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
Baptism is the Rite You Are Looking For
One of the things that attracted me to Pope Francis early in his pontificate was his willingness to challenge established protocols and to do what he thought was appropriate in… Read More
Stephen's Column
What's at Stake with the Synod?
Stephen White of Catholic University writes about the ongoing “synod on synodality” in the Catholic Church. “The mission of the Church is nothing less than the proclamation of the Gospel… Read More
Sara's column
2021 Round Up and Looking Forward to 2022
‘Tis the season of roundups and “Best of”s and, well, bragging, so I would be remiss if The Catholic Project (TCP) missed out. As the COVID-19 pandemic continued to curtail… Read More
Stephen's Column
A Divisive Approach to Liturgical "Unity"
Stephen White of Catholic University reflects on the most recent communication from the Congregation for Divine Worship & the Discipline of the Sacraments and the policies enacted in view of… Read More
VAC Interview
Victim Assistance Coordinator Interview: Wendy (Krisak) Kalamar, Diocese of Allentown
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Do you have a family? Where did you go to school? I grew up in Bethlehem, PA and although I had a… Read More
Stephen's Column
Rejoice, Indeed!
Stephen White of Catholic University reflects on the third Sunday of Advent- Gaudete Sunday: “All the stuff we put to use in our celebrations and rejoicing – the candles and wreaths and… Read More
Sara's column
Advent Visions
During Advent and throughout the Christmas season, I enjoy reading short stories. It is the only time of year that I do this, being partial to novels in every way,… Read More
Stephen's Column
Restoring Trust after the Abuse Crisis
Stephen White of Catholic University reflects on the hard steps we need to take as a Church to regain trust and credibility: “The fallout from the abuse crisis will be… 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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