Responding to the Needs of the Church in a Time of Crisis

The Catholic Church is in crisis. Its inability to address clergy sexual abuse has caused a crisis of faith,
a breach of trust. The Catholic University of America has an opportunity, and a responsibility,
to help restore what has been broken. That is the work of The Catholic Project.

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Current Projects


Sharing Marie Reilly's work on Catholic Dioceses in Bankruptcy

Certificate Program

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

Harvard Conference

Co-sponsoring "Faith and Flourishing in the Face of Childhood Sexual Abuse" at Harvard in April 2021.

What We Do

The Catholic Project serves the Church as part of The Catholic University of America, so our work reflects the particular mission of our university, which is “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 seeks renewal and healing in the Church through education and formation, by deepening understanding through research, and through events, conferences, and media initiatives, which promote collaboration and genuine dialogue.

Our Work

News & Commentary

Unpacking news and information

VAC Interview
VAC Interview: Mary Beth Hanus, Omaha
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Do you have a family? Where did you go to school? I am the youngest of 3 and grew up in Omaha.… Read More
Stephen's Column
The Catholic Project, Two Years On
In his column this week, Stephen White reflects on his two years with The Catholic Project: “The abuse crisis has not created a greater need for lay responsibility in the… Read More
Spirit Fire Broadcasting Event
Spirit Fire, the survivors’ organization led by Teresa Pitt Green and Luis Torres, Jr. is planning a global conference consisting of a monthly broadcast aimed to educate and inform people… Read More
Stephen's Column
Mercy, but about what?
In his column, Stephen White reflects on God’s mercy; the mercy that leads to freedom from sin. “One could say that Jesus’ interactions with the Pharisees were a form of… Read More
VAC Interview
VAC Interview: Julie Sparacio
This is an interview with Julie Sparacio, who is the Director for Child and Youth Protection and also the Victim Assistance Coordinator for the Diocese of Santa Rosa, CA. Please… Read More
Stephen's Column
Our Catholic President
Stephen White reflects on the new Catholic President of the United States. “We have come to a point where Catholic political activism – both left and right – is at… Read More
Stephen's Column
A Catholic Moment
Stephen White reflects on the fact that none of the federal branches of government will be led by a Protestant– for the first time in American history. “Unfortunately, that Catholics… Read More
Faith and Flourishing in the Face of Childhood Sexual Abuse 
The Human Flourishing Program at Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science, The Harvard Divinity School, and The Catholic Project at The Catholic University of America present the inaugural, ionternational, interdisciplinary Symposium,… 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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