The Church in numbers, 2012 edition

The annual yearbook of the Church, the Annuario Pontificio, edition 2012, was presented to Pope Benedict XVI this morning. The book lists basically everything there is to be listed about the Church in the preceding year, although the actual statistics are from 2010.

Vatican Radio gives a short summary of the most interesting statistics, although it seems to be getting the number of professed religious wrong. It either rose to some unknown number, or dropped to the 721,935.

In absolute numbers the Church is growing, although locally, especially in Europe, the trend is the opposite. Relatively to the world population, the numbers stayed about the same.

The ten new jurisdictions established by the pope in 2011 are:

  • Diocese of Bo, Sierra Leone
  • Diocese of Kondoa, Tanzania
  • Diocese of Naviraí, Brazil
  • Diocese of Sylhet, Bangladesh
  • Diocese of Kabwe, Zambia
  • Diocese of Gaoua, Burkina Faso
  • Diocese of La Ceiba, Honduras
  • Chaldean Eparchy of Mar Addai of Toronto, Canada
  • Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, United Kingdom
  • Military Ordinariate of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Heartfelt congratulations

Having left detailed blogging about the newly-established Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham to the eloquent bloggers and reporters across the North Sea, it is such a momentous occasion in the modern Church that I won’t completely ignore it.

Three Anglican bishops have taken up Pope Benedict’s invitation to come home to the Catholic Church, and now, as priests, they are to lead the ordinariate in England and Wales that exists to allow groups of Anglicans to return while maintaining their centuries-old traditions, liturgy and spirituality. But they will be Catholics again.

Yesterday, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster ordained these three former bishops to the Catholic priesthood.

Father Keith Newton, pictured here with his wife, is appointed as the first ordinary of the ordinariate. He was formerly the Anglican bishop of Richborough.
Father Andrew Burnham, formerly bishop of Ebbsfleet, is congratulated by Archbishop Nichols following his ordination.
Father John Broadhurst, until recently the Anglican bishop of Fulham.

In the next months, two more former bishops and some fifty Anglican priests intend to be received in the Catholic Church.

Photo credit: Mazur/