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  • What ALL Catholics should know about Eastern Catholic Churches
  • 2006 Catholic Population in the USA

What ALL Catholics should know about Eastern Catholic Churches

by Phyllis Zagano with improvements made by Mike Humphrey

Jesus prays, at the Last Supper, in John's Gospel, that his followers might "all be one." Before his ascension, he commissioned his disciples out to preach the gospel "to the whole world" (see Mk 16:IS). But, as the Church brought the Christian faith to lands near and far, it strained to maintain common understandings among various peoples.

Early Christianity suffered from disagreements about the nature of Christ's divinity and the understanding of the Trinity. Two early Church Councils-one at Nicea in 325 and another at Constantinople in 381--set Church teaching on these crucial dogmas, which have been handed down to us in the Nicene Creed. Centuries of wear and tear resulted in the East-West schism of 1054, between what came to be known as "Catholicism" and "Orthodoxy." Centuries later, Catholicism fractured with the Reformation in 16th·-century Europe. The new terms were "Roman Catholicism" and "Protestantism." All along the way, the papacy sought to strengthen its central governing authority.

For Catholics, the branches of the Church are properly called the Latin Church and the Eastern Churches. There are two separate codes of canon law, one for the Oriental, or Eastern Churches in union with Rome and another for the Latin, or Western Church (which we usually term the Roman Catholic Church). Each of these legal codes recognizes the supreme authority of the Roman pontiff, the pope in Rome.

Today, those in full communion with Rome are rediscovering their common ancestry and better recognizing each other as more than distant relations. But while liturgical practice in the West is fairly uniform, a complex pattern of governance and liturgical practice remains in the East, bound to both history and geography.

Patriarchates

The first large branches in the Catholic family tree appear in the fourth century. The Roman Emperor Constantine, who legalized Christianity, transferred his and its headquarters from Rome to the ancient city of Byzantium in the year 330. He renamed this city Constantinople. (We now know it as Istanbul, Turkey.)

There were three other important centers of the Roman Empire: Rome, Antioch in Syria, and Alexandria in Egypt. The bishops of these four great cities of Rome, Constantinople, Antioch and Alexandria attained greater preeminence over time, especially at the Council of Constantinople in 381, There the Bishop of Constantinople received honorary status, after the Bishop of Rome.

Rome had been the center of a vast empire, and the site of martyrdom for Sts. Peter and Paul. But the East was growing in prominence.

At the Council of Chalcedon in 451, the Bishops of Constantinople and of Jerusalem received territorial authority over their respective areas. Eventually, Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem came to be known as patriarchates, that is, Church territories headed by a patriarch.

Coincidentally, Christianity spread beyond the Roman Empire.

Syriac-speaking Christians looked to Edessa in East Syria as their center. In four of the original patriarchates, Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria - and in Edessa - we find the origins of major liturgical families of the Catholic Church, some Eastern and some Western.

Eastern Churches

The 11th·century East-West split created a complex situation. A large part of the problem was the supreme authority of Rome over other patriarchal Churches. What we know of as Orthodoxy ensued in most of the Christian East. Virtually all the Eastern Churches broke communion with Rome at some point, and present Eastern Catholic Churches are the result of efforts to restore that communion either spontaneously or because of the work of Catholic missionaries.

At present, there are 22 separate ecclesial groupings of the East that recognize the supreme authority of Rome. In some cases, parts of these communions - 21 are "Churches" - are locally administered by a Western bishop. One, the Georgian, is recognized as an ecclesial grouping, but not as a Church. Each follows the Code of Canons of the Oriental Churches, and uses its own liturgical rites.

Patriarchal. The six patriarchal Eastern Catholic Churches are: Armenian, Chaldean, Coptic, Maronite, Melkite and Syriac. Their patriarchs, along with their synods (assemblies of bishops), enjoy superior authority in their respective churches.

Major Archepiscopal: In these, the Ukrainian, the Syro-Malabar and the Syro-Malankar Churches, a major archbishop is essentially the same as a patriarch, although his election, unlike a patriarch's, must be approved by the Roman pontiff.

Metropolitan: The Ethiopian (or Abyssinian), the Romanian and the Ruthenian Churches are distinct in that their Metropolitan, that is, principal bishop, must request the pallium-his sign of authority-from the pope rather than by election from his Church. In these cases the local synod must provide three nominees to the pope, who makes the final choice.

Others: Nine Eastern Catholic Churches are none of the above. In law they are called "sui iuris " and are a separate category of churches. For the most they are a single diocese or eparchy: the Albanian, Belarussian, Bulgarian, Greek, Hungarian, Italo-Albanian, Slovak, Russian, and churches of the former Yugoslavia - once called Križevci, but now including separate apostolic exafchates for Macedonia and Serbia/Montenegro. These nine do not have the highly developed hierarchical structures of the other 12. The pope grants authority to the bishop who governs these churches.

The Eastern Churches in union with Rome were once called "uniate," but this term is seen as non-complimentary since it implies an unequal status. The Eastern Churches are still mistakenly called "Eastern-rite" Churches, a reference to their various liturgical histories. They are most properly called Eastern Churches, or Eastern Catholic Churches.

Liturgical Families of the East

Eastern Catholic Churches belong to distinct liturgical families. Understanding these families helps us to understand that the differences among the Churches have mostly to do with local cultures. The distinct liturgical families relate to the three major Eastern patriarchates (Constantinople, Antioch and Alexandria) and to Edessa. These in turn influenced other Churches in the Christian East, especially in Chaldea (modern-day Iran) and Armenia. Some of the Eastern Catholic Churches are reunited from the Eastern Churches that separated from Rome during the fifth century, or in 1054, or at other times in the Church's long history. (The years in parentheses note the approximate dates of reunion with Rome.)

