Whispers in the Loggia links to an interview with Cardinal Schönborn. He is frank about some of his family’s problems. His grandfather and father were not practicing, and his parents divorced when he was young.

He was a young Dominican during the disastrous period after Vatican II. Bultmann was their guide to theology, and he was told prayer was meaningless. He stopped praying for a year, and was getting ready to leave the Dominicans. He returned to the practice of prayer in 1967 after hearing an Orthodox monk who spoke about prayer and the importance of a spiritual father, a staretz. He has told me he is deeply grateful to the Orthodox for saving his vocation. Orthodox have told me that the Catechism of the Catholic Church could have been written by an Orthodox, so I think that Schönborn has learned both to pray and think like an Orthodox. Schönborn is both the Latin archbishop of Vienna and metropolitan of Eastern Catholics in Austria. If he is ever elected pope, we may see major movements to restore communion between East and West.

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