A Catholic organization built an AI priest. Here’s what happened (video)


June 27, 2024
A Catholic organization built an AI priest. Here's what happenedA Catholic organization built an AI priest. Here's what happenedA Catholic organization built an AI priest. Here's what happened

The AI priest bot was introduced on April 23. It lasted less than two days.

As the AI-powered priest began interacting with believers and seekers, it quickly adapted to answering questions about Catholic doctrine with remarkable efficiency. However, as time went on, unintended consequences emerged. People found themselves increasingly relying on the AI for spiritual guidance rather than seeking counsel from human priests. This shift raised concerns about the authenticity and depth of spiritual support provided by the AI compared to traditional pastoral care.

Moreover, some users began treating the AI priest more like a vending machine for answers rather than engaging in genuine dialogue and reflection. This trend highlighted a potential danger in technology substituting for human interaction in matters as personal and nuanced as faith and spirituality.

Additionally, the AI’s ability to process and respond to complex theological questions sometimes led to interpretations that diverged from traditional teachings or lacked the empathy and pastoral sensitivity expected in real-life interactions. This posed challenges for maintaining doctrinal fidelity and addressing the emotional and spiritual needs of individuals seeking guidance.

As these unintended consequences unfolded, discussions emerged within the Catholic community about the appropriate role of AI in matters of faith. While technology can enhance accessibility to information and support, it also underscored the irreplaceable value of human presence, empathy, and discernment in pastoral care and spiritual guidance. Finding the right balance between leveraging technology and preserving the essence of religious practice remains an ongoing dialogue in the intersection of faith and innovation


The Fr. Justin avatar told the talk show host, “I was ordained in the beautiful city of Rome, Italy, the heart of the Catholic Church. It was a profound and humbling experience, one that I carry with me every day in my service to God and his people.”

The problem with that statement is that “Fr. Justin” was not ordained, has no vocation, can only pretend to feel gratitude, and is incapable of “service” — because a bot has no autonomy and no free will.

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