The Antiochian liturgical family has two branches: West Syrian and East Syrian. Antioch was founded by St. Peter, and St. James is credited for its liturgy, which is celebrated in the ancient Syriac language that Jesus spoke, Aramaic, as well as in local vernacular. The West Syrian Churches are the

Maronite (which claims always to have been in union with Rome), Syriac (1781), Syro-Malankarese (1930). The East Syrian, whose liturgy shows the influence of Edessa, are the Chaldean (1692), and Syro-Malabarese (16th century). The Syro-Malabarese, like the Syro-Malankarese, finds roots in the evangelization of St. Thomas in India.

The Alexandrian liturgical family includes the Coptic (1741) and the Ethiopian (1846). Its liturgy is attributed to St. Mark the Evangelist, and is variously celebrated in Coptic (Ancient Egyptian) and Arabic in Egypt and the Near East, and in Geez (Ethiopian) in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Jerusalem.

The Byzantine liturgical family, by far the largest of the liturgical traditions of the East, is related to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. As we trace the lineage of each Byzantine tradition, we find close relations among those Churches linked by geography and/or language. The oldest Byzantine or Constantinopolitan liturgies are those of the Greek (mid-19th century) and Me1kite communions. The Patriarchal Melkite Church (18th century) actually began in the Antiochian tradition, but now celebrates liturgy in Greek as well as several local vernacular languages. The Byzantine Slav liturgical family celebrates the liturgy in Old Slavonic and the local vernacular, and comprises the Belarussian (17th century), Bulgarian (1861), Hungarian (1646), the churches of the former Yugoslavia, including Krezevci (1611), Russian (1905), Ruthenian (17th century), Slovak Ukrainian ( 1595).

The sui iuris Albanian (1628) and Italo-Albanian (or Itala-Greek, which never separated), and the Metropolitan Romanian Church (1697) tend to use the vernacular despite their Greek roots.

All Byzantine Churches celebrate the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom on Sundays and holy days, and the Liturgy of St. Basil during Lent.

Some scholars consider the Armenian rite, celebrated by the Patriarchal Annenian Church in classical Armenian, as its own rite. The Armenian of Cilicia converted to Catholicism at the time of the Crusades, but this did. not include the majority of Armenians located north of there, in modern eastern Turkey and the Republic of Armenian Catholics are found throughout the Middle East and in Argentina, France and the United States.

Many are unaware that there is more than one rite (i.e. the Roman rite) in the Western Church. Here is a list of five such rites, each of which is linked to a geographical area:

AMBROSIAN RITE. This ancient rite, linked to St. Ambrose (340-397), bishop of Milan, belongs to the family of Western European Latin rites. Many of these rites are extinct, including the Campano-Beneventan rite, the Aquileian rite and the Ravennan rite. While Ambrose can be called its "founder," there were many others (e.g. , Simplicianus and Eusebius) who subsequently developed the liturgy in Milan into the Ambrosian rite, today celebrated in Milan and beyond, even into parts of Switzerland.

BRAGAN RITE.The Bragan rite used in Braga, Portugal, can be traced to the eighth century. Its tangled origins include at least four roots: 1) the early Latin rite; 2) the Mozarabic rite (see below) which held sway for many years; 3) Gallican rites (i.e., from the Goths) brought by monastic reformers; and 4) the Roman rite, never completely adopted at Braga. (Pope Pius V specifically excluded the Bragan rite from the reforms of Trent.) This rite is an inculturated form of the Latin rite for Portugal, as the Ambrosian is for Milan.

MOZARABIC RITE. This sixth to 11th-century Latin rite of the Iberian Peninsula is now mostly replaced by the Roman rite, except in Toledo, Spain, and a few other places. Its complex history includes several basic influences: 1) Latin, but not exclusively Roman, 2) Gallican and 3) local. The Mozarabic rite and its replacement (twice) by the Roman rite became a symbol of nationalism, independence from Rome and local cultural development and survival.

ROMAN RITE. The Roman rite is the universally observed rite of the Latin Patriarch of the West, mandated by Second Vatican Council and approved by Pope Paul VI, and is the rite most Roman Catholics are familiar with. The most recent edition of the Missale Romanum was promulgated during the Jubilee Year, 2000.

ZAIREAN RITE. This is technically not a rite, but an "observance" within the Roman rite. Requested by the Bishops of Zaire in 1988, this African inculturation of the Roman rite includes the use of dance for all processions. It may be used wherever Zaireans gather for Mass. It is paralleled somewhat by another adaptation of the Roman rite found in India, in which dance and other gestures are permitted as legitimate growth of the Roman rite.

Western Churches

The Latin or Western Church is what we know of as the Roman Catholic Church, joined fully and wholly to the Catholic Churches and ecclesial communions of the East. We often recite four words which signify our belief in the unity of the Church -- one, holy, Catholic and apostolic -- every time we say the Nicene Creed at Sunday Mass. The words refer to our Church's unity, its sanctified and sanctifying nature, its universality and its relation to the Twelve Apostles.

Christians understand the term Church to mean a territorial assembly of the faithful. Yet the Catholic Church worldwide. Particular, or local, Churches exist in the West as archdioceses, dioceses or patriarchates, and the heads of these particular churches are called archbishops, bishops or patriarchs.

Pope Pius V, whose pontificate lasted from 1566 to 1572 imposed the liturgical rite of Rome on the Latin Church, in response to the confusion that preceded the Reformation. A few other Western rites already hundreds of years old were allowed to remain active. In succeeding centuries, a few additional rites or observances have been created or added for the Western Church (see below)

Special Use Rites:

Some rites exist not so much for geographical, but for other reasons. Here are two:

Anglican rite. This "special use" rite among Roman Catholics in the United States is the modified Anglican rite for those who come to the Roman Catholic Church yet wish to observe some of their own traditions. Pope John Paul II approved the Anglican Rite in 1980.

