VATICAN CITY, April 29, – At precisely a.m. on May 13 of But the bad news for the Annuario Pontificio does not end here. Items in Stacks. Call number, Status. BXA75 , Available. BXA75 , Available. BXA75 , Available. BXA75 , Available. The figures are presented in the “Annuario Pontificio of women in religious orders continued to decrease, dropping by 10, in

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The Pontifical Yearbook and the Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiaecompiled and edited by the Central Office of Church Statistics, are currently being distributed in bookstores. The data shown in the Pontifical Yearbook enable some new developments to be inferred in relation to the life of the Catholic Church in the world, from During this period four new Episcopal sees, one Eparchy, two Apostolic Exarchates and one Ordinariate were erected, and an Apostolic Exarchate was elevated to an Eparchy.

The statistical data of the Annuarium Statisticumwhich refer to the yearprovide a summary overview of the main trends affecting the development of the Catholic Church in the world. The following describes the evolving trends in the five year period just ended, both of baptized Catholics and of the clergy, professed men religious other than priests, professed women religious and the number of priestly vocations. In order to facilitate an appreciation of the genuine granularity of the data, the information is provided on a global level as well as for the single geographical area.

On the contrary, to filter for effects attributable solely to demographic trends, the time series are related to the number of inhabitants in the area. In this paper, the data ofas well as being systematically compared to those of the previous year, are also compared with those of the five-year period that began inwith the aim of extrapolating the evolutionary dynamics prevalent in the medium term. The time frame considered covers a total of the last two years of the pontificate of Pope Benedict and the first three years of the pontificate of Pope Francis, with important information about the Catholic Church in the new millennium.

This represents a total of If a medium term perspective is adopted, for example with reference toa more robust growth of 7.

Annuario Pontificio 2015 – BOOK

The dynamic of this increase varies from continent to continent: This stasis is due to pontifficio well-noted demographic situation, in which the population is in slight increase and is expected to decline sharply in the coming years. Stagnation, obviously with lower values, is also typical of Oceania. As these trends are correlated with those demographics, better information can be obtained from the relationship between the baptized Catholics and the number of inhabitants. In Africa, for example, the trend of 20144 is constant, while it is shown to be more contained in Asia and Oceania.

It may also be underlined that in the various continents the relative number of Catholics varies between very different sizes, ranging, for the most recent year, from 3. The relative number of Catholics is The increased weight of the African continent is also confirmed, with an increase from There is, however, a sharp decline in Europe, from The proportion of Catholics in Oceania also remains stable, although with a figure of less than 0.

A further examination of the territorial detail for anuario country and observation of the data for shows that Brazil, of the ten countries in the world with the greatest consistency of baptized Catholics, ranks in first place with , or Brazil is followed, in order, by Mexico The total number of Catholics, for the countries in the top ten places, amounts to Statistics for also indicate that the number of clerics in the world amounted to , with 5, bishops,priests and 45, permanent deacons.


The number of bishops has increased over time, satisfying the needs of an increased number of faithful and a numerical and functional balance with regard to the priestly body.

In the last five years there has been an increase of 3.

It can also be seen that the relative weight of each continent has remained, in the period, virtually unchanged and commensurate to the relative importance of the individual continental situations. In particular, inAmerica holds In there is decline in the number of priests from the previous year, thus reversing the upward trend that characterized the years from to The decrease between and is of units and particularly affects Europe The total amount of priests in the world incompared tohas increased by 0.

Then, looking at the distinction between diocesan and religious priests, there appears to be a clearly divergent evolution of the two categories. With regard to the first, there is a total increase of 1.

The number of religious priests, in addition to being in line with the aggregate data, in decline in Europe and Oceania, also shows a significant reduction in the American continent, with just over 38, units in compared to over 40 thousand in The numerical change compared to is accompanied by a noticeable structural variation within continents and sub-continents.

The relationships of composition between the amounts in these areas and the world show, indeed, that Africa, the South and Central-Continental America and South East Asia have seen their proportion increase from toMiddle East Asia and Oceania remain virtually stationary in this regard, and finally, the proportion of North America and Europe is in decline.

