Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - As every year, in view of World Mission Sunday, which this year celebrates its 96th anniversary on Sunday, October 23, 2022, Fides New 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 December 31, 2020) regarding members of the Church, church structures, healthcare, welfare and education. Finally, the picture of ecclesiastical circumscriptions dependent on the Dicastery for Evangelization is reported.
To December 31, 2020 the world population was 7.667.136.000, with an increase of 89.359.000 units compared to the previous year. Population growth was registered, even this year, on every continent. On the same date, Catholics in the world numbered 1.359.612.000 units with an overall increase of 15.209.000 units compared to the previous year. On the same date, the number of catholics amounted to 1,359,612,000 people with an overall increase of 15,209,000 units compared to the previous year. The increase affects all continents, except Oceania.
The total number of priests in the world decreased by 1 unit, to 5.363.
Diocesan Bishops increased and Religious Bishops decreased. Diocesan Bishops number 4.156, while Religious Bishops number 1.207.
The total number of priests in the world decreased to 410.219 (-4.117). The continent which registered a major decrease was again Europe as well as America and Oceania. Increases were registered in Africa and in Asia.
Permanent deacons in the world continue to increase, this year reaching 397 units, to 48.635. The highest increase was registered in America and in Oceania, a decrease in Europe, Asia and Africa.
The number of non-religious priests increased by 274 units, to 50.569. Decreases were registered in America and in Oceania.
Increases in Europe, Asia and in Africa.
Even this year there is an overall decrease in the number of women religious by 10.553 units, to a total 619.546. Increases were registered, once again, in Africa and in Asia, decrease in Europe, America and Oceania.
The number of major seminarians, diocesan and religious decreased this year, they are globally 2.203 units, reaching a total 111.855. Increases were registered only in Africa, decreases in all other continents.
The total number of minor seminarians, diocesan and religious this year decreased by 1.592 units to 95.398. Decreases were registered in America, Asia and Europe, while increases were registered in Africa and in Oceania.
In the field of education, the Catholic Church runs 72.785 kindergartens with 7.510.632 pupils; 99.668 primary schools with 34.614.488 pupils; 49.437 secondary schools with 19.252.704 pupils. The Church also cares 2.403.787 high school pupils and 3.771.946 university students.
Charity and healthcare centres run in the world by the Church include: 5.322 hospitals, 14.415 dispensaries, 534 Care Homes for people with Leprosy, 15.204 Homes for the elderly or the chronically ill or people with a disability, 9.230 orphanages, 10.441 creches, 10.362 marriage counselling centres, 3.137 social rehabilitation centres and 34.291 other kinds of institutes.
The Ecclesiastical Circumscriptions dependent on the Dicastery for Evangelization are 1.118. Most of the ecclesiastical circumscriptions entrusted to the Dicastery are in Africa (518) and in Asia (483), followed by America (71) and Oceania (46).
(SL) (Agenzia Fides, 21/10/2022)