurance, leading to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Northeast Ohio being established.
Writings and commentators have repeatedly noted the sedate, even monotonous atmosphere of Melbourne Archdiocese during its pre-Mannix years.
Early Life and Education
As in 1960s TV shows, Mannix’s friends would often come together to cause trouble but always seemed to show up at precisely the wrong moment.
His letters to the Irish Ecclesiastical Record upheld Rome’s authority, disparaged Gallicanism and displayed austere behaviour; yet they also demonstrated his clarity. He supported Bert Evatt’s 1944 powers referendum; supported church exemptions and penalties against religious teachers; as well as bank nationalization with certain limitations attached.
As soon as he took up archbishopcy in 1917, he publicly denounced inequality of sacrifice and supported strikes as justiceful forms of protest. At an episcopal conference held that year he came under Vatican discipline for criticizing non-Catholic bishops; to avoid church-state conflict he responded that his comments were made as a citizen rather than as part of church discipline. Free Staters then labeled him “Mephistopheles,” though leading Free Staters considered leading Free Staters mere placemen while Free State leaders regarded leading Free Staters as placemen while seeing Free State politics as an ugly failure.
In Australia, he battled for religious freedom in state schools, supported the Democratic Labor Party, anti-conscription campaigns, and harshly criticised ‘leading middle class Catholics’ who deplored his disloyalty. Additionally, he helped influence Exhibition Building trustees, negotiated exemptions from wartime regulations, and advised Bert Evatt on constitutional safeguards for religion.
He advocated freeholds for tenant farmers and capital punishment (in 1953 he petitioned Eisenhower on behalf of Rosenbergs). Due to his inflexible liberalism he earned him the moniker “a lonely frigid theologian”, while building churches with Keynesian flair and reforming diocesan weeklies for archdiocese. Additionally he was known for having strong business sense while being a major patron of arts as well as generous benefactor of charities.
Achievement and Honors
He is well known for enduring intense physical violence throughout his career. He was shot at and injured more than a dozen times, knocked unconscious more than 55 times and broke his left wrist punching a stuntman; additionally he dislocated his shoulder several times running away from From Russia with Love-esque car chases.
Mannix worked at Intertect Detective Agency in Los Angeles under Lew Wickersham who installed cameras in each room to monitor employees. Mannix didn’t like this and often disobeyed orders given by Wickersham.
Mannix typically carried two firearms; a Walther PPK and Colt snubnose revolver from Colt. His secretary was Peggy Fair and assistance was provided from LAPD; regular characters included Lt Art Malcolm played by Ward Wood and Lt Adam Tobias played by Robert Reed.
Mannix was an enormous physical presence who towered over Melbourne and the Victorian Catholic scene. But he was quick-witted but intellectually shallow; unaware of contemporary politics; often defending Mussolini to immigrant audiences while condemning anti-Semitism; supporting Europe but deploring race suicide; patronizing relief funds while encouraging church-backed electoral coalitions such as Bert Evatt’s 1944 power referendum and mustering bishops behind B. A. Santamaria’s Catholic Social Studies Movement even after it had been declared politically and theologically unsound.
But Henry VIII proved too powerful for his friend. Henry backed off from supporting executions to advance his own cause, ultimately supporting executions against family members to further his cause.
At the core of it all lies helping others; that’s why my family and I have long been active philanthropists.
The Mannix family’s business has played an essential role in developing Alberta, while their record of community leadership helps Calgarians find balance between work and life. Their success has been made even greater through their holdings in Canada’s leading financial institutions such as Royal Bank of Canada and Germany’s Acton Capital SE; furthermore they hold significant shares in Poseidon Containers and Elara Caring among other private equity investments as well as having significant stakes in publicly traded companies such as Bausch Health Companies Inc and Physicians Endoscopy among others.