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Worldwide decline in number of priests, seminarians, sisters; Catholic population continues to rise

March 27, 2020

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CWN Editor's Note: According to Vatican statistics, the number of Catholics worldwide rose to 1.329 billion at the end of 2018, an increase of 75 million over the previous five years. During the same time period, however, the number of priests fell by 0.3%, and the number of sisters fell by nearly 8% to less than 642,000—despite strong growth in Africa and Asia. The number of seminarians worldwide also declined, from 118,251 to 115,880. (The number of major seminarians worldwide rose from 63,882 in 1978 to 110,553 in 2000, and peaked at 120,616 in 2011.)

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