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.

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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

Sara's column
The Inevitable Inequality of Bodies
I went to see the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Richard III last month. The actor playing Richard in this production has radial dysplasia, which added a certain amount of… Read More
Stephen's Column
The Splendor of the "Splendor of Truth"
Stephen White of Catholic University reflects on Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor (“The Splendor of Truth”). “Underlying many of the criticisms of Veritatis Splendor is the belief that it… Read More
Sara's column
The Eucharistic Revival and the Art of Gathering: Part 2
This is the second part of my little series on the National Eucharistic Revival and Priya Parker’s book, The Art of Gathering. Last time, I applied Parker’s first three points… Read More
Stephen's Column
Notes from Poland 2022
Stephen White of Catholic University reflects on his time in Krakow, Poland during the summer of 2022 at the annual Tertio Millennio Seminar with the Ethics and Public Policy Center.… Read More
Stephen's Column
In Gratitude to John Garvey
Stephen White shares a reflection on John Garvey as he retires as President of Catholic University: “The Garveys are leaving Catholic University after twelve years. No one haughty has ever… Read More
Sara's column
The National Eucharistic Revival and The Art of Gathering
I recently hosted a party that was much more elaborate than any I had hosted before. It was at a beautifully-refurbished parish hall and featured English Country Dancing, led by… Read More
Stephen's Column
The Pope’s Peculiar Take on the Council – and America
Stephen White of Catholic University reflects on Pope Francis’s statements about Americans supposedly rejecting the Second Vatican Council: “I mention all of this not only to suggest that Americans ought… Read More
Sara's column
Nighttime Boundaries
HIM: “You’re saying that I can’t come stay in your dorm room overnight, even though we won’t do anything and your roommate would be there anyway?” ME: “Yes, that’s exactly… 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

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