Fides News Service offers some statistics of the missionary Church all over the world. The tables are taken from the latest edition of the “Church’s Book of Statistics” published (updated to 31 December 2016) regarding members of the Church, church structures, healthcare, welfare and education. Please note that variations, increase or decrease, emerging from our own comparison with last year’s figures (2015), are marked increase + or decrease – in brackets
On the same date Catholics in the world numbered 1.299.059.000 units with an overall increase of 14.249.000. The increase affects all continents, except Europe for the third consecutive year (- 240.000). Increases were registered above all in Africa (+6.265.000) and in America (+ 6.023.000) followed by Asia (+ 1.956.000) and Oceania (+ 254.000). The world percentage of Catholics decreased by 0.05 %, settling at 17.67%. By continent: increases were registered in America (+ 0.06), Asia (+ 0,01) and Oceania (+ 0.02), decrease in Africa (- 0.18) and Europe (- 0,11).
Persons and Catholics per priest
This year the number of persons per priest in the world increased by 254 units, average 14,336. The distribution by continent: increase in Africa (+ 271), America (+ 108), Europe (+ 66) and Oceania (+ 181). The only decrease in Asia (- 264).
The number of Catholics per priest in the world increased by 39 units, average 3.130. There are increases in Africa (+ 7), America (+ 74); Europe (+ 22), Oceania (+ 52). Asia unvaried (-13).
The total number of Bishops in the world increased by 49 units, to 5,353. Diocesan Bishops and Religious Bishops increased in numbers. Diocesan Bishops number 4,063 (27 more), while Religious Bishops number 1,263 (22 more).
The increase in diocesan Bishops is registered in America (+ 20); Asia (+ 9), Europe (+ 3), while a decrease was registered in Africa (- 2) and Oceania (- 3). The number of religious Bishops increased in all continents except Asia (- 7): Africa (+ 5), America (+ 14), Europe (+ 8), Oceania (+ 2).
The total number of priests in the world decreased even this year, to 414.969 (- 687). The only continents which registered a major decrease was again Europe (- 2.583). There was also a decrease in America (-589). Increases were registered in Africa (+ 1.181) and Asia (+ 1.304) Oceania unvaried. Diocesan priests increased by 317 units, reaching a total of 281.831 with a decrease only in Europe (- 1.611) and increases in Africa (+ 983); America (+ 180), Asia (+ 744) and Oceania (+ 21). The number of Religious priests decreased by 1.004 units to a total 133.138. Increases were registered as in recent years in Africa (+ 198) and in Asia (+ 560), whereas numbers dropped in America (- 769), Europe (- 972), Oceania (- 21)
The number of major seminarians, diocesan and religious decreased this year, they are globally 683 units, reaching a total of 116.160. Increases occured in Africa (+1.455) and in Asia (+9), while even this year a decrease in America (-1.123), Europe (-964) and Oceania (-60).
Major diocesan seminarians number 71.117 (+999 more than the previous year) and Religious major seminarians 45.043 (-1.682). Diocesan seminarians increased in Africa (+1.059), America (+16) and Asia (+310). Decreases are in Europe (-381) and Oceania (-5). Religious Seminarians increased only in Africa (+396), while decreased in America (-1.139), Asia (-301), Europe (-583) and Oceania (-55).
The number of minor seminarians, diocesan and religious this year decreased by 2.735 units to 101.616. Overall decrease on all continents: Africa (-69), America (-1.299), Asia (-871), Europe (-581), Oceania (-5).
Minor diocesan seminarians number 78.369 (-1.729) and religious seminarians number 23.247 (-1.006). The number of diocesan minor seminarians increased in Africa (+ 236) and Oceania (+7). Decrease in America (-684), Asia (-988), Europe (-300), Religious minor seminarians increased in number only in Asia (+207), while decreases in Africa (-305), America (-615), Europe (-281) and Oceania (-12).
Permanent deacons in the world increased by 1.057 units to 46.312. The highest increase was registered again in America (+842) followed by Europe (+145), Oceania (+45), Africa (+22) and Asia (+3).
Permanent Diocesan deacons in the world are 45.609, with an overall increase of 982 units. They increased on every continent except in Asia (- 38): Africa (+ 36), America (+ 807), Europe (+130) and Oceania (+ 47).
Religious permanent deacons number 703, increased by 75 units compared to the previous year, with decreases in Africa (- 14) and Oceania (- 2), increases in Asia (+41), America (+35) and Europe (+15).
Men and women religious
The number of non-priests religious decreased for the fourth consecutive year by 1.604 units to 52.625. Situation: a decrease was registered in all continents: in Africa (-50), America (-503), Asia (-373), Europe (-614) and Oceania (-64). Even this year there is an overall decrease in the number of women religious by 10.885 units to 659.445. An increase was registered in Africa (+ 943) and Asia (+ 533), decrease in America (- 3.775), Europe (-8.370) and Oceania (-216).
Full story at fides.org.
What they don’t say is that the number
of traditionalist priests, nuns and brothers is skyrocketing
And their seminaries and novitiates are overflowing with
Vocations. The post-conciliar mess is dying off while
The traditional church is rising again like a phoenix.
If by traditionalist you mean FSSP and other orders in union with the Church, that is great.
If by traditionalist you mean SSPX, CMRI, secevacantist and sedeprivationist groups, that is bad. That is more poor souls in mortal sin.
