06 June 2019, The Tablet

'Lead us not into temptation' falls out of Lord's Prayer


Pope Francis believes 'lead us not into temptation' in the Our Father is not a good translation


'Lead us not into temptation' falls out of Lord's Prayer

Pope Francis blesses the torch of the Marcia Macerata Loreto during the weekly general audience
Photo: MASSIMILIANO MIGLIORATO/CPP/IPA MilestoneMedia/PA Images

Pope Francis has approved a revised translation of The Lord’s prayer which will no longer say “lead us not into temptation” but instead reads “do not let us fall/be abandoned to temptation”. 

It is part of a revised translation of the Roman Missal for Italy. The change to the The Lord's Prayer is a change that Francis has called for in the past.    

Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, the President of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, told Avvenire, the bishops' conference newspaper, that the Pope had signed off the liturgical changes, which also include a revision of the Gloria. The line “peace on earth to people of good will” is to be “peace on earth to people beloved by God.

During an Italian television interview in December 2017, the Pope said the line “lead us not into temptation” in the Our Father was “not a good translation”. He suggested “do not let us fall into temptation” as an alternative. 

Speaking to TV2000, a TV station owned by the Italian Bishops’ Conference he said: “I’m the one who falls. But it’s not (God) who pushes me into temptation to see how I fall. No, a father does not do this. A father helps us up immediately.”

The changes for the Italian church follow the French bishops who agreed a new version of the Our Father that reads “do not let us enter into temptation.” 

Francis is encouraging Catholics to reflect to reflect in greater depth on the Lord’s Prayer, which is said at every Mass. He has used a series of weekly general audiences this year to examine the Our Father line by line, in an attempt to tease out its spiritual significance. 

The Pope has also given greater freedom to bishops conferences to translate the liturgy into their local languages from the Latin original. On 3 September 2017 he issued “Magnum Principium,” a  legal ruling that shifted responsibility for translations to national and regional bishops bodies, and away from Rome. 

This, in theory, gives the green light to English speaking bishops to make changes to the Lord’s Prayer which brings them into unison with the Italian and French churches. An English translation of the Roman Missal was completed in 2010, although has faced heavy criticism and the Our Father contains the line “lead us not into temptation.”  

In 2008 the Italian bishops agreed a new translation of the Bible, and they chose “do not abandon us in temptation,” for the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 and Luke 11. They did not order the change in liturgical use at that stage, however.

 


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