The percentage of Catholics in the world has remained steady, while the number of priests has decreased for the first time in almost a decade, according to Vatican statistics.
Meanwhile, the numbers of bishops, permanent deacons, lay missionaries and catechists have all increased, it said. At the end of 2017, the worldwide Catholic population exceeded 1.3 billion, which continued to be about 17.7 percent of the world’s population, said a statement published March 6 by the Vatican press office.
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