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
We Need a Reconciliation Revival
I am excited about the USCCB’s plan for a Eucharistic revival over the next three years. I love the Eucharist (obviously) and I love big gatherings: put those two together… Read More
Sara's column
Wheelchairs
Lately, I have been thinking about wheelchairs. Sometimes when I drive to work in the morning, I pass a man who is taking his dog out. The man looks to… Read More
Stephen's Column
A Beginning by the Bishops, Not the End
Stephen White of Catholic University reflects on the USCCB General Assembly of November 2021. “The deep divisions in the Church make it clear that the Church needs a big change.… Read More
Certificate Program
Interview with Certificate Student Melissa Buttner
Interview with Melissa Buttner, M.Div. student in the Certificate program for Child Protection and Safe Environments Please share what you are studying at The Catholic University of America and what… Read More
In the News
Interview with Paulina Guzik, Polish Journalist and Professor
Our visiting scholar, Paulina Guzik, is an award-winning journalist and a professor at the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow. Please introduce yourself and the project you are… Read More
Sara's column
Are We In This Together Or Not?
There’s a scene in Donald Margulies’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “Dinner With Friends,” that comes back to me every time a Catholic priest is in the news for sexual misconduct. features… Read More
VAC Interview
Victim Assistance Coordinator Interview: Walter Lukaszek, Diocese of Brownsville
Interview with Walter Lukaszek, the Victim Assistance Coordinator for the Diocese of Brownsville in Texas Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Do you have a family? Where did… Read More
Stephen's Column
Rome Remembers
Stephen White of Catholic University reflects on the martyrs of Rome and how, for the Roman Church, these are local saints. “To a Catholic from the United States, these martyrs… 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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