Skip to comments.Number of Catholics Rises by 15 Million (Diocesan Priests Increase; Religious Decrease)
Posted on 02/01/2005 6:26:25 AM PST by NYer
VATICAN CITY, JAN. 31, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The 2005 Pontifical Yearbook reveals that there are 1.086 billion Catholics in the world, 15 million more than last year.
Half of all Catholics live in the Americas. The data of the volume -- presented today by the members of the Central Office of Church Statistics to John Paul II, despite his bout of flu -- give a statistical picture of Catholicism.
"The number of baptized faithful has increased, from 1.071 billion in 2002 to 1.086 billion in the year 2003," explained a statement issued by the Vatican.
"In Africa, an increase of 4.5% of the faithful has been recorded, in Europe there has been, practically speaking, a situation of stability. Note must be taken of significant increases in Asia (up 2.2%), Oceania (up 1.3%) and America (up 1.2%)," the Vatican note explained.
"A reading of the data on the distribution of Catholics in the diverse geographical areas reveals that America embraces 49.8% of Catholics worldwide, while Europe has 25.8%. Lower percentages are found in Africa (13.2%), Asia (10.4%) and Oceania (0.8%)," it added.
In 2003, the statement said, priests totaled "405,450, of whom 268,041 were members of the diocesan clergy and 137,409 of the religious clergy; in 2002 they numbered 405,058 divided in 267,334 diocesan priests and 137,724 religious priests.
"The total number of priests in 2003 in relation to 2002 increased, therefore by 392 units, an increase of 707 in the diocesan clergy and a decrease of 315 in the religious."
"Priestly ordinations were 9,317 in 2003 while in the previous year they were 9,247; in particular, dioceses went from 6,534 in 2002 to 6,582 in 2003, and religious [ordinations] from 2,713 to 2,735," it explained.
The number of men who pursue vocations is decreasing, according to the study. "Seminarians registered in philosophy and theology seminars decreased from 112,643 in 2002 to 112,373 in 2003."
The largest number of seminarians is found in the Americas: 37,191. Asia follows with 27,931, Europe with 24,387, Africa with 21,909 and Oceania with 955.
In 2003, the Pope "established 10 new episcopal sees and one apostolic vicariate. Six metropolitan sees were constituted. He named 171 bishops in total."
The Pontifical Yearbook, a volume of more than 2,100 pages, lists the names and essential information on all the bishops and dioceses of the Catholic Church. It also lists persons who work in organizations of the Holy See, religious congregations, and educational and ecclesiastical institutions.
And I will credit this lovely woman for much of that growth.
God doesn't seem to know what He's doing.
Gee, I thought all of us were just EVIL papists!
What Archdiocese is this?
Mother Angelica bump!
Have you ever seen Mother Angelica "classics" on EWTN? I've seen some of her lectures from twenty years ago when she must have been in her early 60s. Man, she was sharp. She had a glorious ability to combine solid doctrine and plain old common sense.
When our Church leaders do their jobs and take the trash out, the results are amazing.
Has anyone else noticed that the nuns who have maintained the tradition of wearing a distinguishable habit also have distinguishable numbers? We have some nuns in the area whose dress would make those at a gym look dressy - numbers are really down.
I'd like to be able to claim that my parish is growing rapidly because our Pastor is thoroughly orthodox. (He is.) But it could just as easily be that it's growing rapidly because the population in this part of Fairfax County is growing rapidly. The "dying" inner city parishes that have been taken over by thoroughly, explicitly, aggressively orthodox priests better exemplify the point you're making.
Happy to report that I have added one Catholic to the world's population each of the past three years.
I wouldn't miss them! Even the her Religious Catalogue episodes are priceless!
My favorite episodes with Mother are the ones where she talks about the beginnings of EWTN. Here is some of that history.
Mother Angelica ended up in Alabama because of another miracle, as she tells the story. In 1946, at age 23, she was paralyzed in an accident with a scrubbing machine while cleaning the floors of a Poor Clare convent in Canton, where she was then living. Lying in a hospital bed, she prayed to God and promised that if she ever walked again, she would build Him a monastery in the South. (The choice of region seemed purely arbitrary: "I have no idea why I said that," she says.) Soon she was walking, but not without the aid of crutches and a back brace. She would be dependent on both for the next half-century and also in constant pain. She jokes that she quickly learned to be more specific in her prayers. " I asked to walk," she jokes, "I didnt ask to walk comfortably."
She now had a promise to keep but no money. With permission from their abbess, she and others in her convent established St. Peters Fishing Lures, a mail-order business that generated cash for the move to the South. And that is how it all began!
The other great episodes are when she calls a bishop, priest or .... a cardinal .... to task.
In 1997, she garnered the wrath of Roger Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles, who had issued a pastoral letter on the Eucharist, "Gather Faithfully Together." Mother Angelica read the letter, which described the consecration in the Mass as a representation of the Last Supper, and said she was "shocked"on the air. She told her viewers that they could legitimately disobey Cardinal Mahonys letter because it displayed what she deemed an incomplete, and thus heretical, interpretation of Christs real presence in the Eucharist. The cardinal, predictably, was not amused and demanded a retraction. She made a grudging apology on the air that Cardinal Mahony deemed unsatisfactory. He later attempted to have her reprimanded by the Vatican without success.
