Vatican City, Apr 27, 2010 / 09:05 am
The Vatican Publishing House released today a report on the Catholic Church's global presence, showing an increase in the Catholic population in 2008. Although the number of Catholics has risen globally, the study recorded a constant decline in priests, seminarians and non-ordained religious within Europe.
The recently released edition of the Statistical Yearbook of the Church compiled findings from 2000-2008, and documented that the number of Catholics in the world increased from 1.045 billion in 2000 to 1.166 billion in 2009, a growth of 11.54 percent.
Specifically in Africa, the Church grew by 33 percent, in Asia by 15.61 percent, in Oceania by 11.39 percent and in America by 10.93. The number of Catholics in Europe remained generally stable throughout the nine year period, increasing only by 1.17 percent.
The Vatican yearbook also reported that the number of bishops in the world went up from 4,541 in 2000 to 5,002 in 2008, a growth of 10.15 percent.