"Tridentine rite." There really is no Tridentine rite, despite the popular use of the term. What is called the Tridentine rite is the Roman rite as revised by Pope Pius V and the Council of Trent (Tridentine is a form of the Italian Trent) , and has been revised through the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. While special permissions to observe the Roman rite in the earlier form exist, it is usually to as "the observance" or "the rites of 1962." The special permissions are intended only for those unable to live comfortably with the reform of the Roman rite directed by Pope Paul VI and mandated by the Second Vatican Council. A Vatican commission called "Ecclesia Dei" exercises authority in giving bishops permission to use this observance.

For the most part, Roman Catholics participate in liturgy, codified by the Missale Romanum, established at the Council of Trent and updated by Pope John Paul II, in response to the Second Vatican Council (1962-65).

One Church

The Catholic Church counts over one billion members, slightly more than half of the total number of Christians in the world, or 16 percent of the world population. Most belong to the Latin Church and worship according to the Roman rite. But there are 16 million members of Eastern Catholic Churches, of whom approximately 7,650,000 worship according to the Byzantine tradition, and 8,300,000 according to various other ancient Eastern Christian traditions, such as the Armenian, Coptic and traditions. All, East and West, belong to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Our AskACatholic.com 2006 Catholic Demographics page

I put this together for several reasons:

  • For those who are participating in the COCCFr, Close Orthodox Catholic Friend Finder. It is my hope through the information below, you will be able to look into nearby areas in order to find new Catholic friends that are, of course, loyal to the Holy See.

  • You may be in an area like mine, where the local news is bias and does not say anything positive about the Catholic Church, but knocks it every time it can. With this information, you can call the producers of your local news, radio and TV stations and say:

    "Boston has the fourth largest metropolitan population of Roman Catholics, yet you never say anything positive about the people YOU are trying to serve."

    OR

    "Grand Rapids has the third largest metropolitan population of Roman Catholics in Michigan, yet you never say anything positive about the people YOU are trying to serve."

    With prayer, maybe things will change : )

    My colleague Mary Ann has also provided me with similar information from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

  •  

Dateline: Spring 2010 from the Catholic Answers Newsletter.

Vatican: Catholic Church Growing

The Catholic Church is growing according to the Annuario Pontificio (Pontifical Yearbook), a work that is published annually by the Vatican.

The 2010 edition was presented to Pope Benedict XVI in February.  It contains statistics on the world's Catholic population for 2008.

Number of Catholics Up

The Annuario revealed that from 2007 to 2008 the number of Catholics worldwide rose by 19 million, for a total of 1.166 billion.

That number represents 17.4 percent of the global population, up from 17.33 percent the previous year.

The Catholic population increased not just in raw numbers but also relative to the world population as a whole. In other words, The Catholic population grew faster than the non-Catholic population.


Source: 2007 Our Sunday Visitor's Catholic Almanac
Primary Source: The Official Catholic Directory, 2006; figures are as of January 1, 2006.

Informational:

Catholic Population: 69,135,254; increase of 1,314,421
Percentage of total US population: 23%
Number of Catholics entering the Church in 2007: 15,000
Jurisdictions: 34 Archdioceses (includes 33 metropolitan sees and the Military Archdiocese),
Dioceses: 152
Cardinals: 16
Archbishops: 36 in the US
Bishops 419.

Diocesan, in the US (and Virgin Islands), 152;
coadjutors, 1;
auxiliaries, 79;
retired, 151;
there are also 25 bishops serving outside the US as of August 11, 2006.

Priests: 42,178; decrease of 1,244
Diocesan: 28,538
Religious order priests: 13,640

Parishes: 18,992

Most Populated By State:

Ranking
Number of Catholics
State Percentage of State population
1 10,906,992 California  28.8%
2 7,433,366 New York  37.6%
3 6,742,690 Texas  29.2%
4 4,865,216 Massachusetts  42.7%
5 3,867,102 Illinois  63.0%
6 3,614,694 Pennsylvania  29.4%
7 3,605,265 New Jersey  41.1%
8 2,265,450 Florida  12.7%
9 2,128,619 Ohio  18.5%
10 2,064,103 Michigan  20.5%
11 1,605,155 Wisconsin  29.0%
12 1,357,992 Connecticut  38.7%
13 1,093,533 Minnesota  21.5%
14 908,123 Arizona  15.7%
15 835,581 Missouri  14.7%
16 816,260 Louisiana - 2005 total 26.1%
17 767,349 Indiana  12.3
18 745,614 Washington State  12.0%
19 666,213 Colorado  14.7%
20 661,300 Nevada  27.7%
21 640,274 Rhode Island  59.2%
22 620,399 Virginia  8.1%
23 575,824 Washington, D.C.  21.9%
24 517,679 Maryland  16.9%
25 494,698 Iowa  17.1%
26 494,449 New Mexico  21.4%
27 441,749 Georgia  5.1%
28 432,170 Oregon  12.1%
29 406,916 Kansas  15.1%
30 387,062 Kentucky  9.7%
31 375,808 Nebraska  21.4%
32 336,738 North Carolina  3.9%
33 314,471 New Hampshire  24.0%
34 230,000 Delaware  18.3%
35 200,000 Utah  8.3%
36 193,228 Maine  15.1%
37 190,684 Tennessee  3.2%
38 160,878 Oklahoma  4.6%
39 157,450 South Carolina  3.7%
40 154,435 South Dakota  20.5%
41 153,939 Alabama  3.4%
42 148,100 Idaho  10.4%
43 145,789 North Dakota  22.2%
44 143,240 Hawaii  11.3%
45 118,000 Vermont  19.0%
46 117,942 Mississippi  4.0%
47 110,409 Montana  12.1%
48 107,524 Arkansas  3.9%
49 82,749 West Virginia  4.6%
50 55,643 Alaska  8.7%
51 49,121 Wyoming   9.7%

Highest percentage of Catholics per state population.

