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VATICAN CITY, 22 APR 2010 (VIS) - For the occasion of Benedict XVI's forthcoming apostolic trip to Portugal, due to take place from 11 to 14 May, statistics concerning the Catholic Church in that country have been published. The information, updated to 31 December 2008, comes from the Central Statistical Office of the Church.

Portugal, the capital of which is Lisbon, has a population of 10,610,000 of whom 9,368,000 (88.3 percent) are Catholic. There are 21 ecclesiastical circumscriptions and 4,830 parishes. Currently there are 52 bishops, 3,797 priests, 6,007 religious, 594 lay members of secular institutes and 63,906 catechists. Minor seminarians number 279, and major seminarians 444.

A total of 129,230 children and young people attend 900 centres of Catholic education, from kindergartens to universities. Other institutions belonging to the Church, or run by priests or religious in Portugal include 34 hospitals, 155 clinics, 799 homes for the elderly or disabled, 663 orphanages and nurseries, 55 family counselling centres and other pro-life centres, 462 centres for education and social rehabilitation, and 168 institutions of other kinds.