Henry Edward Manning and the teaching office of the Church
Manning considered that the end of education was the formation of man, helping him achieve his full stature. From a Christian perspective, this implied a remoulding of man's mind, heart and will after the perfect model of humanity as found in Jesus Christ. He is not only the example but also the author of that transformation: Christ's revelation is the only key for the human intellectual to have access to divine truth, and his grace is the only hand which can truly transform the human heart; they changed man into the likeness of God. It was, therefore, of paramount importance, for the process of education, to be able to establish the test to identify with certainty divine truth and to distinguish it from error. In the mid 1840s he found that the Anglican Rule of Faith - Scripture interpreted by Tradition - provided him with an incomplete answer. Who was the judge to apply that rule without error? In 1847 he discovered that the Holy Spirit, who had led the Apostles into the full truth, was stilI the teacher of the Church: a divine, and therefore infallible teacher, teaching through a human voice. Next it was necessary to determine which one was the Church where the Holy Spirit dwelt. Manning concluded that it was the Catholic Church; there it was that the Holy Spirit spoke by the voice of its legitimate Pastors, specially through the Pope. Manning knew that, within the Catholic Church, some of these truths had not been as solemnly defined or were as universally accepted as he would have desired. He constantly preached those vital principles, and had to defend them not only against Anglicans but also against a few Catholics who did not have a clear perception of them. Once the Vatican Council was convoked, he made it his aim to have those principles clearly and solemnly defined. Only then would they shine in all their splendour and produce their full fruits.