Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – As every year, in view of World Mission Day, this year celebrated on Sunday, October 18, Fides News Service offers some statistics chosen to give a panorama 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 2013) 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, are marked increase + or decrease – in brackets
To 31 December 2013 the world population was 7.093.798.000 with an increase of 70.421.000 units compared with the previous year. Population growth was registered on every continent above all in Asia (+ 27.776.000) and Africa (+ 23.808.000) followed by America (+ 17.865.000); Europe (+ 289.000) and Oceania (+ 683.000).
On the same date Catholics in the world numbered 1.253.926,000 units with an overall increase of 25.305.000 more than the previous year. The increase affects all continents especially America (+ 15.051.000) and Africa (+7.637.000) followed by Asia (+ 2.161.000); Europe (+ 285.000) and Oceania (+ 171.000).
The world percentage of Catholics increased by 0.09 %, settling at 17.68%. By continent: increases were registered in Africa (+ 0.29), America (+ 0.38), Asia (+ 0.03), Europe (+ 0.03). A slight decrease was shown in Oceania (- 0.01).
Persons and Catholics per priest
This year the number of persons per priest in the world increased by 180 units, average 13.752. The distribution by continent: increase in America (+ 132); Europe (+ 49) and Oceania (+ 147); decrease in Africa (- 506); Asia (- 360).
The number of Catholics per priest in the world increased by 54 units, average 3.019. There are increases in America (+ 115); Europe (+ 21) and Oceania (+ 38); decrease in Asia (-17) and Africa (-17).
Ecclesiastical circumscriptions and mission stations
The number of ecclesiastical circumscriptions are 8 more than the previous year to 2.989 with new circumscriptions created in: Africa (+2), America (+1), Asia (+1), Europe (+3) and Oceania (+1). Mission stations with a resident priest number 1.871 (24 more than in the previous year) and increases registered in Africa (+26), Asia (+58) and Oceania (+2). Decreases in America (-49) and Europe (-13). Mission Stations without a resident priest increased in number by 3.074 units, to 133.869. Compared to the previous year, increase is registered in Africa (+1.569), America (+802), Asia (+584) and Oceania (+ 121). The number dropped only in Europe (- 2).
The total number of Bishops in the world increased by 40 units, to 5.173. Contrary to previous years where Diocesan Bishops increased in numbers, while Religious Bishops decreased, this year they both increased. Diocesan Bishops number 3.945 (28 more than in the previous year), whilw Religious Bishops number 1.228 (12 more). The increase in diocesan Bishops is registered in all continents except Oceania (-5): in America (+ 16); Asia (+ 8), Africa (+3) and Europe (+ 6). The number of religious Bishops increased on every continent: Africa (+2), America (+1), Asia (+6), Europe (+3), while Oceania unvaried.
The total number of priests in the world increased by 1.035 units, to 415.348. The only continents which registered a decrease was again Europe (- 2.283) and a slight decrease in Oceania (- 3), whereas figures grew in Africa (+ 1.693), America (+ 188) and Asia (+1.440). Diocesan priests increased by 917 units, reaching a total of 280.532 with increases in Africa (+ 1.186); America (+ 539) and Asia (+ 900) and Oceania (+19). A drop in Europe (- 1.673) The number of Religious priests increased by 64 units to a total 134,816. Increases were registered as in recent years in Africa (+ 507) and Asia (+ 540), whereas numbers dropped in America (- 351), Europe (- 610) and Oceania (- 22).
Permanent deacons in the world increased by 1,091 units to 43.195. The highest increase was registered again in America (+ 684) and in Europe (+ 373) and an increase in Africa (+ 8), Asia (+8) and Oceania (+18).
Permanent Diocesan deacons in the world are 42.650, with an overall increase of 1.084 units. They increased on every continent: Africa (+5), America (+ 660), Asia (+23), Europe (+ 381) and Oceania (+ 15).
Religious permanent deacons number 545, increased by 7 units compared to the previous year, with increases on every continent: Africa (+3), America (+ 24) and Oceania (+3) and a decrease in Asia (-15) and Europe (- 8).
