Catholic priest numbers increase

Africa and Asia saw the biggest increase in priest numbers
The number of priests in the Catholic Church around the world is slowly rising, the Vatican says. The Holy See presented a statistical yearbook to Pope Benedict XVI, showing an increase of several hundred priests a year since 2000. Thanks to large increases in Africa and Asia, the number of Catholic priests rose from 405,178 in 2000 to 408,024 in 2007, the report said. In the previous two decades, the number of priests dropped markedly. Numbers in Africa had risen by 27.6% and in Asia by 21%, the report said.