CITY (CNS) -- The Italian and English translations of the "Our
Father" can give believers the wrong impression that God can and does lead
people into temptation, Pope Francis said.
Italian bishops' television channel, TV2000, has been broadcasting a series of
conversations between the pope and a Catholic prison chaplain looking at the
Lord's Prayer line by line.
episode broadcast Dec. 6 focused on the line, "Lead us not into
Father Marco Pozza told
the pope that friends have asked him, "Can God really lead us into
is not a good translation," the pope said.
standard versions of the prayer are translated from the Latin, which was
translated from the New Testament in Greek.
he said nothing about ordering a new translation, Pope Francis noted how the
French bishops had decided that beginning Dec. 3, the first Sunday of Advent, French Catholics
would change the line to the equivalent of "do not let us enter into
Catholics in Benin and Belgium began using the new translation at Pentecost
last June. The common Spanish translation already is "no nos dejes caer en
la tentacion" or "do not let us fall into temptation."
Italian bishops' conference in
2008 adopted a new translation of the Bible; for the Lord's Prayer both in Matthew 6 and
Luke 11, they chose "do not abandon us in temptation,"
although they did not order the change in liturgical use. The New American
Bible, revised edition, is the basis for the Lectionary used at
English-language Masses in the United States; the petition from the Lord's
Prayer in Matthew and Luke is translated as: "do not subject us to the
Francis told Father Pozza, "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."
one who leads us into temptation is Satan," the pope said. "That's
Catechism of the Catholic Church, in its discussion of the Lord's Prayer, says,
"our sins result from our consenting to temptation; we therefore ask our
Father not to 'lead' us into temptation. It is difficult to translate the Greek
verb used by a single English word: the Greek means both 'do not allow us to
enter into temptation' and 'do not let us yield to temptation.'"
to James 1:13, the
catechism says, "'God cannot be tempted by evil and he himself tempts no
one'; on the contrary, he wants to set us free from evil. We ask him not to
allow us to take the way that leads to sin."