Nov 022010

by Anura Guruge

Anura Guruge Catholics worldwide

In 2009, when I had started working on ‘The Next Pope‘ book, I wanted to see how cardinal elector representation in terms of nationalities stacked up against the sizes of Catholic populations in the various countries — though I knew that representative representation was never a goal of the Vatican, and probably will never be. But, I was still curious. I think I did my first post on this in July 2009 — and updated it a few times since then, because I was going to use the numbers in my book. I fully appreciate that popes are not bound by any criteria as to the composition of the College of Cardinals. But, that also does not stop me from wanting to see how the cardinal elector demographics stack up against the ‘constituency.’ So, I play with the numbers.

I pulled up the Catholic Church by country numbers from Wikipedia last night. The Wikipedia numbers are probably NOT the most up to-date. But, at least they try to tell you when they were obtained and how. Yes, I know that Catholic Hierarchy has a set of numbers too. But, I checked their numbers for Brazil. They appear to be from 2005 — same vintage as Wikipedia. None of these numbers are going to accurate. That is a fact of life. Plus, it will, indubitably, be apples and oranges — numbers from some countries more recent than others. But, we are not trying to send a man to the moon using these numbers. So, the inaccuracies are just something we have to live with.

In my next post I will correlate this to cardinals and cardinal electors. Thank you.

Anura Guruge growth in Catholic church 1950 to 2008

I happened to see this data when I was looking for my per country data, and it seemed churlish not to chart it. Much of this growth has been in Africa, with Asia and Latin America helping out. There is lot to be said for banning contraception. At least it will ensure growth in numbers in the developing countries.

  14 Responses to “Catholics Worldwide — The Top 20 Nations Account For 65.5%”

  1. So by 2012 the Philippines and Colombia will have no electors…

  2. Did you say that you are banking on another consistory in 2011 and another in 2012. I am surprised that they don’t have some more cardinals from Colombia. I would have thought cardinals from Colombia would be even more adapt at making money than those from Chicago.

  3. I believe there will be three consistories between this month’s and 2016.I don’t think that 2011 and 2012 will both have them.Just look at the scores of 80th birthdays in 2013-2016,I sent you the “countdown”!

  4. Six years from now. Some young punk sent me an email telling me that we will have a new pope in 2012. I kind of doubt that. I think this pope will make it to at least 89 — permitting me to do 5 more updates to the book. But, 89 puts us at 2016. I assume YOU were assuming same pope … not a new one.

  5. Checked e-mail. I don’t have any ‘outstanding’ e-mails from you … any more. Not to say I didn’t get it. Not there anymore. When I was at IBM in the 1970s they had a clean desk policy. When you left your desk had to be clean. We would just open up a few drawers and sweep everything into it. But, that clean desk ethic has stuck … not with my two desks … that are always cluttered … and the kids add to it just to confuse me … but with my e-mail. Though I pay for an unlimited e-mail service with no storage limits … I clean out my inbox every couple of days! Yep, just delete everything … also all I have sent. That is why I respond to emails within 12 hours. If I don’t … it will be gone. I, however, save all good jokes and pictures in various online folders. So your list is gone. But, I have my own and I will post A LIST right now.
    Thanks & Cheers

  6. With regard to the Pope’s health, he seems fine at the moment but it will be interesting to see if the Christmas Midnight Mass is brought forward again like last year.

  7. I sent you an email with the subject “Electoral Countdown” on October 20th,I gathered that it was one of the emails from me that you said you had outstanding shortly thereafter,I have heard nothing from you on it since.

    I NEVER deliberately delete emails…I have gigabytes of them in files dating back to the mid-90s,some of them compressed files of what is verified to be junkmail,

    As far as assuming same pope goes,the average life expectancy would have him alive then (an 85-year-old will live on average seven years more),but 80th birthdays happen no matter who is pope,and any pope will likely want to fill electoral vacancies.

  8. I kind of figured that about you. It is funny, over the years I have not held onto many ‘memorial’ things. Have NO handwritten letters from my parents. Very few printed photographs.

    As for pope … and I know that longevity is something else you keep track of. So you have the pope ~92. I am thinking 89. At this rate he can definitely become the 2nd oldest pope since 1400. And you do say ‘average’. So he could go past 92. Then in 2020 he will top the list. I, however, probably won’t be around that long to document it. Plus, I probably would have lost interest in updating The Next Pope book by then. What is ‘frightening’ is that even then he would only have been pope for 15 years — which is still short.


  9. There are two occasions on which next-pope books become in need of updates…consistories of creation (which make analyses of the electorate obsolete at once) and deaths of persons the books highlight as papabili(dying is too obvious a reduction of electoral chance to let the list seem current).

  10. I think, The Philippines is not represented well in the Sacred College. I hope the Pope names more Filipinos other than the Current “Cardinartial” Sees of Manila and Cebu. Being the Only Bastion of Catholicism in Asia..

  11. I hope the Pope names more Filipinos other than the Current “Cardinartial” Sees of Manila and Cebu. Being the Only Bastion of Catholicism in Asia.. Maybe He can Name The Archbishops of Nueva Segovia or Nueva Caceres

  12. Lance,
    If you go look through this blog, my blog or my ‘The Next Pope’ book that you will find any other non-Filipino who has been AS SUPPORTIVE of your cause as I have. So I am on YOUR side.
    The Philippines should have ANOTHER 5 cardinals — TODAY.
    You have seen this Nov. 2, 2010 chart … right?
    I show quite clearly, in RED, Philippines down -5.
    But the folks from Brazil should be aggrieved too.
    You know Lance … me, never the most conventional of people, and always colorful … have another theory.
    I think the Vatican curia is INTIMIDATED by Brazil and the Philippines … because those two countries are NOTED for the exceptional beauty of their women! [Yes, I have visited the Philippines and know many Filipinos. But, I have never been to Brazil.]

  13. Thanks< For being at our side, as a Filipino I feel deprived of the recognition of our good Prelates.

  14. If Nueva Segovia and Nueva Caceres wish to have their cardinal, Then Jaro should have also because it is the Fifth and youngest Diocese in the Spanish Era in the country.

    I hope His Holiness will give cardinals to these Archdioceses other than Manila and Cebu. If the 5 Sees receive their Eminences then Filipinos will be satisfy.

    Filipinos will look upon the twist in 2011 or 2012.

    GOD Bless.

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