Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has a piece in the Tidings congratulating himself on the number of baptisms performed this past year.
The 2008 edition of The Official Catholic Directory notes the 100,604 people baptized in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 2007 included 95,408 infant Baptisms, 3,511 minor age Baptisms, and 1,685 adult Baptisms. The number of Catholics reported for our Archdiocese is 4,176,296.
To help place this number of Baptisms in perspective, the same Official Catholic Directory reports that the second and third largest Archdioceses in the country had these totals last year:
—The Archdiocese of New York: a total Catholic population of 2,554,454, and 27,011 Baptisms.
—The Archdiocese of Chicago: a total Catholic population of 2,341,000, and 38,533 Baptisms.
An additional perspective: 100,604 Baptisms exceed the total Catholic population of some 50 Arch/Dioceses across the country. This number also exceeds the total Catholic population of every one of the Eastern Rite Catholic Dioceses in our country. Put another way, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in a sense baptized “a new Diocese of Catholics into the Church last year.”
Or, put another way, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has paid out $7,157 for every baby baptized last year in settlement of priestly abuse cases totaling around $720,000,000. Statistics can cut many ways Cardinal, and many of them are very unfriendly to you. Just thought I would mention it.
Sorry about that but somebody was gonna say it and I wanted to be first.