Pope approves changes to the Lord’s Prayer to clarify temptation reference

Pontiff agrees to rewording to remove implication God may lead people into temptation

Pope Francis at  St Peter’s Square in the Vatican on Wednesday. Photograph: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

Pope Francis at St Peter’s Square in the Vatican on Wednesday. Photograph: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

 

Pope Francis has approved changes to the wording of the Lord’s Prayer. Instead of saying “lead us not into temptation”, it will now say “do not let us fall into temptation”.

The changes to the prayer were made to remove the implication that God might lead people into temptation.

The new wording was approved by the general assembly of the Episcopal Conference of Italy last month. It will appear in the third edition of the Messale Romano, the liturgical book that contains the guiding texts for Mass in the Roman Catholic Church.

In 2017, the pope said he believed the wording should be altered.

“It is not a good translation because it speaks of a God who induces temptation,” he told Italy’s TV2000 channel.

Francis added: “I am the one who falls; it’s not him pushing me into temptation to then see how I have fallen.

“A father doesn’t do that, a father helps you to get up immediately. It’s Satan who leads us into temptation, that’s his department.”

According to the Bible, Jesus taught the prayer to his disciples when they asked him how they should pray. Christians all over the world have learned the prayer by heart.

Concerns

Some have expressed concern about the changes to the wording. Meredith Warren, lecturer in biblical and religious studies at the University of Sheffield, said: “This new version of the Lord’s Prayer tries to avoid implying that God has some hand in evil.

“But in doing so the pope not only overlooks the many biblical examples where God works with the devil to tempt his followers and even his own son – the new version actually goes against the plain meaning of the Greek of the gospel text.”

In 2017, Philip Lawler, the editor of Catholic World News, a conservative website, said the change was “very upsetting” because the prayer was so deeply ingrained.

“Pope Francis has made a habit of saying things that throw people into confusion, and this is one of them,” Mr Lawler told the New York Times. “It just makes you wonder, where does it stop, what’s up for grabs? It’s cumulative unease.”

Anglican worshippers can choose between traditional and contemporary versions of the prayer, but both include the words “lead us not into temptation”. – Guardian