VATICAN CITY, FEB 22, 1997 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano presented the 1997 edition of the "Annuario Pontificio" (Pontifical Yearbook) to the Holy Father this morning in the presence of Archbishop Giovanni Battista Re, substitute for General Affairs, and those who have worked on the writing and printing of the volume.

A note on the presentation provides some data on last year's changes and variations.

The Holy See established diplomatic relations with the Republics of Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan and Sierra Leone, bringing the number of states with which it currently maintains diplomatic relations to 163.

In addition, one metropolitan see, one archieparchy, 17 new episcopal sees, three eparchies, one apostolic exarchate, one military ordinariate and two apostolic vicariates were created.

In 1996, continues the note, 161 bishops were appointed, for a total of 4,224. During the same year the number of priests reached 404,750 (262,418 of which are diocesan clergy), 289 more than in 1995. The increase is due entirely to diocesan priests, since religious priests decreased by 593. The 8,800 priestly ordinations in 1996 exceeded the number of priests who died during the year by nearly 800. Permanent deacons increased by 5.3 percent with respect to the preceding year.

For the twentieth consecutive year, concludes the note, the number of seminarians enrolled in philosophy and theology courses increased: they grew by 1.2 percent, from 105,075 to 106,307.

av Webmaster publisert 31.03.2006, sist endret 10.03.2011 - 02:46