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

Diocesan Bankruptcy

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

Vos Estis

An online conversation with four canonists about Vos estis lux mundi

Victim Assistance Coordinators

An online conversation with three victim assistance coordinators

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, 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
Why Isn’t Laicization More Public?
Many years ago, I flew to Chicago and drove a few of hours to attend a friend’s ordination to the priesthood.  I considered Chris[1] the best person I had ever… Read More
Stephen's Column
Speaking of the Synod
Stephen White of Catholic University reflects on the synod preparatory document released this week. “Why then don’t our shepherds speak and write in a way that is recognizably Christian! When… Read More
Sara's column
Producing the Podcast Crisis as a Catholic
This piece includes discussion of sexual abuse and suicide. Jay Lemberger is the victim who stays with me. He died by suicide before the priest who abused him was brought… Read More
Stephen's Column
What Ever Happened to the "Lay Moment"?
Stephen White of Catholic University reflects on the promise and challenge of Lumen Gentium: “By our Baptism, we are all commissioned to proclaim the Gospel – the laity no less… Read More
VAC Interview
Victim Assistance Coordinator Interview: Laura Gottsponer, Little Rock
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Have you always been Catholic? Do you have a family? Where did you go to school?  I live in Morrilton, Arkansas, but… Read More
Stephen's Column
Good as New
Stephen White of Catholic University reflects on the human experience of change and decline. “Our salvation is not a restoration, a reversal of corruption or weakness or mortality. Our destiny… Read More
Stephen's Column
What's Done in Darkness Will Come to Light
Stephen White of Catholic University reflects on the controversy surrounding the revelations that Msgr. Burrill, former General Secretary of the USCCB, was using a “hook-up” app while handling the sexual… Read More
Stephen's Column
Synodality is what you make of it
Stephen White of Catholic University reflects on the concept of synodality as the Church prepares for the “synod on the synod.” “Concerns about the pitfalls or potential abuses of synodality… 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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