The Catholic Church in Portugal consists of 20 dioceses (besides the Ordinariato Castrense – the Military Ordinariate of Portugal) and 4.378 parishes, according to the last official figures dated December 31st, 2014.

In a country where 77,03 % of the population states to be catholic (7.805.090 in a population of 10.131.683 inhabitants), the Church is served by 45 bishops, 16 of whom are emeritus (they are over 75 years old and left the responsibility of a diocese), 2.503 diocesan priests and 848 religious priests, besides 354 permanent deacons (who help the priests in some sacraments and some tasks).

The figures of 2014 also indicate that there were 417 seminarians in the 81 seminaries (diocesans or religious orders) spread over the country. 



The action of the Catholic Church in Portugal is for the most part on the sectors of education and assistance, managing 41 hospitals and 82 infirmaries or ambulatory care centers.

Besides orphanages (92), centers for elderly persons, chronical illness or disabled persons (1.017) and day nurseries (625), among others, the Catholic Church has also 328 mercy’s and 254 empires of the Holy Spirit, led by laic brotherhoods with the motto of the sharing of goods and the diffusion of the cult of the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity by a proper ceremonial with the prayer of the rosary, crowning mass and bodo, the sharing of bread. 


Education and training

Regarding education and training, on December 31st, 2014, the official statistics point to 1.619 establishments from pre-school, primary or high school to higher institutes and faculties.



Regarding the diffusion area, there are registered 17 catholic publishing houses and 194 newspapers, 5 of which are daily newspapers and 47 weekly, as well as 34 radio stations

As structure of the Catholic Church, the Portuguese Episcopal Conference is a coordination organ of all the bishops aiming at the sharing of experiences and concerns as well as the harmonization of pastoral efforts and action criteria.

In the present biennial (2014-2017), the Episcopal conference is presided by Mgr. Manuel Clemente, cardinal-patriarch of Lisbon, and the vice-president is Mgr. Antonio Marto, bishop of Leiria-Fatima. Fr. Manuel Barbosa is the secretary and the spokesperson of the Conference of Bishops.

Official figures on the Catholic Church of Portugal are available on Episcopal Conference.

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