Rorate Caeli

Vatican II Springtime: the Collapse of Female Religious in Latin America

The number of female professed religious in Latin America:

(1) 1980: 120,016 (89,936 in South, 30,080 in Central America and Mexico)

Note: In 1980, the population of Latin America was of approximately 364,000,000,including approximately 92,000,000 in Central America and Mexico

(2) 2016: 102,953 (69,552 in South, 33,401 in Central America)

Note: In 2016, the population of Latin America was of approximately 640,000,000; including approximately 175,000,000 in Central America and Mexico, where a slight increase of female religious was not at all proportional to the demographic expansion.

(3) The Collapse was worst in the current pontiff's native Argentina (from 12,446 to 7,227 in the same period). The Argentinian population grew from approximately 28,000,000 to 43,500,000 in the period.

Source. The same study found that "while the Church globally experienced a 31% decline in the total number of postulants and novices between 1990 and 2016, that figure fell by just over half in mainland Central America, and declined by 71% in South America." (p. 7)