Jan 2, 2007
USA (Statistics from the Official Catholic Directory of 2004)
The U.S. has an estimated 41,794 priests for 64 million Catholics in 2006, resulting in 1,531 Catholics per priest.
The Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas had 157 priests for 191,203 Catholics, or 1,218 Catholics per priest, with 16.0 percent of the population being Catholic.
In the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese, there were 209 priests for 144,483 Catholics, or 691 Catholics per priest--with 10.4 percent of the population being Catholic.
Bishop Bruskewitz had 157 priests for 89,431 Catholics, resulting in 570 Catholics per priest in the Lincoln, Nebraska diocese, with 16.6 percent of the population being Catholic.
Tulsa, Oklahoma had 104 priests for 56,094 Catholics, with a ratio of 539 Catholics per priest, with 3.7 percent of the population being Catholic.
Los Angeles had 1,153 priests for 4,174,304 Catholics, with a ratio of 3,620 Catholics per priest, with 37.6 percent of the population being Catholic.
Boston had 1,529 priests for a Catholic population of 2,077,487, resulting in 1,359 Catholics per priest, with 52.3 percent of the population being Catholic.
The Tagbilaran diocese in the central Philippines has 541,545 people, 95 percent of which are Catholic. Serving its 50 parishes are 171 priests. The ratio in this diocese is 1 priest for every 2,850 Catholics.
Twenty priests are reported to serve the 70,000 Catholics of the Diocese of Chifeng, with a ratio of 3,500 Catholics per priest. It is probable that these figures are from the patriotic church, rather than the underground church that acknowledges the primacy of the Pope in Rome.
China Daily, a communist news outlet, noted that there are 5.2 million Chinese Catholics in 2004, with only 1,200 priests, resulting in a ratio of 4,333 Catholics per priest--presumably counting only the patriotic priests.
However, the People Daily said in 2002 there are about 1,500 Catholic priests in the country, who have been trained by the Catholic Church of China, for 3,467 Catholics per priest. So take your choice between the communist China Daily or the communist People Daily.
I tried to find numbers of priests and Catholics in the underground Roman Catholic Church in China, but even the well-respected Cardinal Kung Foundation doesn't seem to have these numbers.
Catholics in the Pope's homeland comprise 33.2% of the country's 82 million people, says a report published by the Vatican press office. Catholics number 27.4 million, with a ratio of
1,456 Catholics to 1 priest.
There are 180 million people in Brazil, with 61 percent now being Catholic, according to Cardinal Hummes. That calculates to 110 million Catholics in Brazil (a relatively recent loss of at least 10 million members), with 16,598 priests in 2001, for a ratio of 1 priest per 6,615 Catholics.
There were 13,173 priests in Mexico in 2001 for 93.6 million Catholics (89% Catholic population), with 7,105 Catholics per priest.
Uganda's Catholics total 11. 1 million, and the number of Catholic priests is 1,564. The ratio is 7,097 Catholics per priest.
Conclusion: Other places in the world are a lot worse off than we are in the middle of the U.S.
Jan 1, 2007
I asked Karina some questions about their new anthology of Catholic science-fiction, and appreciated hearing her and Bob's detailed responses.
Q: The title of your Anthology, Infinite Space, Infinite God makes me ask how God, who is infinite, also can create something infinite. I always thought he created only finite worlds and beings (even space), even though these may be multi-dimensional.
Infinite space, infinite numbers, infinite possibilities… Can they really be infinite? When it comes to our limited human perceptions, the answer is, "Yes, of course." But just like in mathematics, there are different infinities.
Thomas Aquinas said that things other than God can be relatively infinite without being essentially infinite, and that when you speak of infinity, you are speaking about the potentiality of an object rather than the form of the object. (Summa Theologica, Question 7: The Infinity of God)
In general--again, there are always exceptions--most fiction is interested in evoking an emotion: romances pull at our heartstrings, while adventures like thrillers get our hearts racing. Horror and mystery evoke suspense and fear. Literary, because it's such a wide field, can play to any of our emotions. Also, these genres generally look to the past or present and to individuals or small groups.
--"Brother John," "Brother Jubal in the Womb of Silence," and "Little Madeleine" are about religious brothers and sisters living their calling in the future.
--"Our Daily Bread," "Stabat Mater," "Canticle of the Wolf," and "These Three" deal with very Catholic miracles and/or saints.
--"Mask of the Ferret" and "Cruel and Unusual Punishment" rely heavily on Catholic practices to get the protagonist through his crisis.
Does this prevent us from reading non-religious science fiction? Absolutely not.
dustiam: The phrase "We don't expect our stories to bring about changes in doctrine" in the prior paragraph is confusing. I suspect the Fabians meant don't expect their stories to influence the Church's understanding of doctrine, as may be required by future events, such as genetic technologies and encounters with aliens.