By our religious Correspondent
Vatican City, Nov 03 (IVC) The number of Catholic priests and bishops decreased while the overall number of Catholics have increased , according to the latest Church’s Book of Statistics, released here recently.
Every year Fides News Agency puts together a Church Statistics ahead of World Mission Sunday, which this year was on October 22.
The numbers were collated from the latest Church’s Book of Statistics that was updated to December 31, 2021. The statistics relate to numbers of the Church, church structures, healthcare , welfare and education, Vatican sources said.
The population of Catholics in Europe has declined while in all the continents marked an increase in the population. The Catholics in the world numbered 1,375,852,000 with an overall increase of 16,240,000 compared to the previous year. There was an increase in the population of Catholics in all the continents except Europe where there was a decline in the number to 244,000. The increase in Africa was 8,312,000, America 6,629,000 , Asia 1,488,000 and Oceana 55,000.
The number of Bishops in the world decreased by 23, to 5340 and priests by 2347 to 407,872, Statistics revealed .
The number of nuns also declined to 10,588 of which Europe accounted for 7804 nuns.
Following decline in the number of priests worldwide, there was a change in the ratio of priest and faithful and it has become 3373 faithful per priest.
Did secularization overtake Latin America too? The Catholic Church which remains very strong in this part of world is showing signs of decline. This is borne by figures from a recently published study conducted by the Episcopal Conference of Latin America (CELAM) . Latin America still has the world’s Catholic population. The Church in the region reported some 562 million baptized members in 2020, that is 41 per cent of the world’s share. It is well ahead of Europe which has 286 million Catholics or 21 per cent of the world’s total Catholic population and Africa has 256 million Catholics that is 19 per cent of the world number of Catholics.