A presentation on the life and work of Dietrich von Hildebrand was given by John H. Crosby at St. Mary's Parish in Alexandria, VA. As John H. Crosby explained, Pope Pius XII and Pope Benedict XVI both had deep respect and admiration for the work and life of Dietrich von Hildebrand. Pope Benedict XVI as a young priest personally knew Dietrich von Hildebrand and was greatly struck by his love for truth, sensitivity to beauty, and respect for the Liturgy. The joy and freshness of Dietrich von Hildebrand's understanding of Catholic doctrine were contagious and stood in marked contrast to the dryness of a type of scholasticism that seemed then to have become stale and brittle. Listening to him, one recognized that it was the transcendent beauty of truth that had captured his heart and mind. This devotion to truth is what allowed von Hildebrand the courage with which to fight the powers of Nazism and National Socialism with such ardent zeal.
This talk highlighted the scope Dietrich von Hildebrand's intellectual greatness and personal faith, his astounding response to the evils of his time, and his ongoing legacy of true Christian witness. As Dietrich von Hildebrand has written in his memoirs, "Better to be a beggar in freedom than to be forced to compromises against my conscience."
John Henry Crosby founded the Dietrich von Hildebrand Legacy Project in 2004. Under his leadership, the Hildebrand Project has become the world’s leading organization dedicated to Dietrich von Hildebrand’s legacy.
June 11, 2009
St. Mary's Parish in Alexandria, VA