US priest says ‘no place for AI in the synodal process’

AI has no place

A priest in the US state of South Carolina has said “AI has no place in the synodal process,” responding to the Catholic Church in Asia’s use of artificial intelligence to create a document for use by the wider Church.

Fr Jeffrey Kirby, a pastor at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in South Carolina, told Fox News Digital that any development and/or use of AI “must defer always to the human person.

“Our greatest asset as a human family is our ability to form and build relationships,” said Fr Kirby.

According to Vatican News, synod organisers in Asia used AI to help draft a final document during the Asian synodal continental assembly in Thailand, held in February. The report added that the event was the first to incorporate digital technologies to gather input from participants.

The data was received from small groups that discussed their responses to questions posed in the working document and then submitted summaries using Google Forms. AI software then processed the data, with humans reviewing the generated data for any inaccuracies.

Fr Clarence Devadass, a Malaysian priest and a consultant to the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue, said the AI process was effective in sorting data and picking up on keywords, but human resources were needed to ensure accuracy.

AI has limited place in society

However, not all Catholic leaders are convinced about using AI in the Church.

“AI can have its limited place in society, but it must always be in service to human ingenuity and creativity. It cannot usurp a place that belongs to the human mind and heart,” Fr Kirby said.

“We can sometimes forget the ‘artificial’ in AI,” Kirby added.

“’Artificial’ is a far cry from what is natural and authentic. As human beings, we live in a world of relationships marked by love, hope, the giving of thanks and mutual accompaniment with others,” he also said.

Kirby continued, “The Bible teaches us that we are made in the image and likeness of God, not in the image of AI. We cannot allow AI to steal what is human.”

Fr Kirby said, “Synodality is about real human relationships and interactions. AI has no place in the synodal process. The use of AI in the synodal process is the very death of the authentic process itself.”


New York Post

Catholic News Agency

Vatican News

CathNews New Zealand


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , , , ,