Catholic religious numbers fall sharply
The number of Catholic religious belonging to Orders has dramatically dropped bringing the total number to under one million.
The BBC reports recent statistics show a drop of 10 percent between 2005 and 2006.
Despite Catholics numbering more than 1.1 billion worldwide, the increase in membership to the Church has not resulted in more nuns, monks, priests and deacons.
Of the total, 753,400 members were women, while 191,810 were men, including 136,171 priests and 532 permanent deacons.
During Pope John Paul's pontificate, the number of nuns worldwide declined by a quarter.
Catholic nuns and monks decline (BBC 05/02/08)
7 Feb 2008