“Gabriel” you are precisely correct. Moreover, according to numerous sources there are several women’s religious orders that are seriously considering “converting” to full Traditional status and are in preparation to do so. Moreover, statistics also show that countries such as France should see a majority of Traditional priests within the next 25 years or so, if current trends continue. Simply put, men, certainly the vast majority of heterosexual, orthodox Catholic men, do not wish to associate with religious orders that are over-run with flaccid seminarian training, with a Happy-Face Mass that often misses the point of how to worship altogether. Painful but positive many would say.
This was sadly one of he first predictions made, right after the close of the Vatican II Council– an oncoming shortage of vocations to the priesthood! And more than 200,000 priests (and some bishops, too!) left the priesthood, at that time, and many religious orders of nuns completely collapsed!
The beauty, mystery, awe of the liturgies drew me to priesthood, with the systematic truth in the old catechisms. The faith of the priests, nuns, their urge to spread that faith by the sisters and our priests teaching us, the call to go to the missions to teach, baptize, sanctify. I tried to do all of this in both forms in liturgy. I visited classrooms, CCD, youth retreats, adult catechesis. It fulfilled yet tired me. Formerly older pastors had several young vicars to whom they passed the torch directing the younger ones. Socialism, politics, secularism from on high down to the parishes replaced this. Few younger men and women will be moved by that, except for the TLM and the FSSP where truth and majesty still reign.
The incredibly shrinking Catholic Church…Good bye! With the scandals and corruption who would want to be associated much less dedicated to the Catholic Church? Centuries, perhaps eons, will be required for the Church to recover from corrupt leadership. Hopefully, the Lord is pruning the vines which will result in a more humble and holy Church. Like many other lay Catholics, I’ve left and found another “ecclesial community” to worship with. The Catholic Church got too wealthy and too arrogant for its own good.
The Church is not like any other nation, company, or organization on Earth where one can simply cut and run. It isn’t about pride or status. It’s about Truth, Communion, and the Mystical Body of Christ. The great reformers of the past didn’t run but, instead, responded to the Call of Christ to reform the Church. Regretfully, this is one of those times.
I challenge you to return to the Church and to accept the work that Christ is calling you to do to rebuild His church.
I do not know why you were pruned but I am sure if you repent the Lord will graft you back on to the True Vine.
But….but…but…. the Council is the “2nd Penecost”, it’s supposed to have brought “fresh air” into the Church. What happened? What happened is after the Council habits and cassocks went by the wayside along with sound Catholic teaching. The Faith in Europe is all but gone. As Gabriel above notes, traditional orders are growing and they represent the future of the Church. May God increase their numbers.
You are SO right! It’s the traditional nuns and Priests whom are getting the vocation and they are full of JOY:)
I pray for more traditional and joyful nuns teaching the children the TRUE FAITH! There has bee 2 generations that has gotten ‘watered down’ Catholic teaching, and these lay people are teaching in Catholic schools…..it is like the ‘blind leading the blind’.
Time for the west to do what the east has always done and have married men apply for priestly ordination. Celibacy should remain a charism in religious orders.
How has a married clergy worked for the Church in the East?
It’s worked out fine. It’s why the scandel has barely touched third ranks.
I think you might have the cause and effect wrong. The Eastern Orthodox have different leadership than Rome and I doubt they have much tolerance for the lavender mafia. Orthodoxy is also centered in the East which has not been influenced as much by the sexual revolution. Also, the media has not focused on the Orthodox as it has on Rome because Orthodoxy is not a cultural power in the U.S.; therefore, fewer cases are known.
Just look at the number of permanent Deacons vs priests. Married Deacon’s are a growing number, priests are a declining number. Some want to build conspiracy theories, involving the gay mafia and Communist spies but, the simplest solution is usually the right one. We should have never gotten rid of married clergy in the West
Of course, Father Perozich, don’t forget to mention the sexual abuse by priests and some nuns as one of the primary reasons for the decline of the Church.
The Church’s main problem right now is spiritual pathology created by massive iPhone/social media usage. The problem is a little more complex than this, but this appears to be the main driver. The sexual abuse crisis appears to be only a secondary cause.
Steve: absolutely and wholeheartedly disagree with you. Technology can be used for good or evil! Sexual abuse is unequivocally evil!
If you’re talking about not just the immediate crisis in leadership (i.e. our tarnished reputation) but other things related to that (i.e. weak bishops and priests who seem to hide from truth), then I’d probably agree with you.
Steve: examine the released records; the corruption, abuse and cover-ups have been going on for years. It is not just the current leadership of the Church, the cover ups go back for decades. The records released indicate priestly child sex abuse was occurring in the 1940’s and undoubtedly even prior the 1940’s. There is an inherent problem with the selection of priests and the theology of the priesthood itself. This abusive behavior was occurring long before Vatican II.
As I recall, the number of cases that extend back before the 1960s are few in comparison to the number of cases over the past 40 years.
Still waiting for a difinitive study on why vocations to priestly & religious life are down so sharply. Here are some factors to guide such a study.
1) negative: failure to recognise, punish, & prevent priestly sex abuse
2) negative: failure to incorporate women into the mission of the Church
3) negative: failure of the Church to recognize a married priesthood
3) positive: some as yet undiscerned movement of the Holy Spirit
4) positive: recognition that the Universal Call to Holiness calls ALL of us to sainthood, not just the celibates