DAILY CATHOLIC     TUESDAY     February 23, 1999     vol. 10, no. 37

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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WORLD'S CATHOLIC POPULATION TOPS 1 BILLION

          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- The number of baptized Catholics in the world has surpassed 1 billion, according to the latest edition of the Annuario Pontificio.

          The Annuario for 1999 was formally unveiled in Rome this weekend. The volume's summary of statistics shows a grand total of just over 1 billion baptized Catholics alive on December 31, 1997.

          Of these Catholics, nearly half-- 49.3 percent-- live on the American continents. Europe accounts for 28 percent of the world's Catholics, Africa for 11 percent, Asia 10 percent, and Oceania less than 1 percent. The American continent is the only one where Catholics form a majority of the population, at 63 percent. In Europe, Catholics are only 41 percent; in Oceania 28 percent; in Africa 15 percent; and in Asia only 3 percent.

          The Annuario includes statistics on the number of bishops, priests, deacons, religious, and missionaries throughout the world, as well as statistics on baptisms, marriages, funerals, and ordinations. The figures show a slight increase over the previous year (1996) in the number of priestly ordinations, although deaths have left the total number of active priests essentially unchanged. The number of men and women religious declined slightly in 1997.


Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

February 23, 1999       volume 10, no. 37
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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