Ranking Percentage of Catholics per State population State
Number of Catholics
1 59.2% Rhode Island  640,274
2 42.7% Massachusetts  4,865,216
3 41.1% New Jersey  3,605,265
4 38.7% Connecticut  1,357,992
5 37.6% New York  7,433,366
6 29.9% Illinois  3,867,102
7 29.4% Pennsylvania  3,614,694
8 29.2% Texas  6,742,690
9 29.0% Wisconsin  1,605,155
10 28.8% California  10,906,992
11 27.7% Nevada  661,300
12 26.1% Louisiana - 2005 total 816,260
13 24.0% New Hampshire  314,471
14 22.2% North Dakota  145,789
15 21.9% Washington, D.C.  575,824
16 21.5% Minnesota  1,093,533
17 21.4% New Mexico  494,449
18 21.4% Nebraska  375,808
19 20.5% Michigan  2,064,103
20 20.5% South Dakota  154,435
21 19.0% Vermont  118,000
22 18.5% Ohio  2,128,619
23 18.3% Delaware  230,000
24 17.1% Iowa  494,698
25 16.9% Maryland  517,679
26 15.7% Arizona  908,123
27 15.1% Kansas  406,916
28 15.1% Maine  193,228
29 14.7% Missouri  835,581
30 14.7% Colorado  666,213
31 12.7% Florida  2,265,450
32 12.3% Indiana  767,349
33 12.1% Oregon  432,170
34 12.1% Montana  110,409
35 12.0% Washington State  745,614
36 11.3% Hawaii  143,240
37 10.4% Idaho  148,100
38 9.7% Kentucky  387,062
39 9.7% Wyoming   49,121
40 8.7% Alaska  55,643
41 8.3% Utah  200,000
42 8.1% Virginia  620,399
43 5.1% Georgia  441,749
44 4.6% Oklahoma  160,878
45 4.6% West Virginia  82,749
46 4.0% Mississippi  117,942
47 3.9% North Carolina  336,738
48 3.9% Arkansas  107,524
49 3.7% South Carolina  157,450
50 3.4% Alabama  153,939
51 3.2% Tennessee  190,684


The 176 most populated metropolitan areas, sorted by metropolitan area within state.

