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

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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

National Eucharistic Revival

Catholic U. is fully engaged with the USCCB's call for renewed devotion to the Eucharist

Synod on Synodality

Catholic University participated 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

Stephen's Column
Census Fidelium
Stephen White of Catholic University looks at the data from a recent Pew research survey: “The portion of Catholics who say that their religion is ‘very important’ in their life… Read More
Sara's column
The AP offers an outsider’s view of the Catholic Church
Sara Perla, Communications Manager for The Catholic Project, offers an opinion on the AP’s recent piece on the changing Catholic Church in America: “I hope that Sullivan’s article helps us… Read More
Stephen's Column
The Times They Are A-Changin'
Before proceeding into Mass, the priest and altar servers gather in the narthex of Transfiguration of Our Lord Parish in Syracuse, New York. [Photo by Ryan Brady, National Geographic] Stephen… Read More
Stephen's Column
Incrementalism and Abortion
Stephen P. White of Catholic University reflects on the pro-life strategy of incrementalism. “Catholics, of course, have a great deal to contribute to that work. One issue of particular importance… Read More
Stephen's Column
Creation and the Order of Love
Requievit Dominus Die Septimo ab Omni Opere Quod Patrarat, c. 12th century, Monreale Cathedral, Sicily. Stephen White of Catholic University reflects on the upcoming release of a document on human… Read More
Stephen's Column
Gratitude in the Midst of Grief
Stephen P. White of Catholic University reflects on gratitude and grief after the death of his father-in-law Deacon John H. Purk: “John and Patty, his wife of 43 years, gave… Read More
Sara's column
What You Need to Know about the Kate Middleton Drama and Our Humanity
Sara Perla writes for OSV on the Kate Middleton drama on social media and what it shows about human nature. “The better part of our nature, the part that wants… Read More
Stephen's Column
How to Build a Healthy Culture
Stephen White of Catholic University reflects on the meaning of culture and asks how either side in the culture wars defines “winning”: “In culture, as in the Church, growth and… 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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