The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Vocations climbing — thanks to Africa and Asia

This bulletin is undeniably good news:

The Vatican says the number of priests worldwide is slowly but steadily rising.

The Holy See presented its yearbook filled with statistics to Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday.

Since 2000, the number of priests has gone up by several hundred each year. The two decades before that had witnessed a marked decline.


The percentage of Catholics worldwide remains stable, at about 17.3%.

In 2007, the last year statistics were available, Catholics numbered some 1.147 billion around the globe.

Meantime, this report puts it all in context:

Thanks to large increases in Africa and Asia, the number of Catholic priests rose from 405,178 in 2000 to 408,024 in 2007, the report said.

In the previous two decades, the number of priests dropped markedly.

Numbers in Africa had risen by 27.6% and in Asia by 21%, the report said.

The figures were “a continuing trend of moderate growth in the number of priests in the world which began in 2000 after over two decades of disappointing results”, it added.

Comments read comments(9)
post a comment

posted February 28, 2009 at 7:27 pm

OFF topic:Deacon,today theres a post in the blog,”good jesuit,bad jesuit”,about the jesuits and deacons.Interesting.

report abuse


posted March 1, 2009 at 7:54 am

So, poor people in third world countries, with a very deficient education, desperate for food and work in Asia, Africa and Latin America become priests to get food and a roof. Then they become double life priests, with a mistress and secret bank accounts. Yay. This is not good news.Also, celibacy should not be mandatory, a discipline should never be regarded as sacred dogma, Jesus or Paul never said it should be mandatory, they did say it was optional. Deal with it.

report abuse


posted March 1, 2009 at 10:21 am

Yikes, Deacon Greg, some of the comments lately have been a little harsh. I have to disagree with Marmadukewithpeanuts and I think his/her comment is awfully negative. I think the men in Africa and Asia are taught from a young age to rely and trust in God and are more open to their calling b/c they don’t have all the distractions of western society. They are more attuned to hearing God’s voice for them.

report abuse


posted March 1, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Many good priests come from Asia and Africa. In my diocese we have many priests born outside the U.S. They will be our salvation. One day soon there will be more priests from abroad ministering than native priests. We should thank God for the countries who have responded so generously to our shortage in the U.S.

report abuse


posted March 1, 2009 at 2:10 pm

marmaduke,what a stupid comment!!!You know nothing about the priests in latin america,you should wash your mouth before talking about the majority of these living saints, that are serving our church.

report abuse

Chris Sullivan

posted March 1, 2009 at 9:59 pm

I recall the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI making a similar caution about the abundance of vocations in Africa where becoming a priest is a secure job with high social status.God Bless

report abuse

Mann Rentoy's Blog

posted March 2, 2009 at 5:47 am

i am from Asia…and most, if not all, the priests I know are holy and heroic.I also know a number who come from very well-off families. But they are ready to leave everything behind to follow Our Lord.And most I know are highly intelligent.What planet does this marmaduke come from?

report abuse

Tito Edwards

posted March 2, 2009 at 11:00 am

Marmaduke,I may not agree at some of the good Deacon's posts or comments or even his political slant, but I always have my facts straight and try my best to eliminate unconstructive criticism. But your comments are completely off based and not based on fact.I have met many good priests here in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston from Nigeria, Cameroon, and Sierre Leone and they are the most pious, humble, and educated clerics I've across this great country of ours.If you're unable to break free from your own socialist and feminist point of view, what use is there if you fail to grasp and understand the main motivations of these good priests?Money is not the route to happiness. I'm sorry to burst your bubble. People can find happiness living a Godly life while remaining poor.Please think before you post because it doesn't contribute to the overall dialogue.In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,Tito

report abuse


posted March 2, 2009 at 11:21 am

Some of my best friends are priests from Pakistan and Nigeria. They are truly men of God and very orthodox in practice and in lifestyle. In America, where the majority of Catholic families are contracepting, where is the seedbed for vocations? What parent, who thinks they control all aspects of their life, would rely on God to call their son to the vocation of the priesthood?Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

This blog is no longer active
This blog is no longer being actively updated. Please feel free to browse the archives or: Read our most popular inspiration blog See our most popular inspirational video Take our most popular quiz ...

posted 10:42:40pm Dec. 12, 2010 | read full post »

One day more
A reminder: "The Deacon's Bench" is closed! Please enjoy the archives! ...

posted 11:26:20pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Meet Montana's married priest
Earlier this week, I posted an item about Montana getting its first married priest. Now a local TV station has hopped on the bandwagon. Take a look, below. ...

posted 10:29:55pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Big day in the Big Easy: 10 new deacons
Deacon Mike Talbot has the scoop: 10 men today were ordained as Permanent Deacons for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. This group of men was formally selected on the day the evacuation of New Orleans began as Hurricane Katrina approached. The ...

posted 6:55:42pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Gaudete! And let's break out a carol or two...
"Gesu Bambino," anyone? This is one of my favorites, and nobody does it better than these gals: Kathleen Battle and Frederica von Staade. Enjoy. ...

posted 1:04:10pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.