Men and women religious
The number of non-religious priests decreased by 61 units to 55.253. Situation: increase in America (+ 45), Asia (+ 167) and Oceania (+ 78), decrease was registered in Africa
(-218) and Europe (-133). Even this year there is an overall decrease in the number of women religious by 8.954 units to 693.575. An increase was registered in Africa (+ 1.293) and Asia
(+ 172), decrease in America (– 4.548), Europe (- 5.662) and Oceania (- 209).
Members of secular institutes, male and female
Members of male secular institutes number 712 with an overall decrease of 59 units. At a continental level there is an increase only in Africa (+ 2) while a decrease was registered in America (- 15), Asia (- 8), Europe (-38), Oceania unvaried.
The members of female secular institutes decreased this year, by 747 units to a total of 23.955 members. Increase in Africa (+ 66) and Asia (+ 3) while a decrease was registered in America
(-270), Europe (- 545) and Oceania (- 1).
Lay missionaries and catechists
The number of lay missionaries in the world is 367.679 units, with an overall increase of 5.191 units. Numbers increase on every continent: Africa (+31), America (+ 3.083), Asia (+ 900) and Europe (+ 1.088). A slight decrease was registered in Oceania (- 1).
Catechists in the world decreased by 13.075 units to a total of 3.157.568. A significant increase was registered in Africa (+ 9.414) and Asia (+ 4.529), but numbers dropped in: America
(- 24.091), Europe (- 1.072) and Oceania (- 1.225).
The number of major seminarians, diocesan and religious decreased this year, they are globally 1.800 units, reaching a total of 118.251. Increases occured only in Africa (+ 164), while even this year a decrease in America (- 1.180), Asia (- 372), Europe (-354) and Oceania (-58).
Major diocesan seminarians number 71.537 (- 452 less than the previous year) and Religious major seminarians 46.714 (- 1.348). Diocesan seminarians increased in Africa (+ 238) and Asia (+10), while decreases are in America (- 507), Europe (-154) and Oceania (- 39).
Religious Seminarians decreased on every continent: in Africa (- 74), America (- 673), Asia (+382), Europe (- 200) and Oceania (- 19).
The number of minor seminarians, diocesan and religious decreased by 775 units to 101.928. Overall increase in America (+42), Asia (+407) and Oceania (+9), decreased in Africa (- 233) and Europe (- 1.000).
Minor diocesan seminarians number 78.556 (- 1.398), whereas religious seminarians number 23.372 (+623). The number of diocesan minor seminarians has decreased on every continent except Asia (+527): Africa (- 933), America (- 164), Europe (- 764), Oceania (- 4). Religious minor seminarians increased in number in Africa (+ 760), America (+ 206) and Oceania
(+13) and decreased in Asia (- 120) and Europe (- 236).
Catholic schools and Education
In the field of education, the Catholic Church runs 73.263 kindergartens with 6.963.669 pupils; 96.822 primary schools with 32.254.204 pupils; 45.699 secondary schools with 19.407.417 pupils. The Church also cares for 2.309.797 high school pupils, and 2.727.940 university students.
Catholic charity and healthcare centres
Charity and healthcare centres run in the world by the Church include: 5.034 hospitals, most of them in America (1.495) and Africa (1.167); 16.627 dispensaries, mainly in Africa (5.252); America (4.751) and Asia (3.558); 611 Care Homes for people with Leprosy, mainly in Asia (328) and Africa (201); 15.518 Homes for the elderly, or the chronically ill or people with a disability, mainly in Europe (8.158) and America (3.679); 9.770 orphanages, mainly in Asia (3.944); 12.082 creches, mainly in Asia (3.498) and America (3.412); 14.391 marriage counselling centres, mainly in America (5.747) and Europe (5.715); 3.896 social rehabilitation centres and 38.256 other kinds of institutions.
Ecclesiastical Circumscriptions dependent on the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
The ecclesiastical Circumscriptions dependent on the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (Cep) to 13 October 2015 are 1.111 with an increase of 2 circumscription (in Asia) compared to the previous year. Most of the ecclesiastical circumscriptions are mainly in Africa (507) and in Asia (478). Followed by America (80) and Oceania (46).
(SL) (Agenzia Fides 17/10/2015)