Catholic lay organisations

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A Catholic lay association, also referred to as Catholic Congress, is an association of lay Catholics aiming to discuss certain political or social issues from a Catholic perspective.[1]

The Pontifical Council for the Laity is the body responsible for approving those Catholic associations that exist at an international level.[2] The structure of some Religious Orders allow for Lay branches to be associated with them. These are often referred to as Third Orders.

Some of the best known Catholic Lay Associations are Knights of Columbus, Knights of Columba, Catenians, Knights of Malta, the Piusverein in Germany and Switzerland, Azione Cattolica in Italy and the UK-based Catholic Truth Society.

There are also lay Catholic guilds and associations representing a whole range of professions. These include the Catholic Police Guild, Holy Name Society (NYPD), the Association of Catholic Nurses, the Guild of Catholic Doctors, the Catholic Physicians Guild, the Catholic Association of Performing Arts (UK), and the Catholic Actors Guild of America.

List of Catholic lay organisations[edit]

This a list of organisations covering Catholic laity. It aims to list ecclesial movements of unspecified standing. For international Catholic movements that have received official approval by the Catholic Church, see Directory of International Associations of the Faithful.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Catholic Congresses" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  2. ^ "International Associations of the Faithful, Directory - Pontifical Coucils for the Laity".
  3. ^ "Vatican suppresses Italy-based lay movement founded by alleged visionary". Crux. 30 June 2021. Retrieved 2023-04-25.