Financial Times: The Franciscan monk helping the Vatican take on — and tame — AI

Financial Times: The Franciscan monk helping the Vatican take on — and tame — AI. “Over the past three years, [Paolo] Benanti has become the AI whisperer to the highest echelon of the Holy See. The monk, who completed part of his PhD in the ethics of human enhancement technologies at Georgetown University in the US, briefs the 85-year-old Pope and senior counsellors on the potential applications of AI, which he describes as a general-purpose technology ‘like steel or electrical power’, and how it will change the way in which we all live. He also plays the role of matchmaker between what Stephen Jay Gould famously described as the non-overlapping magisteria, leaders of faith on the one hand and technology on the other.”

Washington Post: Pope Francis calls access to accurate information on coronavirus vaccines ‘a human right’

Washington Post: Pope Francis calls access to accurate information on coronavirus vaccines ‘a human right’. ” Pope Francis denounced on Friday the ‘distortion of reality based on fear’ that has ripped across the world during the coronavirus pandemic, but he also called for compassion, urging journalists to help those misled by coronavirus-related misinformation and fake news to better understand the scientific facts.”

Reuters: Two close aides of Pope Francis test positive for COVID-19, Vatican says

Reuters: Two close aides of Pope Francis test positive for COVID-19, Vatican says. “The second and third ranking Vatican officials under Pope Francis have tested positive for COVID-19, the Vatican said on Tuesday. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who is secretary of state, had slight symptoms, and the deputy secretary of state, Archbishop Edgar Pena Parra, had no symptoms, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said.”

New York Times: Pope Francis Encourages Covid Vaccines in Media Campaign

New York Times: Pope Francis Encourages Covid Vaccines in Media Campaign. “Getting vaccinated against Covid-19 is ‘an act of love,’ Pope Francis says in a public service ad that will start circulating online and on television on Wednesday. Working with the Ad Council, a nonprofit group, in its first campaign to extend beyond the United States, the pope encourages people around the world to get inoculated.”

Pope Francis: A Crisis Reveals What Is in Our Hearts (New York Times)

New York Times: Pope Francis: A Crisis Reveals What Is in Our Hearts. “Sometimes, when you think globally, you can be paralyzed: There are so many places of apparently ceaseless conflict; there’s so much suffering and need. I find it helps to focus on concrete situations: You see faces looking for life and love in the reality of each person, of each people. You see hope written in the story of every nation, glorious because it’s a story of daily struggle, of lives broken in self-sacrifice. So rather than overwhelm you, it invites you to ponder and to respond with hope.”

Reuters: Pope starts fund to help poorer countries deal with coronavirus

Reuters: Pope starts fund to help poorer countries deal with coronavirus. “Pope Francis has started an emergency fund to help areas affected by the coronavirus in developing countries, the Vatican said on Monday. It said in a statement that the pope had designated $750,000 of funds at his disposal as an initial contribution. He has asked Church entities and dioceses to contribute as they can.”

The Guardian: Vatican’s Secret Archives no longer officially secret after renaming

The Guardian: Vatican’s Secret Archives no longer officially secret after renaming. “The Vatican said on Monday the new name would be the Vatican Apostolic Archives. This removes any potentially ‘negative nuances’ from the Latin word ‘secretum’, which the pope said in a decree was closer to ‘private’ or ‘reserved’ than ‘secret’ when the archives were first named in about 1610.”