Catholics and Cardinals
Brendan Barry 3 March 2013
Despite a European Decline...
Share of the Global Catholic Population
the Early Church Was More Diverse Than Italian Cardinals
Papal birthplaces, when known, by historical era
Christianity was not tolerated with the Roman Empire until the Edict of Milan in 313. The Church rose rapidly in prominence and then power, filling the vacuum left by the collapse of the Roman Empire in 476. While many of the early popes are unknown beyond names and dates, the birth places that are known reach across the eastern Mediterranean.
The Decline in European Catholics has left it with a Disproportionate Number of Cardinal Electors
The historical importance of Europe and Italy in particular means that with the comparatively rapid demographic shifts, they remain disproportionately favoured in the Conclave.
Largest Catholic Countries
2010, millions of people
2010, % of all citizens*
* countries larger than 5 mil
Regions that are under-represented
Share of the Global Cardinal Electors, 2012
Countries within Europe that are under-represented
Share of the European Cardinal Electors, 2012
Sources: newadvent.org, Pew Forum, United Nations, Vatican