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Pastor and Priest, The Vatican

A Good Year

  • Denise Bates Enos, Curriculum Editor
  • |
  • March 27 2012

According to statistics compiled by the Vatican, 2010 saw a rise in the number of Catholic deacons, priests and bishops. The Church overall also experienced an increase in Catholic members around the world. One number that did go down was the number of women in religious orders, an ongoing trend.

By year end in 2010, the worldwide Catholic population reached 1.196 billion. This represents an increase of 15 million, or 1.3 percent. Catholics as a percentage of the global population is approximately 17.5 percent.

Here’s a quick look at some of the numbers released by the Vatican:

  • The number of bishops increased from 5,065 to 5,104
  • The number of priests went from 410,593 to 412,236
  • The number of permanent deacons increased by more than 1,400 to 39,564
  • The number of male religious increased by 436
  • The number of women in religious orders fell by more than 7,000
  • The number of seminarians increased from 117,978 to 118,990

For the full story, click here.

Teacher Enrichment: Share these statistics with your students. Ask: What do these numbers tell you about the health and vitality of the Church? What do you think could be done to increase vocations for male and female religious? Do you feel a call to vocation?


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