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Vatican: Catholics’ numbers dip in Europe

VATICAN CITY (AP) – The Vatican’s latest worldwide statistics find that the percentage of Europe’s Catholics has dipped while rising in Africa and southeast Asia.

The Vatican on Saturday presented some of the findings in its annual statistic report. It said that Catholics in 2010 _ the latest year statistics are available _ numbered just under 1.196 billion, compared to 1.181 billion in 2009.

The number of priests rose in Asia and in Africa, while dipping in Europe, a trend that appears will continue since seminary enrollment was also up in Africa and Asia while dropping in Europe. For some time now, many priests from Africa and Asia have come to Europe to help parishes, as European countries see native vocations dwindle.

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