Lest you are somewhat dismayed at times over the gloomy news of the state of our culture, be of good cheer.

Deacon Kandra reports here that the Catholic Church ain’t going out of business anytime soon.

Indeed, the church continues to grow around the world  and the twentieth century was boom time.

Viewed globally the Church experienced  a spectacular growth over the twentieth century which shows little sign of slowing.

In 1900 there were roughly 266 million Catholics in the world. This rose to 1,045 million by 2000. By 2010 there were 1,197 million [just over a billion], according to the 2012 edition of the Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae, the ‘Statistical Yearbook of the Church’. Over the last 40 years, Catholics have consistently made up between 17 and 18pc of the world’s population; having been steadily about 17.3pc in recent years, they now are probably about 17.5pc. Current growth in the world’s Catholic population is slightly outpacing general population growth.

Peter Seewald was right to say to Pope Benedict, when interviewing him for 2010’s Light of the World, that: “Never before has the Catholic Church had more believers, never before such extension, literally to the ends of the earth.”

…Over the course of the twentieth century, the population of Latin America and the Caribbean rose from about 60 million to 561 million, while the number of Catholics there rose from 53 million to about 449 million.

You know Joel Osteen visited the Pope the other day. Maybe Osteen was learning the true definition of “mega church”

Go here for Deacon’s full article.