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New Custodian of the Holy Land

May 20, 2016. Friar Francesco Patton is the new Custodian of the Holy Land. He succeeds Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, who was in office for the last 12 years. Friar Francesco Patton is 52 years old from Vigo Meano (Italy). He graduated in Communication Sciences from the Pontifical Salesian University of Rome and until now was the provincial minister of the Order of Friars Minor in Saint Vigilius of Trent.

Catholic Church grows at a faster rate than the global population

2014-05-28

According to the latest statistics from the Vatican, there are now 1.229 billion baptized people in the world, a ten percent increase since 2005. The Church has grown the fastest in Africa, where the number of Catholics increased by 29 percent. Meanwhile, Europe was the only region with a decrease in growth. 

The figures, gathered in December 2012 and released recently, show that the number of priests changed from 406,000 in 2005, to 414,000. Bishops showed a similar growth rate, reaching 5,000 today, while seminarians topped 120,000.

However, the numbers of religious shrunk by seven percent during the seven-year period, to 703,000.

The greatest change was in the number of permanent deacons. In 2005, they were over 33,000. Seven years later, they rose to 42,000. While the practice of ordaining permanent deacons is common in the Americas, it grew significantly in Europe.

The Vatican Publishing House published these figures recently in the 2012 edition of the Annuario Pontificio, or Pontifical Yearbook.


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