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 Post subject: Catholic Statistics: Document brings out the numbers
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2005 10:03 pm 
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Sons of Thunder
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The new document on the Eucharist brings out some interesting statistical information on the numbers of Catholics in the world, a break down by continent, the number of priests and religious, how many of we lost and gained sine 1978, etc.

The topic of the synod, The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church, requires looking at some pertinent information from the world in which the Church lives and works. Though a complete, exhaustive presentation is impossible, some general statistics and considerations are given.

Some statistics plainly show the numerical relationship of the general population to the faithful who profess the Catholic faith. In 2003, the number of Catholics was 1,086,000,000,3 an increase of 15,000,000 from the preceding year. The breakdown by continent is: Africa +4.5%; America +1.2%; Asia +2.2%; and Oceania +1.3%. Europe remained practically unvaried. Regarding the distribution of Catholics in various geographical areas, figures show that America has 49.8% of the world’s Catholics, while Europe has 25.8%. The percentage is less in other continents: Africa 13.2%, Asia 10.4% and Oceania, 0.8%. In relation to a continent’s total population, the percentage of Catholics is: 62.46% in America, 39.59% in Europe, 26.39% in Oceania, 16.89% in Africa and 2.93% in Asia.4

As for areas of jurisdiction in the Church, ecclesiastical territories showed an increase of 19 in 2001, that is, the number rose from 2,864 in 2001 to 2,883 territories in 2002, indicating a growth on all continents.5 The number of the world’s bishops grew 27.68%, increasing from 3,714 in 1978 to 4,742 in 2003. The overall number of priests in 2003 (405,450 - 268,041 diocesan and 137,409 religious), with respect to the figures of 1978 (420,971: 262,485 diocesan and 158,486 religious), fluctuated 3.69%, due to a decrease of 13.30% in the number of priest-religious and an increase of 2.12% in that of diocesan priests. There was a decrease of 27.94% in the number of non-clerical professed men-religious (75,802 in 1978, 54,620 in 2003). The number of professed women-religious (990,768 in 1978, 776,269 in 2003) fluctuated 21.65%.6

Because of the vital connection between the celebration of the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Orders, attention needs to be given to the increase, from 1978 to 2003, in the number of Catholics in relation to the number of priests, that is, one priest for every 1,797 Catholics in 1978 to one priest for every 2,677 Catholics in 2003. The situation is quite diverse from continent to continent. For example, in Europe, there is one priest for every 1,386 Catholics; in Africa, one for every 4,723 Catholics; in America, one for every 4,453; in Asia, one for every 2,407; and in Oceania, one for every 1,746.7 In the same period, the permanent deaconate also witnessed a strong development with the overall number of deacons multiplying over 15 times or having a relative increase of 466.7%. It should be pointed out that America (especially North America) has 65% of the permanent deacons worldwide, with Europe having 32%. The noteworthy role of the world’s lay missionaries (172,331) and catechists (2,847,673) also deserves mention.8

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2005 10:19 pm 
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Sons of Thunder
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on mass attendance


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The Lineamenta responses indicate that Mass attendance on Sundays is high in various particular Churches in the countries of Africa and also in some Asian countries. The opposite is the case in the majority of countries in Europe, America and Oceania. In some cases, the percentage of those who participate at Sunday Mass is as low as 5%. Generally speaking, the faithful who neglect to attend Mass on Sundays do not consider participating at Mass important in their life. Basically, they lack an understanding of the true nature of the Mass as Sacrifice and Eucharistic Banquet which gathers the faithful around the Lord’s altar.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 11:53 pm 
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Apostle of Iraq
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This is some really good information! LOC, eat your heart out!

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