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

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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

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
Stephen's Column
Biden and the Bishops
Executive Director Stephen White reflects on the controversy over President-elect Biden and the reception of Holy Communion. “Nowhere is the individualist strain in American Catholicism more manifest than in the… Read More
Stephen's Column
Christian Gratitude
Stephen White reflects on the virtue of the season: gratitude. “The beginning of trust in the providence of God begins with the loss of our sense of control. In this… Read More
VAC Interview
VAC Interview: Sue Stubbs, Archdiocese of Atlanta
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.  I am a Georgia native! Grew up in Atlanta with my six siblings and went to Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of… Read More
John Paul II committed sins too. Just like all the other saints.
Over at America Magazine, Executive Director Stephen White reflects on the Pelagianism of those who call into question the sanctity of John Paul II because he made mistakes in his… Read More
Stephen's Column
Mistakes Were Made
Stephen White offers initial analysis of the McCarrick Report, released on Tuesday, November 10, 2020. “For those who don’t think clericalism has played a major role in the abuse crisis… 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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