A Look at the Church in Lebanon

Papal Trip Begins in Just Over a Week

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VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 6, 2012 (Zenit.org).- For Benedict XVI's Sept. 14-16 apostolic trip to Lebanon, during which he will sign and issue the postsynodal apostolic exhortation of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops, statistics concerning the Catholic Church in Lebanon have been published by the Vatican.

The information, updated to Dec. 31, 2011, comes from the Central Statistical Office of the Church.

Lebanon has a population of 4,039,000 of whom 2,148,000 (53.18%) are Catholic. There are 24 ecclesiastical circumscriptions, 1,126 parishes and 39 pastoral centres of other kinds. Currently, there are 53 bishops, 1,543 priests, 2,797 religious, 2 members of secular institutes, 2,301 lay missionaries and 483 catechists. Minor seminarians number 62 and major seminarians 390.

A total of 427,180 children and young people attend 907 centres of Catholic education, from kindergartens to universities, as well as 28 centres for special education. Other institutions belonging to the Church or run by priests or religious in Lebanon include 30 hospitals, 168 clinics, 39 homes for the elderly or disabled, 63 orphanages and nurseries, 22 family counselling centres and other pro-life centres, and 28 institutions of other kinds.