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Pope Francis

Complete program of pope's trip to Fatima on May 12-13

March 20, 2017. The Vatican has published Pope Francis' program for his upcoming trip to Fatima.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017

March 18, 2017. In response to the invitation from the President of the Republic, the Bishops of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Grand Imam of the Mosque of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayyib, Pope Francis will make an Apostolic trip to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017, visiting the city of Cairo. The programme of the trip will be published shortly.
Pope Francis

Pope to meet with most powerful European leaders on March 24

March 3, 2017. On March 24 a historic meeting will take place between the pope and many of the most powerful heads of government throughout Europe. The meeting was announced by the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Greg Burke and will begin at 6 p.m. in the Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

How many Catholics are there?

2015-04-16

The number of Catholics has increased faster than population growth in recent years. Currently, about 18 percent of the world identifies as Catholic.

Between 2005 and 2013, the Catholic population went from 1.115 billion to 1.254 billion. That's 17.3 percent of the world population to 17.7 percent in just eight years.

Most of the growth comes from Africa, where the number of Catholics went from 153 million to 206 million. The Americas saw nearly 11 percent growth, while there was 17 percent growth in Asia.

The number of priests, currently 415,348, has increased by 2.2 percent. Only North America and Europe saw a decline in priests.

However, the number of seminarians has decreased by two percent, which suggests that the number of priests will also decline in the future.

While 44 percent of Catholics priests are in Europe, only 23 percent of Catholics live there. Less than a third of the world's priests live in the Americas, though half of all Catholics do.

Additionally, the number of nuns has also been reduced from 760,000 in 2005 to 693,000 in 2013.


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