Skip to main contentAccessibility feedback
Background Image

Just “Justin” for Now

A Message from Christopher Check, President of Catholic Answers

“There are no bad things, only bad uses of things,” G.K. Chesterton reminds us. As a media apostolate, we feel very strongly about finding new ways to share the gospel—as our founder, Karl Keating, did many years ago when he started to put that wild new technology of the Internet to the service of Catholic truth.

Recently, my colleagues and I at Catholic Answers have received a good deal of helpful feedback concerning another new technology: our AI app, “Fr. Justin.” Prevalent among users’ comments is criticism of the representation of the AI character as a priest. We chose the character to convey a quality of knowledge and authority, and also as a sign of the respect that all of us at Catholic Answers hold for our clergy. Many people, however, have voiced concerns about this choice.

We hear these concerns; and we do not want the character to distract from the important purpose of the application, which is to provide sound answers to questions about the Catholic faith in an innovative way that makes good use of the benefits of “artificial intelligence.”

We have therefore decided to create, with all wary speed, a new lay character for the app. We hope to have this AI apologist up within a week or so. Until then, we have rendered “Fr. Justin” just “Justin.” We won’t say he’s been laicized, because he never was a real priest! He’ll be available to visitors to, thousands of whom have already used the app with great profit. Furthermore, with the help of user input, we will continue to refine and improve the app by identifying any deficiencies (we didn’t anticipate that someone might seek sacramental absolution from a computer graphic!), which we quickly correct.

I thank you for your prayers for Catholic Answers and for the good work of our staff.

Did you like this content? Please help keep us ad-free
Enjoying this content?  Please support our mission!