Pope Francis Addresses Ethical Challenges of Artificial Intelligence in World Day of Peace Message
Image Source: Dicastery For Promoting Integral Human Development
On January 1, 2024, Pope Francis released a message for the 57th World Day of Peace. The theme of this year's message was “Artificial Intelligence and Peace.”
In his Message, Pope Francis reflected on the ways in which science and technology, which are
“brilliant products” of human intelligence's creative potential, have led to the betterment of humanity and the transformation of the world. At the same time, he warned, the advances, particularly those in the digital sphere, also offer “serious implications for the pursuit of justice and harmony among peoples.”
Pope Francis urged the international community to consider the consequences of Artificial Intelligence on individual lives and societies, as well as on international stability and peace. He emphasized the need to establish or strengthen bodies to examine the ethical issues in this field, and also to protect the rights of those who employ forms of artificial intelligence or are affected by them, in order to ensure that technological developments lead to an improvement in the quality of life of all humanity.
“Artificial intelligence ought to be understood as a galaxy of different realities. We cannot presume a priori that its development will make a beneficial contribution to the future of humanity and to peace among peoples. That positive outcome will only be achieved if we show ourselves capable of acting responsibly and respect such fundamental human values as 'inclusion, transparency, security, equity, privacy, and reliability.”
–Pope Francis, Message of the Holy Father for the 57th World Day of Peace, January 1, 2024
Pope Francis Delivers Annual Address to Diplomatic Corps Accredited to the Holy See
Image source: Vatican Media
At the Vatican on January 8, 2024, Pope Francis delivered his annual “state of the world” address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See. The meeting served as an opportunity to exchange New Year's greetings and offer reflections on the state of international relations during the past year. Pope Francis began his address by thanking the diplomats for their efforts to foster good relations between the Holy See and their respective countries. He particularly acknowledged the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Oman and the presence of Oman's first Ambassador in the audience.
The Holy Father centered his reflection around the theme of peace, which he stated is primarily a gift from God. Yet, he said, “it is also a responsibility incumbent upon all of us,” especially at this moment when peace is increasingly threatened, weakened, and in part lost. He further emphasized the Holy See's responsibility within the international community to be a “prophetic voice and appeal to consciences.”
“How many lives could be saved with the resources that today are misdirected to weaponry? Would it not be better to invest those resources in the pursuit of genuine global security? The challenges of our time transcend borders, as we see from the variety of crises–of food, the environment, the economy and health care–that have marked the beginning of the century.”
–Pope Francis, Address to Members of the Diplomatic Corps Accredited to the Holy See, January 8, 2024
Holy See Statement on the Situation in the Middle East, Including the Palestinian Question
On January 24, 2024, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, addressed a statement to the quarterly Security Council Open Debate on “The Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question.”
Monsignor Giuseppe Quirighetti, Counsellor at the Holy See Mission, delivered the statement.
In the statement, Archbishop Caccia recalled Pope Francis’s recent renewed appeal for a ceasefire on every front, including Lebanon, which would allow space for dialogue, he said, in order to secure the release of hostages in Gaza and facilitate the distribution of humanitarian aid. He stated that any action taken in self-defense must be guided by the principles of distinction and proportionality, and must comply with international humanitarian law. With this in mind, he deplored attacks on hospitals, schools, and places of worship in Gaza.
Archbishop Caccia concluded the statement by highlighting that the most viable path toward lasting peace is the two-State solution with “internationally guaranteed special status for the City of Jerusalem.”
Christian Community Holds Prayer for Peace on 24 January
Photo courtesy of Maddalena Maltese
Article by Francesco Laureti
On January 24, 2024, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations participated in a meaningful hour of prayer at the Church of Our Savior in New York. The event was organized by the Focolare Movement, Community of Sant’Egidio, and Lamp Ministries. At the outset, the opening prayers and the reading from the Gospel, the Parable of the Good Samaritan, helped the assembly intensify the spirit of communion, invoke the gift of peace, and prepare to listen to intentions by leaders of Sister Churches and Catholic movements.
Job Opening: Expert Negotiator for Peace and Security Issues
Starting April 2024
The Expert Negotiator for Peace and Security Issues of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations works together with the Permanent Observer and the diplomatic staff of the Holy See. The Expert Negotiator attends meetings at the United Nations related to his or her portfolio of issues, writes reports on those meetings, participates in negotiations on relevant resolutions and documents, drafts and edits statements, and participates in the overall mission of the Holy See to the United Nations. Under the supervision of the Permanent Observer, the person reports to the diplomat in charge of covering the Security Council, the First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Committees of the General Assembly, the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, the Peacebuilding Commission as well as other associated UN Forums, Meetings, Conferences and Treaties to which the Holy See is a signatory.
The expectation would be that the hired candidate would begin by April 15, 2024.
Life of the Mission
Welcome, Spring Interns!
The Mission welcomed its Spring 2024 interns on January 8, 2024. This cohort, pictured below, will continue their work here until May 31, 2024.
First row/Seated (L to R): Matthew Matisz (USA/Brazil), Hazel Fernandez (Philippines), Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Jackalyn Ballard (USA), Augustine Preziosi (USA)
Second/Back row (L to R): James Basch (USA), Marcell Máttyus (Hungary), Francesco Laureti (Italy), Max Yun (Canada), Bernardo Cellini (Portugal/Italy)
Interested in joining the Mission as an intern? Fall 2024 internship applications will be open through April 2024.
Since 2015, the Holy See Mission has had 162 interns from 37 countries.
The internship program provides the opportunity for bright, Catholic, English-speaking college graduates or graduate students to gain experience assisting the Holy See in its multilateral work at the UN, seeking to bring the light of Catholic Social Teaching to the debates of the international community.
Our interns are integral to the work of the Holy See at the United Nations. They attend various UN meetings, conferences, and debates, and then prepare reports that, once reviewed, are sent to the Holy See’s central offices in the Vatican. Our interns also assist with the Mission’s conferences, receptions, and cultural events.
There are three internship cycles each year: Fall, Spring, and Summer, and eight internship positions are available per cycle. The Mission is currently accepting applications for the Fall 2024 session, which will run from September through December 2024.
This month, Mr. Jeremy Faust (below) celebrated his birthday. Ad multos annos!