By Matt Hadro, CNA
The global Catholic population is growing – so quickly, in fact, that priest and parish numbers cannot keep up, says a new study on trends in the worldwide Church.
And this poses a challenge: With an overall growth in the number of Catholics, especially in Africa and Asia, but not enough growth in the number of parishes and priests to supplement it, there are fewer opportunities for Catholics to receive the sacraments and participate in their parishes.
“The Church still faces a global 21st century problem of keeping Catholics engaged with parish and sacramental life,” stated the study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University.
The study “Global Catholicism” drew from Vatican statistics and other surveys since 1980 to detail where the Catholic Church has grown and shrunk at the parish level and to predict the demographics of the next few decades for the Church.