Vocations to diaconate have increased over 40% in Europe and U.S. in past decade

From the Vatican Radio: 

The number of Catholics globally remains largely unchanged at 1214 million, rising only slightly higher than global population growth for the 2010/2011 period. The number of priests (religious and diocesan) has grown, largely thanks to a rise in vocations in Asia and Africa which has helped balance the continued decline in Europe (-9% in the last decade).

The same cannot be said for the number of professed women religious with a downward trend registering a drop of 10% over the past decade. But, perhaps the most surprising statistic revealed in the 2013 Pontifical Yearbook Monday was the boom in vocations to the permanent diaconate, particularly in Europe and the US where numbers have increased by over 40% in the past decade.

The 2013 Pontifical Yearbook was presented to the Holy Father Monday morning by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone and the Substitute for General Affairs Archbishop Angelo Becciu. The preparation of the new Yearbook was edited by Monsignor Vittorio Formenti, in charge of the Central Bureau of Statistics of the Church, by Prof. Enrico Nenna and other collaborators.

At the same time the Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae, 2011, edited by the same office was also presented. Both volumes will soon be on sale in bookshops.

The Holy Father expressed his gratitude for the tribute, showing a keen interest in the figures illustrated therein and expressing deep gratitude to all those who have contributed to the new edition of the two yearbooks.

The data recorded revels new statistics relating to the life of the Catholic Church in the world, in the course of 2012 and until the election of Pope Francis.

During this period 11 new Episcopal Sees, 2 Personal Ordinariates, 1 Apostolic Vicariate and 1 Apostolic Prefecture were erected; 1 Territorial Prelature was elevated to the rank of Diocese and 2 Apostolic Exarchates to Eparchies.

The statistical data from the Annuarium Statisticum, (statistical Yearbook relevant to 2011) referring to the year 2011 highlights aspects of the presence and ministry of the Catholic Church in 2979 ecclesiastical jurisdictions around the world.

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 instead 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.

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