Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Asia News

5/13/2013 (2 years ago)

Asia News (

Permanent deacons are booming, both globally and in individual continents

The number of Catholics in the 2979 ecclesiastical jurisdictions around the world is up - as is the number of bishops, priests, deacons and seminarians. However, the number of women religious has decreased.

St Peters in Rome

St Peters in Rome


By Asia News

Asia News (

5/13/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Catholic, catholic Church, Catholic growth, Christianity, Roman catholic

VATICAN CITY (AsiaNews) - The number of Catholics in the 2979 ecclesiastical jurisdictions around the world is up - as is the number of bishops, priests, deacons and seminarians. However, the number of women religious has decreased.

This is derived from data presented in the 2011 Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae, presented Monday morning to Pope Francis, together with the 2013 Pontifical Yearbook, which also refers to 2012 and included records for the election of the pope.

Asia remains a religiously vibrant continent: the number of faithful and priests is up as is the number of professed religious who are not priests, seminarians, and in contrast to the world's data, also the number of nuns.

The number of Catholics worldwide rose from 1196 in 2010 to 1214 million in 2011, an increase of 1.5% and since this growth is only slightly higher than that of the Earth's population (1.23%), the presence of Catholics in the world remains essentially unchanged (17.5%).

Territorial analysis of changes in this period, show an increase of 4.3% of Catholics in Africa, which saw a population increase of 2.3%. Asia also registered an increase in the number of Catholics that was higher than that of the population (2.0% versus 1.2%).

The growth in the number of Catholics in America and Europe remained stable, in line with population growth (0.3%). In 2011, the total number of baptized Catholics distributed across the continents is: 16.0% in Africa, 48.8% in the Americas, 10.9% in Asia, 23.5% in Europe and 0.8% in Oceania.

The number of bishops in the world increased, from 2010 to 2011, from 5,104 to 5,132, with a relative increase of 0.55%. The increase particularly involved, Oceania (4.6%) and Africa (+1.0%), while Asia and Europe are slightly above the global average. America did not register any changes.

Given these different dynamics, however, the distribution of Bishops across the various continents remained largely stable over the last two year period under consideration, with America and Europe alone, continuing to represent nearly 70 percent of the total.

Globally, the presence of the diocesan and religious priests has increased over time, growing in the last decade from 405,067 units as of December 31, 2001, to 413,418 as of December 31, 2011 (+2.1%). This evolution was not, however, uniform in different geographical areas.

The dynamics of the number of priests in Africa and Asia is encouraging , with a +39.5% and +32.0% respectively (and with an increase of over 3,000 units, for the two continents, in 2011 alone), while America remains stationary around an average of 122 thousand units. Europe, in contrast to the global average, has seen a decrease of more than 9% in the past decade.

Permanent deacons are booming, both globally and in individual continents, passing from a total of more than 29,000 in 2001 to about 41,000 units a decade later, with a variation of more than 40%. Europe and America registered both the most numerically significant and vibrant trend.

In fact, the European deacons, little more than 9,000 units in 2001, were almost 14,000 in 2011, an increase of over 43%. In America the number grew from 19,100 units in 2001 to more than 26,000 in 2011. These two continents, alone, account for 97.4% of the global total, with the remaining 2.6% split between Africa, Asia and Oceania.

The group of professed religious who are not priests has continued to firmly establish itself over the last decade, registering just over 55,000 units in 2011. In Africa and Asia there are variations of +18.5% and +44.9%, respectively.

In 2011 these two continents together counted for over 36% of the total (compared to less than 28% in 2001). In contrast, the numbers registered in Europe (-18%), America (-3.6%) and Oceania (-21.9%) dropped by almost 8 percentage points over the last decade.

A strong downward trend was observed in data for the professed [women] religious, with a decrease of 10% from 2001 to 2011. The total number of professed religious, that counted than 792 thousand units in 2001 is now at just over 713 thousand 10 years later. The decline particularly affects three continents (Europe, America and Oceania), with significant variations (-22% in Europe, -21% in Oceania and -17% in America).

In Africa and Asia, however, there has been a sustained increase, more than 28% in the first continent and 18% in the second. Consequently, the fraction of professed religious in Africa and Asia out of the global total increased from 24.4% to about 33%, at the expense of Europe and America, whose dropped respectively by a total of 74% to 66%.

Candidates for diocesan and religious priesthood globally went from 112,244 in 2001 to 120,616 in 2011, an increase of 7.5%. The evolution was very different in the various continents. While, Africa (+30.9%) and Asia (+29.4%) showed a lively growth, Europe and America recorded a decline of 21.7% and of 1.9%; respectively.

As a result, we observe a reduction in the contribution of the European continent to the growth potential of the renewal of priestly life, with a quota that has passed from 23.1% to 16.8%, compared with an expansion of the African and Asian continents.


