This is a very dire statistic. As a religious brother it does not surprise me. This report does not even include how many religious communities have failed and how many members have lost their vocations or gone into the canonical wilderness to save their vocations.
As a brother who has been hounded as an evil man for years, simply because I chose to remain faithful to the Rule of St. Francis in the traditional manner, I know too that there is nearly no one out there who wants to help brothers or sisters, because we do not say mass for them. And when we ask for help, we are called “greedy” or “fake”.
The Faith has been reduced to a supermarket, and except for stop & shop visits for Eucharist, Confession, Marriage and Baptism, most “faithful” have little interest any more in religion.
Information has replaced truth, and being informed has replaced being holy.
And that explains the statistic above.
A religious in the Catholic Church is a man or woman who by vows professes a Rule approved by the Church. In the technical canonical sense a religious is one of these persons who lives in a community recognized by the Church. Saint Francis of Assisi lived as a religious for 20 years before his Order was approved canonically. For all those years he lived by private vows with the verbal approval or tacit approval of local bishops or the Pope, as I do.
If you care to help a religious brother like myself, consider a donation to the Monastery Fund, I have set up.