You can read more at this link: Mother Angelicas Empire of the Airwaves
Now that's just too cool ... too bad they dropped the business. Monastery cheese, and monastery fruitcake, and monastery jelly, etc. gets boring after a while.
Even in the fastest growing areas of the country, it takes over a decade to even double.
What is the average weekly attendance at the main Sunday mass?
For me as a pastor, that is far more important than the number on the rolls.
Kudos and God's blessings!
Second, the details. My Parish is brand new, and in five years has grown from an initial registration of about 400 families to over 1000. Our Pastor is thoroughly orthodox, but so are the Pastors of the two neighbouring Parishes that were split to make "us". So we have three sources of new Parishoners:
1) folks moving in to the area
2) folks gradually leaving their old parish and registring here
I mention this because St. Mary Magdalene Parish appears also to be fairly new. I would expect a new parish to grow rapidly. The correlation between the beginning of the growth spurt and the departure of the suspect is interesting, and worth exploring. That it is a new parish is a confounding variable.
Lol ... "not excommunicated". I have never met anyone who was excommunicated.
A Baptismal Certificate is issued and maintained by the church in which the blessed event took place. That is one way of ordering statistics.
Practically speaking, however, families and individuals move. It is suggested but not required that new families register at their new parish. This is not always the case. Some catholics don't want to be locked into attending Mass at a specific parish but prefer the flexibility of going to other parishes within the same diocese. They are not registered with any parish, even though they attend weekly Mass. There are also registered parishioners who move and forget to advise the parish. And then there are the catholics who show up on major holy days.
I am not sure how this number was arrived at, other than the issuance of a baptismal certificate.
In case anyone missed it.
I would think the building of a parish school could cause such an increase.
The situation here is quite similar. Bishop Hubbard is combining 6 parishes into 1. Sometimes we need to do a reality check. The reality for you, me and several others is that we just happen to live in dioceses where a more liberal mindset prevails. There is nothing you or I can do to alter the situation, other than to pray for these bishops and our catholic neighbors. It may take several generations before the situation improves here and where you reside. You must find a church which offers up a valid and reverent Mass.
Did you post a separate thread on that?
For me as a pastor, that is far more important than the number on the rolls.
I couldn't choose which is the "main" Sunday Mass at our parish - all seven of them (4 & 6 pm Saturday, 7:30, 9, 10:30, 12 and 5 pm Sunday) are packed solid with people standing (and kneeling, on the bare linoleum) in the vestibule.
And every time I'm up in Maryland, I try to figure a way to steal one of their buildings, because it's always three-quarters empty.
For my purposes, all of those would be added together for a Sunday Mass total (I'd include the Sat Eve Mass, too).
In other words, attendance on the main day of worship is more significant than number on the rolls......to me. :>)
That's the way to evangelize -- one person at a time!
And she accomplished all of this without any assistance from the bishops. In fact, for a time, the bishops tried to launch their own TV channel, but quickly found out that no one was interested in the thin gruel they were serving up. I only wish a quarter of American bishops had half as much fortitude as that one nun has.
Didn't she say to the Bank manager who would not give her a loan to start the network, "You Heathen!"
She is a peach!
Not yet. Feel free to do so.
My parish takes an annual census of all families registered at it. If they get back an "adressee has moved" notice from the Post Office, the registrant is dropped.
Yes, that is one way count heads; however, it excludes "roamin'" catholics who choose not to register with any parish.
Mother is such a remarkable individual. I recall her asking someone back in Chicago, about setting up a radio station. He assured her that she could never devise a format to surpass his. Her reaction: "Oh yeah? Just watch me!" God has truly blessed her and all of us as well. I wonder if we will ever know how many converts and reverts are the result of EWTN.
Just thinking of Mother always puts a smile on my face.
Just because people call themselves Catholic doesn't mean they have found their way to Christ. We should be more concerned with increasing the ranks of the Church Triumphant than gloating on the increasing numbers of the Church Militant.
The Church is counting who gets baptized. It should count who practices Catholicism--in which case the numbers would be way down--especially among bishops.
Of course the numbers go up when Catholics reproduce. And I'm not surprised the New Church only counts the baptized. It needs to count the number of people in the pews instead.
We just grabbed a whole bunch of pews from the Cathedral up in Bawl'mer ... they're "renovating" it.
Great story. Did you ever call her show? I heard a similar caller once. She often talks to "all of you who are lying in hospital beds..."
I remember the first time I saw her show. I didn't have cable. When I went to visit my girlfriend I'd mooch off of her. I remember the first time I saw her. "Who's this nun?" I was skeptical at first...
I never called in on her show. My first impression of watching her was that I'd pity any New Agey type bishop, priest or whatever who challenged her, she'd eat them for breakfast and spit out the bones!
Dropping the names off when mail is returned is exactly how it should be done. In the Episcopal Church they leave names on the rolls for years. About the only way you can get your name off an Episcopal parish's register is write and request an official letter of transfer - to another Episcopal Church. But folks who leave to become RC - or anything else - are generally not deleted. Main point here is that most of the parish "numbers" these clergy give out every year to the diocese are not that accurate - intentionally so.
Compare her with guys like McCarrick and Flynn, who can't manage to say anything plainly.
The monks in Belgium seem to have a way with many fine ales!
She had a run-in with Cardinal Mahoney in the past. I forget the details. Maybe NYer can fill you in.
That's a stone cold fact.