On Wednesday, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference published the official figures for 2021. These show that after the Corona Year 2020, many ecclesiastical celebrations were made up.
A conclusion: in baptisms, marriages, first communions and confirmations, many celebrations were made up due to the relaxation of the Corona measures, which were not possible in 2020. There were slight decreases, as always, in priests and religious.
Many ecclesiastical celebrations were made up after the 2020 corona year
The number of baptisms in 2021 was 45,541, a massive increase over 2020 (32,521). According to “Kathpress,” there is likely to be a corona-related “catch-up effect” in church weddings. The 2021 statistics recorded 6,674 church marriages, compared to only 3,595 in 2020; the 2021 figure is still well below the levels of the years before Corona.
The sharp increase from 2021 in first communions.
There was also a sharp increase in 2021 for first communions, with 51,221. In 2020, the figure was only 37,253. “Corona-adjusted” figures, however, are not expected until 2022. What is true for first communions is also true for confirmations: in 2020, there were only 26,625; the following year, there were 45,537. In contrast, there are stable numbers for church funerals. In 2021, there were 54,358; the year before, 54,621.
3,425 priests working in Austria
According to the latest church statistics, the number of priests working in Austria is 3,425, a slight decrease compared to 2020 (3,548). The number of permanent deacons has also declined slightly from 752 to 742. The number of religious brothers has also reduced slightly to 366 compared to 2020 (383). For women religious in Austria, official statistics showed 3,008 sisters in 2021. That is 80 fewer than in the previous year.
1,473 women and men lay people in pastoral ministry in 2021
One thousand four hundred seventy-three women and men were active as full-time laypersons in the pastoral ministry of the Catholic Church in 2021. Compared to 2020, there was thus a slight increase, as in previous years.
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