More Europe

Pope Francis orderes sweeping audit of the Vatican Watch

Image of Pope Francis continues to clean up the Vatican, making the Church more efficient and better able to minister to the needs of the poor and vulnerable.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pope Francis continues to clean up the Vatican, ordering a survey of all the city-state's finances. The unprecedented audit will reveal even more corruption and impose better controls on spending, while making more money available for charitable projects. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading

The unexpected thing one Syrian refugee did for Germany that will melt your heart Watch

Image of Syrian refugee Alex Assali fed the homeless outside Berlin's Alexanderplatz station in an effort to give back to the city that has helped him, and other refugees, so much (Imgur).


Amid fears of ISIS infiltration and Muslim takeovers, one Syrian refugee took a stand against prejudiced tensions and thanked the city of Berlin on behalf of all refugees. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Each Saturday, Alex Assali cooks and distributes food to ... continue reading

Concentration camps and Nazi language: Berlin guards caught on tape speaking unbelievably cruel about refugees Watch

Image of Berlin guards at the office for refugees have reportedly been recorded using Nazi language and suggesting refugees be sent to concentration camps (Markus Heine/ NurPhoto).


Videos have been released showing Berlin guards around the office for refugees using "Nazi language" and suggesting the refugees be sent to concentration camps. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Security guards working for private contractor Gegenbauer Security ... continue reading

SHOCK SHOW: Sacrilegious art exhibit in Spain uses 240 stolen consecrated hosts Watch

Image of Photos of the theft of the Hosts and their placement on the ground are shown in a public art gallery in Pamplona.

By Catholic News Agency

Critics of Pamplona's city council say it deliberately attacked Catholics and broke Spanish law by using city property to display a sacrilegious art exhibit with more than 240 stolen consecrated Hosts. Madrid, Spain (CNA) - The Spanish artist Abel Azcona stole ... continue reading

French Hostage Situation: Two armed suspects engage in shootout with French police Watch

Image of French police engaged in a shootout with two suspects armed with Kalashnikovs (Not pictured).


Two suspects armed with Kalashnikov rifles engaged in a shootout with French police in Toubaix, France. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The suspects are believed to have taken a bank director and his family hostage, but very little is currently known.[media ... continue reading

Vatican corruption: Journalists stand trial Watch

Image of Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi must stand trial at the Vatican for publishing confidential documents (Reuters).


Following the publication of books claiming the Holy See was mismanaged and spoiled through corruption, five people went on trial at the Vatican on Tuesday. Two of the five on trial were Italian Journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, neither of whom ... continue reading

Undercover reporter reveals secret FEMALE ISIS organization in Britain Watch

Image of One veiled ISIS sympathizer was filmed during the undercover investigation (Channel 4).


In a new British documentary titled The British Women Supporters Unveiled, one young female reporter goes undercover to infiltrate a secret Muslim organization designed to garner sympathy for the Islamic State. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The reporter, who uses ... continue reading

OUTRAGEOUS: Find out why The Lord's Prayer was BANNED from Just Pray movie theater ad Watch

Image of


An advertisement featuring the Lord's Prayer has been banned from movie theaters in England. According to the Church of England, the policy that prevents the prayer advertisement did not exist when they began production on the commercial. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading

Swiss farmer finds 4,000 extremely rare Roman coins in his orchard Watch

Image of The cache of coins is estimated to be more than 1,700 years old.


A Swiss farmer was tilling his orchard in Ueken, in the northern canton of Aargau, Switzerland, when he spotted something shiny on the ground. He had inadvertently stumbled across a treasure trove of Roman-era coins - 4,166 in all, some dating as back as 274 ... continue reading

Five people indicted by Vatican in 'Vati-leaks' scandal Watch

Image of Journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi (pictured), had both recently published books, citing specific Vatican documents detailing waste, mismanagement, and greed.


A judge, rendering a decision in a scandal involving Vatican finances has indicted five people, which include two journalists and a Vatican monsignor. Information linking the Vatican to financial malfeasance, as well as related graft and corruption called ... continue reading

All Europe News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Pope Francis orderes sweeping audit of the Vatican
  • Prayer For Faith HD Video
  • You won't believe what happened to this pair of infant twins!
  • Daily Readings for Tuesday, December 01, 2015
  • Parents' Prayer For Their Children HD Video
  • Christmas Presence vs. Presents
  • St. Eligius: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 11:1-10
1 A shoot will spring from the stock of Jesse, a new shoot will grow from ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 72:1, 7-8, 12-13, 17
1 [Of Solomon] God, endow the king with your own fair judgement, the son ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 10:21-24
21 Just at this time, filled with joy by the Holy Spirit, he said, 'I ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 1st, 2015 Image

St. Eligius
December 1: Eligius (also known as Eloi) was born around 590 ... Read More