THE CATHOLIC PROJECT

Clergy and Laity Together

An initiative from The Catholic University of America to foster
effective collaboration between the clergy and the laity of the Church
in the wake of the sexual abuse crisis.

Watch Video

National Study of Catholic Priests

Well-being, Trust, and Policy in a Time of Crisis

The largest priesthood study in over 50 years
looking at the Church's response to abuse.
Watch the presentation

Read Now

Current Projects

National Study of Catholic Priests

National survey of Catholic priests and bishops about the impact of the abuse crisis

Certificate Program

Want to help keep kids safe? Online Certificate in Child Protection and Safe Environment

Synod on Synodality

Catholic University will participate in a synod series in the Spring of 2022

Diocesan Bankruptcy

Sharing Marie Reilly's work on diocesan bankruptcy

What We Do

The Catholic Project brings together clergy and laity to address the challenges that the Catholic Church faces in the U.S. As the bishops’ university, Catholic University is uniquely situated to bring about needed change in accordance with its mission, “to discover and impart the truth through excellence in teaching and research, all in service to the Church, the nation and the world.”

The Catholic Project addresses accountability, transparency, evangelization, reform, and renewal. The facets of our work include education and formation, research, events, and media.

Our Work

News & Commentary

Unpacking news and information

National Study of Catholic Priests
An up-close look at the state of our priests
For Our Sunday Visitor this month, Catholic University’s Stephen White wrote a summary and reflections on the clergy abuse crisis, the Church’s response, and how it has affected priests. “Of… Read More
Stephen's Column
The Trouble with Bishops' Conferences
Stephen White of Catholic University reflects on the role of bishops’ conferences in view of the comments of Pope Francis in his interview with America Magazine. “The pope’s words can… Read More
National Study of Catholic Priests
Baby Step: Phone Calls
Today I continue the series I promised last time: baby steps toward increased trust between bishops and priests. Today’s step is phone calls—both from the bishop to priests and priests’… Read More
Stephen's Column
Our Shared Point of Reference
Stephen White of Catholic University reflects on the Eucharist as the only sure foundation of unity in the Church: “If the Church is in need of unity, turn to the… Read More
National Study of Catholic Priests
Baby Steps: What's in a Name?
I have been slowly reading through the first write-in section of our national survey of Catholic priests. We asked priests, “In your opinion, what is one step that should be… Read More
Stephen's Column
Listen to the Communion of Saints
Stephen White of Catholic University reflects on synodality in light of the celebration of All Saints and All Souls. “Synodality either has deep roots in the life of the Church… Read More
Sara's column
Shot Rolling on the Deck
Sometimes I send my column to particular friends who I think may have insights on the topic that would help either the writing or the content. One friend who shares… Read More
Stephen's Column
A National Study of Catholic Priests
Stephen White of Catholic University writes about the highlights from the National Study of Catholic Priests that was released on October 19, 2022. “For decades, there have been warning signs… Read More

Collaboration Between Clergy & Laity

Over 50 years ago, Vatican II articulated the role of the laity in the Catholic Church in a document entitled Lumen Gentium. All members of the Church, not just the clergy, “contribute toward the renewal and building up of the Church.” Lumen Gentium says pastors should “willingly employ” the “prudent advice” of the lay faithful, and “confidently assign duties to them” in service to the Church. With the help of the laity, “pastors can more clearly and more incisively come to decisions regarding both spiritual and temporal matters.“

The Catholic University of America is uniquely situated to be a place where laity and clergy can come together in a spirit of mutual respect and charity to address the most challenging issues of our times. We believe, in the words of Lumen Gentium, that by drawing on the contributions of all its members, “the entire Church . . . may more effectively fulfill its mission for the life of the world.”

Our Mission

A new state of affairs today both in the Church and in social, economic, political and cultural life, calls with a particular urgency for the action of the lay faithful.
—  St. John Paul II,   Christifideles Laici, 3

Join Our Newsletter

Stay informed on upcoming events, news, and resources.