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Rome Reports

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Situation of religious people in the world

Msgr. Joseph William Tobin

Secretary, Congregation for Religious ;

The images that I use in order to explain consecrated life is a forest, a very complicated forest, with different flowers, with different plants, some of them freshly born and others that have a long life, an ecologic system that needs to be cured. The service of our dicastery is really this: to take care of this forest. But what is really beautiful is how this amazon forest gives breath to the whole world.”

Sister Enrica Rosanna, ;

Undersecretary, ;Congregation for Religious ;

One of the most peculiar characteristics of consecrated life is that today it is characterized by being a frontier with new needs. The world of drugs for example, the homeless world, but also the world of education, because with contemporary society there are fractured families, a secularized society, the world of education has to be a priority.” ;

At first blush, it might seem like religious life has changed a lot over the years, because the challenges and activities that they have to face are very different from those of the past. But it doesn?t change its overall contribution nor its mission in the Church. ;

Cardinal Achille Silvestrini

Prefect Emeritus, Congregation for Eastern Churches ;

They are challenges that society presents today, at times aggressively. But in reality consecrated life has a great significance at the center of Christian life, so in a changing society, religious life has a great ability to be proposed as a way of life. It is very current.”

Msgr. Joseph William Tobin

Secretary, Congregation for Religious ;

The challenges for consecrated life are very different because they depend on the region in the world in which we live. I believe in general that the challenge is to be faithful to the roots and the traditions of Catholic christianity and to be messengers of a Gospel that is comprehensive in today?s world.”

The presence of religious in the Church varies in the world. ;

Europe is the continent in which religious vocations has decreased the most. There are 8,700 less, compared to the previous year. Although, it also has the largest religious presence and has a total number of 320,000 religious. The Americas rank second, with 220,000 religious. Vocations have also dropped since 2009 in the Americas. ;

In third place is Asia. There there are more than 170,000 religious. It is the continent where the number of religious has jumped the most, by over 2,000. ;

In Africa, there are a total of 71,700 religious living there, 1,940 more than in 2009. ;

In last place is Oceania. It is the continent with the least number, with only 10,878, 257 less than the previous year year. ;

Benedict XVI defines religious life as a “bridge toward God”. According to the Pope, his life is a testament to “the love and the forgiveness that God has for man”. Bridges that stretch all over the world and serve as examples of how Christ brought people closer to God. ;