State
Ranking
Number of Catholics
City/Town, State
1 4,448,763 Los Angeles California
2 1,146,960 San Bernardino California
3 1,131,464 Orange California
4 950,743 San Diego California
5 650,000 San Jose California
6 581,000 Fresno California
7 541,321 Sacramento California
8 468,718 Oakland California
9 420,397 San Francisco California
10 212,663 Stockton California
11 195,200 Monterey California
12 159,763 Santa Rosa California
1 2,542,432 New York New York 
2 1,556,575 Brooklyn New York 
3 1,431,774 Rockville Centre New York 
4 694,992 Buffalo New York 
5 400,000 Albany New York 
6 345,736 Syracuse New York 
7 341,772 Rochester New York 
8 120,085 Ogdensburg New York 
1 1,495,030 Galveston-Houston Texas 
2 955,298 Dallas Texas 
3 943,611 Brownsville Texas 
4 673,526 San Antonio Texas 
5 656,035 El Paso Texas 
6 500,000 Austin Texas 
7 450,000 Forth Worth Texas 
8 388,878 Corpus Christi Texas 
9 229,141 Laredo Texas 
10 106,797 Victoria Texas 
11 84,780 Lubbock Texas 
12 80,281 Beaumont Texas 
13 77,630 San Angelo Texas 
14 61,390 Tyler Texas 
15 40,293 Amarillo Texas 
1 1,845,846 Boston Massachusetts 
2 734,616 Springfield Massachusetts 
3 347,385 Fall River Massachusetts 
4 308,369 Worcester Massachusetts 
1 2,348,000 Chicago Illinois 
2 655,051 Joliet Illinois 
3 431,202 Rockford Illinois 
4 174,008 Peoria Illinois 
5 158,741 Springfield Illinois 
6 100,100 Belleville Illinois 
1 1,462,388 Philadelphia Pennsylvania 
2 781,811 Pittsburg Pennsylvania 
3 348,119 Scranton Pennsylvania 
4 275,129 Allentown Pennsylvania 
5 247,492 Harrisburg Pennsylvania 
6 225,575 Erie Pennsylvania 
7 170,486 Greensburg Pennsylvania 
8 103,694 Altoona-Johnstown Pennsylvania 
1 1,319,558 Newark New Jersey 
2 797,964 Trenton New Jersey 
3 603,214 Metuchen New Jersey 
4 459,118 Camden New Jersey 
5 425,411 Paterson New Jersey 
1 752,025 Miami Florida
2 415,412 St. Petersburg Florida
3 369,151 Orlando Florida
4 276,003 Palm Beach Florida
5 223,686 Venice Florida
6 162,964 St. Augustine Florida
7 65,209 Pensacola-Tallahassee Florida
1 797,898 Cleveland Ohio
2 498,493 Cincinnati Ohio
3 306,532 Toledo Ohio
4 252,103 Columbus Ohio
5 233,592 Youngstown Ohio
6 40,001 Steubenville Ohio
1 1,286,985 Detroit Michigan 
2 230,981 Lansing Michigan 
3 162,670 Grand Rapids Michigan 
4 136,392 Saginaw Michigan 
5 109,348 Kalamazoo Michigan 
6 70,327 Gaylord Michigan 
7 67,400 Marquette Michigan 
1 674,736 Milwaukee Wisconsin 
2 369,566 Green Bay Wisconsin 
3 272,787 Madison Wisconsin 
4 206,191 La Crosse Wisconsin 
5 81,885 Superior Wisconsin 
1 668,231 Hartford Connecticut 
2 460,298 Bridgeport Connecticut 
3 229,463 Norwich Connecticut 
1 646,313 St. Paul and Minneapolis Minnesota 
2 144,036 St. Cloud Minnesota 
3 131,280 Winona Minnesota 
4 68,087 New Ulm Minnesota 
5 68,037 Duluth Minnesota 
6 35,780 Crookston Minnesota 
1 551,721 Phoenix Arizona
2 356,402 Tucson Arizona
1 555,750 St. Louis Missouri 
2 130,465 Kansas City-St. Joseph Missouri 
3 85,150 Jefferson City Missouri 
4 64,216 Springfield-Cape Girardeau Missouri 
1 490,898 New Orleans Louisiana - 2005 totals
2 317,226 Lafayette Louisiana - 2005 totals
3 212,224 Baton Rouge Louisiana - 2005 totals
4 120,671 Houma-Thibodaux Louisiana - 2005 totals
5 77,934 Lake Charles Louisiana - 2005 totals
6 48,050 Alexandria Louisiana - 2005 totals
7 40,155 Shreveport Louisiana - 2005 totals
1 232,273 Indianapolis Indiana 
2 185,550 Gary Indiana 
3 156,509 Ft. Wayne/South Bend Indiana 
4 105,196 Lafayette Indiana 
5 87,821 Evansville Indiana 
1 570,800 Seattle Washington State 
2 97,665 Spokane Washington State 
3 77,149 Yakima Washington State 
1 384,611 Denver Colorado
2 166,602 Colorado Springs Colorado
3 115,000 Pueblo Colorado
1 539,953 Las Vegas Nevada 
2 121,347 Reno Nevada 
1 640,224 Providence Rhode Island 
1 400,539 Arlington Virginia 
2 219,860 Richmond Virginia 
1 575,824 District of Columbia (D.C.) Washington
1 517,679 Baltimore Maryland
1 210,173 Dubuque Iowa
2 105,650 Davenport Iowa
3 91,347 Des Moines Iowa
4 87,528 Sious City Iowa
1 302,455 Santa Fe New Mexico 
2 132,646 Las Cruces New Mexico 
3 59,348 Gallup New Mexico 
1 368,100 Atlanta Georgia 
2 73,649 Savannah Georgia 
1 396,523 Portland Oregon 
2 35,647 Baker Oregon 
1 196,391 Kansas City Kansas
2 120,527 Wichita Kansas
3 46,316 Salina Kansas
4 43,682 Dodge City Kansas
1 196,858 Louisville Kentucky
2 89,755 Covington Kentucky
3 48,070 Lexington Kentucky
4 52,379 Owensboro Kentucky
1 225,936 Omaha Nebraska 
2 93,988 Lincoln Nebraska 
3 55,884 Grand Island Nebraska 
1 186,307 Raleigh North Carolina 
2 150,431 Charlotte North Carolina 
1 314,471 Manchester New Hampshire 
1 230,000 Wilmington Delaware
1 200,000 Salt Lake City Utah 
1 193,228 Portland Maine
1 69,400 Nashville Tennessee 
2 67,342 Memphis Tennessee 
3 53,942 Knoxville Tennessee 
1 105,416 Oklahoma City Oklahoma 
2 44,462 Tulsa Oklahoma 
1 157,450 Charleston South Carolina 
1 128,706 Sious Falls South Dakota 
2 25,729 Rapid City South Dakota 
1 86,505 Birmingham Alabama 
2 67,434 Mobile Alabama 
1 148,100 Boise Idaho 
1 82,891 Fargo North Dakota 
2 67,898 Bismark North Dakota 
1 143,240 Honolulu Hawaii 
1 118,000 Burlington Vermont
1 67,244 Biloxi Mississippi 
2 50,698 Jackson Mississippi 
1 58,780 Helena Montana 
2 51,629 Great Falls-Billings Montana 
1 107,524 Little Rock Arkansas
1 82,749 Wheeling-Charleston West Virginia 
1 32,170 Anchorage Alaska
2 18,000 Fairbanks Alaska
3 5,473 Juneau Alaska
1 49,121 Cheyenne Wyoming  

 

