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Vatican: Church Growth Remains Steady Worldwide

By the end of 2012, the worldwide Catholic population had reached 1.228 billion, an increase of 14 million or 1.14 per cent, slightly outpacing the global population growth rate.

The number of Catholics in the world and the number of priests, permanent deacons and religious men all increased in 2012, while the number of women in religious orders continued to decline, according to Vatican statistics. The number of candidates for the priesthood also showed its first global downturn in recent years. The statistics come from a recently published Statistical Yearbook of the Church, which reported worldwide Church figures as of December 31, 2012.
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