National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Francis’ papacy spotlights state of Latin American church

 |  NCR Today

PF_13.03.12_Pope-Francis (infographic).png

Many have pointed toward the selection of Pope Francis of Argentina as a reflection of the growth of the Catholic church in the global south, particularly in the Americas.  

To help illustrate the state of the church in Latin America, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life produced an infographic (see right) using 2010 data from its report on Global Christianity, published in December 2011. According to their data, the 4.25 million Catholics living in Central and South America comprise 72 percent of all Latin Americans, and 39 percent of Catholics worldwide. 

Looking at Francis’ home country of Argentina, it contains the 11th largest Catholic population worldwide, and constitute nearly 77 percent of the overall Argentine population.

A more detailed spotlight of the church in South America's second largest country is found at the 1964 blog, run by Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. Using Vatican and Pew data, editor Mark Gray found the number of Catholics in Argentina rising steadily, from 21.2 million in 1970, to 37.8 million in 2010. Over the same span, baptisms have remained fairly steady, while marriages have dropped significantly in the past decade.

Help keep NCR going!
We rely on donations to bring you the latest news.
Donate today.

Gray also found diocesan priest vocations rising, and the number of churches had increased by nearly 1,000 during 40-year span, bringing the total to 2,754 in 2010. That figure is diminished when viewed through Catholic population, Gray stated, presenting a ratio of nearly 11,000 Catholics per church. 

 

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

August 15-28, 2014

08-15-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.