The Italian bishops conference announced Tuesday that changes to the Lord’s Prayer proposed by Pope Francis will take effect in Italy this November.
Last December, Pope Francis proposed changing the text of the Lord’s Prayer, or “Our Father,” saying the current translations are flawed because they suggest that God could be the source of temptation.
“This is not a good translation,” the pope said in an interview on Italian television, referring to the Italian text of the line: “Lead us not into temptation.”
A better rendering of the petition would be: “Do not let me fall into temptation,” Francis said.
“I am the one who falls, but God isn’t the one who throws me into temptation and then looks on to see how I fell. A father does not do this; a father helps us get up immediately,” he said.
The new Italian text of the prayer will no longer read, “lead us not into temptation,” but “do not abandon us into temptation,” the Italian bishops said.
The fourth century Latin Vulgate version of the Lord’s Prayer, which has been the point of reference for the Church’s translations into different local languages, reads “ne nos inducas in tentationem” or “lead us not into temptation.” The Latin text is attributed to Saint Jerome, who translated much of the Old Testament from Hebrew and the New Testament from Greek.
A new French version of the prayer no longer uses the words “ne nous soumets pas à la tentation,” but has replaced them with “ne nous laisse pas entrer en tentation” (do not let us enter into temptation).
“The fundamental idea is that God cannot lead us into temptation,” said the archbishop of Chieti, Bruno Forte, a theologian from the Italian bishops conference. “The expression must be understood in the correct way, also referred to by the Pope, that is, in the sense of ‘keeping us from doing evil,’ because God never abandons his own children, but always supports them with his infinite love.”
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