World Day of Peace 2024: Publication of Pope Francis’ Message

World Day of Peace 2024: Publication of Pope Francis’ Message

The Vatican has published Pope Francis’ Message for the 57th World Day of Peace, celebrated on January 1, 2024, with the theme “Artificial Intelligence and Peace.”

The Holy Father’s Message was released on December 14, at a conference given at the Holy See Press Office.

The Pope’s Message, divided into eight sections, examines the question of the progress of science and technology as a path to peace and reflects on the future of artificial intelligence (AI). 

The Pope also encourages that the ethical dimensions of AI, including issues of privacy, prejudice, and impact on human dignity, be addressed in the sphere of education and in the development of international law. 


The Holy Father further highlights some of the potential risks posed by AI, for example misinformation and social control, stressing the need for the regulation and monitoring of the development of AI technologies, such that they serve the human family and the protection of our common home.

If artificial intelligence were used to promote integral human development, it could introduce important innovations in agriculture, education and culture,” writes the Pope, adding that “the way we use it to include the least of our brothers and sisters, the vulnerable and those most in need, will be the true measure of our humanity “


Why is the Church interested in AI?

In a video about the World Day of Peace 2024 Message, the prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (DPIHD), Cardinal Michael Czerny, pointed out that “the Church is interested in anything that affects peace and anything that might promote peace. And in the case of artificial intelligences their use seems to be more powerful than our human ability to direct and manage them”.


Sister Alessandra Smerilli, secretary of DPIHD, also warned that “the Church is interested in everything human; everything that is human is of interest to the Church. And so, the Church cannot not be interested in artificial intelligence, because the development of technologies affects us and it is important for us to be part of this dialogue”.

In addition, Rev. Christian Barone, DPIHD theologian, explained that the IA “on the one hand it can be a helpful resource, for example in the area of education or agricultural technologies, such as crop monitoring. On the other hand, of course, the risks that they pose to us are at once vast and complex. Their means of data collection can definitely exacerbate certain social prejudices, acting as factors of both racial and cultural discrimination”.


Presentation of the Message

In the presentation of the Message for WDP 2024 intervened the prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Cardinal Michael Czerny, and professors: Fr. Riccardo Lufrani O.P., Barbara Caputo and Mathieu Guillermin.

Cardinal Michael Czerny explained that Pope Francis in this Message “implores not only the usual addressees – heads of state, political authorities, leaders in civil society – to exercise co-responsibility at this moment in history, but everyone else too” and so the Holy Father encouraged "don’t leave it to the owners and the developers. All must pay attention and choose well, if we are to hand down a better, more peaceful world to the generations to follow”.


01 January 2024