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New Pontifical Yearbook reveals increase in baptisms

The number of baptisms in the world rose from 1.07 million in 2002, to 1.09 million in 2003 - according to the latest statistics in the Pontifical Yearbook, for 2005 which was presented to the Pope on Monday morning.

The latest figures show that fact that 49.8% of Catholics live in the Americas, 25.8% in Europe, 13.2% in Africa, 10.4% in Asia and 0.8% in Oceania.

There are 405,450 priests (268,041 diocesan and 137,409 religious), and the total number of priests in 2003 increased with respect to the year before. The number of priestly ordinations also went up from 9,247 in 2002 to 9,317 in 2003. However, the number of seminarians in philosophical and theological seminaries fell from 112,643 in 2002 to 112,373 in 2003. The numbers of seminarians divided by continent are as follows: the Americas 37,191, Asia 27,931, Europe 24,387, Africa 21,909, and Oceania 955.

In 2004, the Pope created ten new episcopal sees and one apostolic vicariate. Six metropolitan sees were created, and a total of 171 bishops appointed.

Pope John Paul was suffering from flu-like symptoms yesterday, so after receiving the yearbook he was advised to rest, and the rest of his days' appointments were cancelled.

New Pontifical yearbook shows rise in number of baptisms (Independent Catholic News/Vatican Information Service 1/2/05)

Annuario Pontificio 2004 (

Slip in%age of Catholics world population (CathNews 12/5/04)
World Catholic population passes one billion (CathNews 10/2/03)
Vatican statistics reveal less religious priests (12/2/02)
Vatican yearbook reveals Holy Year statistics (2/7/01)

New Vatican yearbook shows growth of church (Catholic News Service 31/1/05)
Annuario shows slight rise in Catholic population (Catholic World News 1/2/05)
Number of Catholics Rises by 15 Million (Zenit 31/1/05)
New Catholic statistics show worldwide growth in church (Catholic News Agency 31/1/05)
Germany has 2,800 Catholic missionaries at the service of evangelisation all over the world (Fides 28/1/05)

2 Feb 2005