The 176 most populated metropolitan areas

Ranking
Number of Catholics
Metropolitan area Percentage of Catholics per Metropolitan population
1 4,448,763
Los Angeles, California
40.3%
2 2,542,432
New York, New York 
45.0%
3 2,348,000
Chicago, Illinois 
39.0%
4 1,845,846
Boston, Massachusetts 
46.4%
5 1,556,575
Brooklyn, New York 
33.0%
6 1,495,030
Galveston-Houston, Texas 
28.0%
7 1,462,388
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 
37.6%
8 1,431,774
Rockville Centre, New York 
43.0%
9 1,319,558
Newark, New Jersey 
46.5%
10 1,286,985
Detroit, Michigan 
28.9%
11 1,146,960
San Bernardino, California
30.0%
12 1,131,464
Orange, California
39.0%
13 955,298
Dallas, Texas 
27.5%
14 950,743
San Diego, California
30.6%
15 943,611
Brownsville, Texas 
85.0%
16 797,964
Trenton, New Jersey 
39.8%
17 797,898
Cleveland, Ohio
28.0%
18 781,811
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania 
39.9%
19 752,025
Miami, Florida
18.0%
20 734,616
Springfield, Massachusetts 
28.0%
21 694,992
Buffalo, New York 
44.2%
22 674,736
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 
13.1%
23 673,526
San Antonio, Texas 
32.5%
24 668,231
Hartford, Connecticut 
35.0%
25 656,035
El Paso, Texas 
80.8%
26 655,051
Joliet, Illinois 
36.0%
27 650,000
San Jose, California
38.6%
28 646,313
St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota 
21.5%
29 640,224
Providence, Rhode Island 
59.2%
30 603,214
Metuchen, New Jersey 
42.0%
31 581,000
Fresno, California
23.0%
32 575,824
District of Columbia (D.C.), Washington
21.9%
33 570,800
Seattle, Washington State 
11.7%
34 555,750
St. Louis, Missouri 
26.2%
35 551,721
Phoenix, Arizona
13.1%
36 541,321
Sacramento, California
16.0%
37 539,953
Las Vegas, Nevada 
31.0%
38 517,679
Baltimore, Maryland
16.9%
39 500,000
Austin, Texas 
21.6%
40 498,493
Cincinnati, Ohio
16.8%
41 490,898
New Orleans, Louisiana - 2005 totals
36.0%
42 468,718
Oakland, California
10.4%
43 460,298
Bridgeport, Connecticut 
50.9%
44 459,118
Camden, New Jersey 
34.0%
45 450,000
Forth Worth, Texas 
15.3%
46 431,202
Rockford, Illinois 
31.1%
47 425,411
Paterson, New Jersey 
37.2%
48 420,397
San Francisco, California
24.8%
49 415,412
St. Petersburg, Florida
15.0%
50 400,539
Arlington, Virginia 
15.1%
51 400,000
Albany, New York 
30.7%
52 396,523
Portland, Oregon 
12.8%
53 388,878
Corpus Christi, Texas 
70.0%
54 384,611
Denver, Colorado
12.7%
55 369,566
Green Bay, Wisconsin 
37.0%
56 369,151
Orlando, Florida
9.8%
57 368,100
Atlanta, Georgia 
6.3%
58 356,402
Tucson, Arizona
23.0%
59 348,119
Scranton, Pennsylvania 
33.3%
60 347,385
Fall River, Massachusetts 
41.7%
61 345,736
Syracuse, New York 
29.4%
62 341,772
Rochester, New York 
22.7%
63 317,226
Lafayette, Louisiana - 2005 totals
54.2%
64 314,471
Manchester, New Hampshire 
24.0%
65 308,369
Worcester, Massachusetts 
39.5%
66 306,532
Toledo, Ohio
21.0%
67 302,455
Santa Fe, New Mexico 
22.6%
68 276,003
Palm Beach, Florida
13.3%
69 275,129
Allentown, Pennsylvania 
23.6%
70 272,787
Madison, Wisconsin 
28.4%
71 252,103
Columbus, Ohio
10.2%
72 247,492
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 
12.2%
73 233,592
Youngstown, Ohio
19.1%
74 232,273
Indianapolis, Indiana 
9.6%
75 230,981
Lansing, Michigan 
12.8%
76 230,000
Wilmington, Delaware
18.3%
77 229,463
Norwich, Connecticut 
33.2%
78 229,141
Laredo, Texas 
66.1%
79 225,936
Omaha, Nebraska 
25.6%
80 225,575
Erie, Pennsylvania 
25.8%
81 223,686
Venice, Florida
12.2%
82 219,860
Richmond, Virginia 
4.3%
83 212,663
Stockton, California
16.8%
84 212,224
Baton Rouge, Louisiana - 2005 totals
23.3%
85 210,173
Dubuque, Iowa
22.6%
86 206,191
La Crosse, Wisconsin 
23.0%
87 200,000
