Ordained a Catholic priest, Manning became a celebrated confessor, an ardent advocate of prison reform, and a constant promoter of schemes for alleviating the condition of the poor. His society of Oblates of St. Charles (1857) carried on much of this work. One of the most trusted advisers of Cardinal Wiseman, Manning was made (1857) provost of the Westminster chapter, and on Wiseman's death, he was appointed archbishop (1865). He greatly expanded Catholic education in England and furthered the education of the poor. He strongly opposed Catholic participation in Anglican universities, thereby bringing himself into conflict with Newman.
His advocacy of the rights of workers brought much abuse upon him from conservatives, but he fearlessly forwarded the movement within his church that culminated in the encyclical of Leo XIII on the rights of labor. In his later years he was constantly called on to speak at labor-union conventions and to serve on strike arbitration boards. He was an advocate of slum clearance and teetotalism. In 1869 and 1870, Manning was a leader in the movement that favored the dogma of papal infallibility, and he inclined to view Newman and others who thought it an untimely move as decidedly lukewarm Catholics. This intensified the dislike between Newman and Manning. In 1875, Manning was created cardinal. Many regard as the greatest single achievement of Manning's career the strong support he gave the strikers in the great London dock strike (1889) and his single-handed settlement of it.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.