Benedict: Take Joy in the Good of our Separated Brethren
"Church membership in 2007 was 1.147 billion people,[6] (17% of the global population at the time) increasing from the 1950 figure of 437 million[7] (17% of the global population at the time) and the 1970 figure of 654 million.[8] On 31 December 2008, membership was 1.166 billion, an increase of 11.54% over the same date in 2000, only slightly greater than the rate of increase of the world population (10.77%). The increase was 33.02% in Africa, but only 1.17% in Europe. It was 15.91% in Asia, 11.39% in Oceania, and 10.93% in Americas. As a result, Catholics were 17.77% of the total population in Africa, 63.10% in Americas, 3.05% in Asia, 39.97% in Europe, 26.21% in Oceania, and 17.40% of the world population. Of the world's Catholics, the proportion living in Africa grew from 12.44% in 2000 to 14.84% in 2008, while those living in Europe fell from 26.81% to 24.31%.[9]"

The number of priests is, incidentally, on the rise and has been for some time.  Just not among Westerners, whose culture is in decay:

"The number of bishops in the world went up from 4,541 in 2000 to 5,002 in 2008, an increase of 10.15%.
The number of priests also increased slightly over this nine-year period, passing from 405,178 in 2000 to 409,166 in 2008, an overall rise of 0.98%. In Africa and Asia their numbers increased (respectively, by 33.1% and 23.8%); in the Americas they remained stable, while they fell by 7% in Europe and 4% in Oceania."

"Decidedly more dynamic is the situation in Africa, where Catholics have almost tripled: in 1978 there were around 55 million and by 2004 had risen to almost 149 million. This growth, only in part attributable to purely demographic factors, reflects a real increase in the presence of baptized believers: in fact, Catholics, who made up 12.4% of the population of Africa in 1978, represented almost 17 % twenty-six years later. "

Let it be noted, that between the death of St. John and the rise of Constantine, the Church grew, on average, about 3% or so a year, by the best estimates:

I won't make a case that it is the highest rate of growth, that was perhaps hyperbole, but the fact is the missionary effort of the Church has flourished after Vatican II, and especially under JP2.

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Re: Benedict: Take Joy in the Good of our Separated Brethren - by Parmandur - 10-04-2012, 09:53 PM

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