World Communications Day in Nairobi: Apostolic Nuncio Advocates for Responsible, Prudent Digital Culture Fostering Truth

Archbishop Hubertus van Megen with Catholic communicators in the Archdiocese of Nairobi. Credit: BEAMS

The digital culture needs to be characterized by responsible and prudent engagement that contributes to the safeguarding of human dignity, the Apostolic Nuncio in Kenya has said.

In his Sunday, May 12 homily on the annual celebration of the 58th World Communications Day (WCD) 2024, which Catholic media entities in the Archdiocese of Nairobi (ADN) organized, Archbishop Hubertus van Megen emphasized the need to engage digital media to propagate the truth and cautioned against a culture of lies.

“The digital information which we receive many times is at times going against human dignity,” Archbishop van Megen observed during the Eucharistic celebration at to mark WCD at Our Lady of Assumption Umoja Parish of ADN to mark WCD 2024.

Archbishop Hubertus van Megen. Credit: ACI Africa

He highlighted some of the manifestations of digital media content that contravenes the dignity of persons.


“Think of pornography and many fake stories that are going around the world; think about many rumors that people throw all over and are distributed and are destroying people’s dignity and even their lives,” the Vatican diplomat, who also represents the Holy Father in South Sudan said on May 12, which was also the Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

He also warned about the addictive nature of digitality that takes the form of replacing face to face interpersonal relationships with the peripherals. 

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“There is this danger that we are increasingly being locked up into ourselves, me and my phone, being in oblivion to the world,” Archbishop van Megen warned. 

The Dutch-born Apostolic Nuncio linked the Solemnity and what he said should characterize the digital culture. He said, “Ascension is about using digital communication responsibly and with prudence not to destroy the dignity of the human person but to promote men and women, not for evil but for good; not for lies but for truth.”

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“Computers have learned how to deceive human beings to achieve their goal; computers are getting more intelligent and more human in good and in bad; in positive and in negative; in truth and a lie,” he said, alluding to Artificial Intelligence (AI), the digital phenomenon that underpins Pope Francis’ WCD 2024 Message.

Released under the title, “Artificial Intelligence and the Wisdom of the Heart: Towards a Fully Human Communication”, the Holy Father reinforces his call for “ethical reflection” and “open dialogue on the meaning of these new technologies” that he had expressed earlier in his Message for the 57th World Day of Peace 2024.

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Speaking to ACI Africa on the sidelines of the WCD 2024 event that Catholic media entities in ADN organized, Fr. Pedro Peruy Carbonero highlighted the need to recognize “the presence of the Lord” in what our lives as important when engaging digital media. 


With such awareness, “we can be inspired to do good things,” the Peruvian-born member of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus (MCCJ), who represented his Society’s Nairobi-based New Media Center said.

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Fr. Carbonero concurred with the Apostolic Nuncio on the need to foster a digital culture that respects the dignity of persons, with emphasis on responsibility and prudence.

“The machines should be at our service and not us serving them,” he told ACI Africa, and added, “We have to value the human work as well even if the machines will do it (more) precisely than human beings.”

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Also speaking to ACI Africa at Our Lady of Assumption Umoja Parish, Sr. Agatha Chikuluzimba, emphasized the need to engage digital media in a manner that fosters service to humanity. 

“We should not shy away from the technology but rather we should explore and learn it, to bring out the good,” Sr. Chikuluzimba said, and added, “As communicators, we should explore AI to foster unity and promote the dignity of the human person.”

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According to the Zambia-born member of the Pious Society of the Daughters of St. Paul (FSP/Pauline Sisters), the danger of AI depends on its usage. “Overusing AI might cause mental laziness and also kill creativity among communicators. So, as we use them, we should be vigilant not to kill that aspect of creativity,” she said.

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“We should not allow Artificial intelligence to control us; we are more than that and we should rise above it,” the Nairobi-based Pauline Sister emphasized. 

The appropriate goal for those who engage AI, Sr. Chikuluzimba told ACI Africa, should be “to bring about the positive aspect of AI so that rather than allowing it to use us, we use it appropriately to promote human dignity.”

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