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Annuario Pontificio

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The Holy See
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The Annuario Pontificio (Italian for Pontifical Yearbook) is the annual directory of the Holy See. It lists all the popes to date and all officials of the Holy See's departments. It also gives complete lists, with contact information, of the cardinals and Catholic bishops throughout the world, the dioceses (with statistics about each), the departments of the Roman Curia, the Holy See's diplomatic missions abroad, the embassies accredited to the Holy See, the headquarters of religious institutes (again with statistics on each), certain academic institutions, and other similar information. The index includes, along with all the names in the body of the book, those of all priests who have been granted the title of "Monsignor". As the title suggests, the red-covered yearbook, compiled by the Central Statistics Office of the Church and published by Libreria Editrice Vaticana, is mostly in Italian. The 2006 edition (ISBN 88-209-7806-7) has 2,480 pages and costs 60 euros.

A yearbook of the Catholic Church was published, with some interruptions, from 1716 to 1859 by the Cracas printing firm in Rome, under the title (in Italian) Information for the Year ... From 1851, a department of the Holy See began producing a different publication called (in Italian) Hierarchy of the Holy Catholic Apostolic Church Worldwide and in Every Rite, with historical notes, which took the title Annuario Pontificio in 1860, but ceased publication in 1870. This was the first yearbook published by the Holy See itself, but its compilation was entrusted to the newspaper Giornale di Roma. The publishers "Fratelli Monaldi" (Monaldi Brothers) began in 1872 to produce their own yearbook entitled (in Italian) The Catholic Hierarchy and the Papal Household for the Year ... with an appendix of other information concerning the Holy See.

The Tipografia Vaticana (Vatican Press) took this over in 1885, thus making it a semi-official publication. It actually bore the indication "official publication" from 1899 to 1904, but this ceased when, giving the word "official" a more restricted sense, the Acta Sanctae Sedis, forerunner of the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, was declared the only "official" publication of the Holy See. In 1912, it resumed the title Annuario Pontificio. From 1912 to 1924, it included not only lists of names, but also brief illustrative notes on departments of the Roman Curia and on certain posts within the papal court, a practice to which it returned in 1940.

For some years, beginning in 1898, the Maison de la Bonne Presse publishing house of Paris produced a similar yearbook in French called Annuaire Pontifical Catholique, not compiled by the Holy See. This contained much additional information, such as detailed historical articles on the Swiss Guards and the Papal Palace at the Vatican.

According to the Pontifical Yearbook of 2009, the number of Catholics in the world increased from 1,131 million to 1,147 million between 2006 and 2007, a growth of 1.4 percent.

References

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