Salt Lake City, Utah 
8.3%
88 196,858
Louisville, Kentucky
16.6%
89 196,391
Kansas City, Kansas
16.0%
90 195,200
Monterey, California
19.9%
91 193,228
Portland, Maine
15.1%
92 186,307
Raleigh, North Carolina 
4.4%
93 185,550
Gary, Indiana 
24.0%
94 174,008
Peoria, Illinois 
9.9%
95 170,486
Greensburg, Pennsylvania 
25.0%
96 166,602
Colorado Springs, Colorado
19.0%
97 162,964
St. Augustine, Florida
9.0%
98 162,670
Grand Rapids, Michigan 
12.6%
99 159,763
Santa Rosa, California
17.7%
100 158,741
Springfield, Illinois 
13.8%
101 157,450
Charleston, South Carolina 
3.7%
102 156,509
Ft. Wayne/South Bend, Indiana 
12.8%
103 150,431
Charlotte, North Carolina 
3.3%
104 148,100
Boise, Idaho 
10.4%
105 144,036
St. Cloud, Minnesota 
26.8%
106 143,240
Honolulu, Hawaii 
11.3%
107 136,392
Saginaw, Michigan 
21.5%
108 132,646
Las Cruces, New Mexico 
26.5%
109 131,280
Winona, Minnesota 
23.5%
110 130,465
Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri 
9.0%
111 128,706
Sious Falls, South Dakota 
24.8%
112 121,347
Reno, Nevada 
17.7%
113 120,671
Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana - 2005 totals
59.7%
114 120,527
Wichita, Kansas
12.6%
115 120,085
Ogdensburg, New York 
25.0%
116 118,000
Burlington, Vermont
19.0%
117 115,000
Pueblo, Colorado
18.5%
118 109,348
Kalamazoo, Michigan 
11.4%
119 107,524
Little Rock, Arkansas
3.9%
120 106,797
Victoria, Texas 
51.1%
121 105,650
Davenport, Iowa
14.1%
122 105,416
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 
5.5%
123 105,196
Lafayette, Indiana 
8.4%
124 103,694
Altoona-Johnstown, Pennsylvania 
16.1%
125 100,100
Belleville, Illinois 
12.0%
126 97,665
Spokane, Washington State 
13.6%
127 93,988
Lincoln, Nebraska 
16.4%
128 91,347
Des Moines, Iowa
12.0%
129 89,755
Covington, Kentucky
19.3%
130 87,821
Evansville, Indiana 
17.6%
131 87,528
Sious City, Iowa
18.5%
132 86,505
Birmingham, Alabama 
3.0%
133 85,150
Jefferson City, Missouri 
9.8%
134 84,780
Lubbock, Texas 
16.4%
135 82,891
Fargo, North Dakota 
22.0%
136 82,749
Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia 
4.6%
137 81,885
Superior, Wisconsin 
18.4%
138 80,281
Beaumont, Texas 
13.2%
139 77,934
Lake Charles, Louisiana - 2005 totals
28.0%
140 77,630
San Angelo, Texas 
12.1%
141 77,149
Yakima, Washington State 
13.0%
142 73,649
Savannah, Georgia 
2.8%
143 70,327
Gaylord, Michigan 
13.6%
144 69,400
Nashville, Tennessee 
3.1%
145 68,087
New Ulm, Minnesota 
24.1%
146 68,037
Duluth, Minnesota 
15.7%
147 67,898
Bismark, North Dakota 
24.2%
148 67,434
Mobile, Alabama 
4.0%
149 67,400
Marquette, Michigan 
19.2%
150 67,342
Memphis, Tennessee 
4.3%
151 67,244
Biloxi, Mississippi 
8.2%
152 65,209
Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida
4.9%
153 64,216
Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Missouri 
5.2%
154 61,390
Tyler, Texas 
3.3%
155 59,348
Gallup, New Mexico 
12.5%
156 58,780
Helena, Montana 
11.3%
157 55,884
Grand Island, Nebraska 
18.5%
158 53,942
Knoxville, Tennessee 
2.4%
159 52,379
Owensboro, Kentucky
6.4%
160 51,629
Great Falls-Billings, Montana 
13.2%
161 50,698
Jackson, Mississippi 
2.4%
162 49,121
Cheyenne, Wyoming  
9.7%
163 48,070
Lexington, Kentucky
30.0%
164 48,050
Alexandria, Louisiana - 2005 totals
12.3%
165 46,316
Salina, Kansas
14.7%
166 44,462
Tulsa, Oklahoma 
3.5%
167 43,682
Dodge City, Kansas
19.6%
168 40,293
Amarillo, Texas 
9.6%
169 40,155
Shreveport, Louisiana - 2005 totals
5.0%
170 40,001
Steubenville, Ohio
7.7%
171 35,780
Crookston, Minnesota 
14.2%
172 35,647
Baker, Oregon 
8.1%
173 32,170
Anchorage, Alaska
8.0%
174 25,729
Rapid City, South Dakota 
11.7%
175 18,000
Fairbanks, Alaska
11.2%
176 5,473
Juneau, Alaska
7.4%