In particular, if in priests in Europe accounted for Taking into consideration the relationship between the number of baptized Catholics present in the various continental areas and the number of priests, it can be seen that, while in an average of 2, Catholics were attributed to each priest, in this ratio rises to 3. The situation in America, where the Catholics per priest ratio exceeds 5, units and keeps increasing throughout the period, is particularly critical.

But the presence of priests is also weakening in Europe, even though the latter has 1, Catholics per priest, the best ratio overall. The pastoral workload of priests in Asia has improved from 2, to 2, Catholics per priestwhile it is stable in Africa with around 5, Catholics per priest.

The population of permanent deacons shows a significant evolutionary trend: The number of deacons is improving on every continent at a significant pace. The figure is also improving in areas where their presence is quantitatively significant. The pastoral activity of the clergy is joined, too, by other types of pastoral workers, including in particular professed men religious other than priests and professed women religious: The group of professed men religious other than priests constitutes a group in decline globally: The decline is attributable, in order of importance, to the European, American and Oceanic groups, while in Africa there has been an increase of these operators, as well as in Asia to a lesser extent.

These trends also determine a different numerical dislocation, over time, between different continents: Europe and America, inremain the continents with the largest number of professed men religious other than priests 16, and 15, respectively, out of a worldwide total of 54, individualsbut less so than at the beginning of the period considered.

Women religious constitute a population with a certain consistency: At global level, they have decreased in number fromin toina relative diminution of 7. Profound differences emerge when analyzing the time series for the individual territorial areas. Africa is the continent with the highest increase of religious, from 66, in to 71, inwith a relative increase of 7. It is followed by South East Asia, where professed women religious have increased in number fromin toinan increase of 3.


In South and Central America, in the same period, there is a drop fromin toinwith an overall decrease of 8.

Finally, three continental areas have experienced a sharp decline: These areas therefore have a significant impact on global data. There is a continuation of the decline which has for some years characterized priestly vocations: The annuarik has dropped, in turn, from A brief disaggregated analysis at sub-continental level highlights that forms of local behaviour are deeply differentiated, so that the global examination of the evolution of the numerical consistency of vocations may be not exhaustive.

Plntificio Africa, for example, the number of major seminarians in the period under examination has steadily increased, with an increase of 7. In all areas of America we have witnessed a continuous decline in vocations, resulting in a variation of In Europe from tothe number of seminarians has decreased by 9. In Oceania, the highest figure was recorded infollowed by continuous pontifixio — the number of seminarians in was 6. Of theseminarians from all over the world, inthe continent with the greatest number of seminarians pontjficio Asia with 34, individuals.

It is followed by America with 33, Africa with 29, Europe with 18, and finally Oceania with 1, seminarians.

It is different is if one takes into annuaario the number of Catholics on each continent. In fact, considering the intensity of priestly vocations with the number of seminarians for a million Catholics, we see that vocations are more common in Asia Europe and America with As a consequence of the above findings it is evident that the relative weight of the various continents, with regard to the candidates for the priesthood, has changed significantly during the course of the period of observation, so that for example while Africa in accounted for The analysis of the preceding paragraphs suggests the emergence of a mixed picture in which, alongside annnuario persistence of very long-term evolutionary trends, there are pontifiico recent dynamics in a consolidation phase, in some cases not necessarily in the desired direction.

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Among the dynamics already consolidated, is the confirmation of the positive trend in the number of Catholics in the world, especially in the African continent, whose relative weight continues to increase over time. With reference to the trends among the various pastoral workers, particularly in the periodthere has been a significant growth in the number of bishops, deacons, lay missionaries and catechists in the face of a clear reduction in the professed religious brothers and professed women religious.

Among the clergy, in particular, although there is an improvement in the overall number of bishops compared to that of Catholics, the number of priests suffered a setback inwith a decline largely attributable to the two geographical areas of Europe and North America. Inside the category of priests, then, the statistics show the persistence of diverging trends between religious and diocesan priests, with a relative reduction of the first compared to a moderate expansion of the second group.

Finally, the datum that merits particular attention relates to the progress of priestly vocations. Indeed, the number of seminarians, after reaching a maximum inhas suffered a gradual reduction.

The sole exception remains Africa, which does not yet seem to be affected by the crisis in vocations and is confirmed as the geographical area with the greatest potential. Both volumes were printed by the Vatican Press.