From this morning’s Vatican Information Service:
Brazil has a population of 184,180 million, of whom 155,628 million (84.5 percent) are Catholic. There are 269 ecclesiastical circumscriptions, 9,504 parishes and 36,729 pastoral centers of other kinds. Currently there are 427 bishops, 18,087 diocesan and regular priests, 2,676 male religious, 33,765 female religious, 2,015 lay members of secular institutes, 72,704 lay missionaries and 492,370 catechists. Minor seminarians number 3,858, and major seminarians 9,450.
A total of 2,472,348 children and young people attend 6,073 centers of Catholic education, from kindergartens to universities. Other charitable and social institutions belonging to the Church, or run by priests or religious in Brazil include 366 hospitals, 1,013 clinics, 764 homes for the elderly or disabled, 1,942 orphanages and nurseries, 2,159 family counseling centers and other pro-life centers, and 2,830 centers for education and social rehabilitation.
Benedict’s visit to Brazil will be his sixth trip outside Italy as Pope.
Perhaps, in a glancing way, this was published to respond to the constant barrage of news headlines and articles claiming that the Brazilian Catholic Church is in steep decline?