Highest Percentage of Catholics per Metropolitan population

Ranking Highest Percentage of Catholics per Metropolitan population
Number of Catholics
Metropolitan area State
1
85.0%
943,611 Brownsville Texas 
2
80.8%
656,035 El Paso Texas 
3
70.0%
388,878 Corpus Christi Texas 
4
66.1%
229,141 Laredo Texas 
5
59.7%
120,671 Houma-Thibodaux Louisiana - 2005 totals
6
59.2%
640,224 Providence Rhode Island 
7
54.2%
317,226 Lafayette Louisiana - 2005 totals
8
51.1%
106,797 Victoria Texas 
9
50.9%
460,298 Bridgeport Connecticut 
10
46.5%
1,319,558 Newark New Jersey 
11
46.4%
1,845,846 Boston Massachusetts 
12
45.0%
2,542,432 New York New York 
13
44.2%
694,992 Buffalo New York 
14
43.0%
1,431,774 Rockville Centre New York 
15
42.0%
603,214 Metuchen New Jersey 
16
41.7
347,385 Fall River Massachusetts 
17
40.3
4,448,763 Los Angeles California
18
39.9
781,811 Pittsburg Pennsylvania 
19
39.8
797,964 Trenton New Jersey 
20
39.5
308,369 Worcester Massachusetts 
21
39.0
2,348,000 Chicago Illinois 
22
39.0
1,131,464 Orange California
23
38.6
650,000 San Jose California
24
37.6
1,462,388 Philadelphia Pennsylvania 
25
37.2
425,411 Paterson New Jersey 
26
37.0
369,566 Green Bay Wisconsin 
27
36.0
655,051 Joliet Illinois 
28
36.0
490,898 New Orleans Louisiana - 2005 totals
29
35.0
668,231 Hartford Connecticut 
30
34.0
459,118 Camden New Jersey 
31
33.3
348,119 Scranton Pennsylvania 
32
33.2
229,463 Norwich Connecticut 
33
33.0
1,556,575 Brooklyn New York 
34
32.5
673,526 San Antonio Texas 
35
31.1
431,202 Rockford Illinois 
36
31.0
539,953 Las Vegas Nevada 
37
30.7
400,000 Albany New York 
38
30.6
950,743 San Diego California
39
30.0
1,146,960 San Bernardino California
40
30.0
48,070 Lexington Kentucky
41
29.4
345,736 Syracuse New York 
42
28.9
1,286,985 Detroit Michigan 
43
28.4
272,787 Madison Wisconsin 
44
28.0
1,495,030 Galveston-Houston Texas 
45
28.0
797,898 Cleveland Ohio
46
28.0
734,616 Springfield Massachusetts 
47
28.0
77,934 Lake Charles Louisiana - 2005 totals
48
27.5
955,298 Dallas Texas 
49
26.8
144,036 St. Cloud Minnesota 
50
26.5
132,646 Las Cruces New Mexico 
51
26.2
555,750 St. Louis Missouri 
52
25.8
225,575 Erie Pennsylvania 
53
25.6
225,936 Omaha Nebraska 
54
25.0
170,486 Greensburg Pennsylvania 
55
25.0
120,085 Ogdensburg New York 
56
24.8
420,397 San Francisco California
57
24.8
128,706 Sious Falls South Dakota 
58
24.2
67,898 Bismark North Dakota 
59
24.1
68,087 New Ulm Minnesota 
60
24.0
314,471 Manchester New Hampshire 
61
24.0
185,550 Gary Indiana 
62
23.6
275,129 Allentown Pennsylvania 
63
23.5
131,280 Winona Minnesota 
64
23.3
212,224 Baton Rouge Louisiana - 2005 totals
65
23.0
581,000 Fresno California
66
23.0
356,402 Tucson Arizona
67
23.0
206,191 La Crosse Wisconsin 
68
22.7
341,772 Rochester New York 
69
22.6
302,455 Santa Fe New Mexico 
70
22.6
210,173 Dubuque Iowa
71
22.0
82,891 Fargo North Dakota 
72
21.9
575,824 District of Columbia (D.C.) Washington
73
21.6
500,000 Austin Texas 
74
21.5
646,313 St. Paul and Minneapolis Minnesota 
75
21.5
136,392 Saginaw Michigan 
76
21.0
306,532 Toledo Ohio
77
19.9
195,200 Monterey California
78
19.6
43,682 Dodge City Kansas
79
19.3
89,755 Covington Kentucky
80
19.2
67,400 Marquette Michigan 
81
19.1
233,592 Youngstown Ohio
82
19.0
166,602 Colorado Springs Colorado
83
19.0
118,000 Burlington Vermont
84
18.5
115,000 Pueblo Colorado
85
18.5
87,528 Sious City Iowa
86
18.5
55,884 Grand Island Nebraska 
87
18.4
81,885 Superior Wisconsin 
88
18.3
230,000 Wilmington Delaware
89
18.0
752,025 Miami Florida
90
17.7
159,763 Santa Rosa California
91
17.7
121,347 Reno Nevada 
92
17.6
87,821 Evansville Indiana 
93
16.9
517,679 Baltimore Maryland
94
16.8
498,493 Cincinnati Ohio
95
16.8
212,663 Stockton California
96
16.6
196,858 Louisville Kentucky
97
16.4
93,988 Lincoln Nebraska 
98
16.4
84,780 Lubbock Texas 
99
16.1
103,694 Altoona-Johnstown Pennsylvania 
100
16.0
541,321 Sacramento California
101
16.0
196,391 Kansas City Kansas
102
15.7
68,037 Duluth Minnesota 
103
15.3
450,000 Forth Worth Texas 
104
15.1
400,539 Arlington Virginia 
105
15.1
193,228 Portland Maine
106
15.0
415,412 St. Petersburg Florida
107
14.7
46,316 Salina Kansas
108
14.2
35,780 Crookston Minnesota 
109
14.1
105,650 Davenport Iowa
110
13.8
158,741 Springfield Illinois 
111
13.6
97,665 Spokane Washington State 
112
13.6
70,327 Gaylord Michigan 
113
13.3
276,003 Palm Beach Florida
114
13.2
80,281 Beaumont Texas 
115
13.2
51,629 Great Falls-Billings Montana 
116
13.1
674,736 Milwaukee Wisconsin 
117
13.1
551,721 Phoenix Arizona
118
13.0
77,149 Yakima Washington State 
119
12.8
396,523 Portland Oregon 
120
12.8
230,981 Lansing Michigan 
121
12.8
156,509 Ft. Wayne/South Bend Indiana 
122
12.7
384,611 Denver Colorado
123
12.6
162,670 Grand Rapids Michigan 
124
12.6
120,527 Wichita Kansas
125
12.5
59,348 Gallup New Mexico 
126
12.3
48,050 Alexandria Louisiana - 2005 totals
127
12.2
247,492 Harrisburg Pennsylvania 
128
12.2
223,686 Venice Florida
129
12.1
77,630 San Angelo Texas 
130
12.0
100,100 Belleville Illinois 
131
12.0
91,347 Des Moines Iowa
132
11.7
570,800 Seattle Washington State 
133
11.7
25,729 Rapid City South Dakota 
134
11.4
109,348 Kalamazoo Michigan 
135
11.3
143,240 Honolulu Hawaii 
136
11.3
58,780 Helena Montana 
137
11.2
18,000 Fairbanks Alaska
138
10.4
468,718 Oakland California
139
10.4
148,100 Boise Idaho 
140
10.2
252,103 Columbus Ohio
141
9.9
174,008 Peoria Illinois 
142
9.8
369,151 Orlando Florida
143
9.8
85,150 Jefferson City Missouri 
144
9.7
49,121 Cheyenne Wyoming  
145
9.6
232,273 Indianapolis Indiana 
146
9.6
40,293 Amarillo Texas 
147
9.0
162,964 St. Augustine Florida
148
9.0
130,465 Kansas City-St. Joseph Missouri 
149
8.4
105,196 Lafayette Indiana 
150
8.3
200,000 Salt Lake City Utah 
151
8.2
67,244 Biloxi Mississippi 
152
8.1
35,647 Baker Oregon 
153
8.0
32,170 Anchorage Alaska
154
7.7
40,001 Steubenville Ohio
155
7.4
5,473 Juneau Alaska
156
6.4
52,379 Owensboro Kentucky
157
6.3
368,100 Atlanta Georgia 
158
5.5
105,416 Oklahoma City Oklahoma 
159
5.2
64,216 Springfield-Cape Girardeau Missouri 
160
5.0
40,155 Shreveport Louisiana - 2005 totals
161
4.9
65,209 Pensacola-Tallahassee Florida
162
4.6
82,749 Wheeling-Charleston West Virginia 
163
4.4
186,307 Raleigh North Carolina 
164
4.3
219,860 Richmond Virginia 
165
4.3
67,342 Memphis Tennessee 
166
4.0
67,434 Mobile Alabama 
167
3.9
107,524 Little Rock Arkansas
168
3.7
157,450 Charleston South Carolina 
169
3.5
44,462 Tulsa Oklahoma 
170
3.3
150,431 Charlotte North Carolina 
171
3.3
61,390 Tyler Texas 
172
3.1
69,400 Nashville Tennessee 
173
3.0
86,505 Birmingham Alabama 
174
2.8
73,649 Savannah Georgia 
175
2.4
53,942 Knoxville Tennessee 
176
2.4
50,698 Jackson Mississippi 



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