Pope Francis: The Lord’s Prayer “Induces Temptation”
Pope Francis is continuing with his plan to revise the Lord’s Prayer. It was reported last month that the pope is expected to approve a change in the official translation of the Our Father, the famous biblical petition that has been recited by Christians for 2000 years.
The Italian Episcopal Conference [CEI] has submitted the proposed change to the Vatican for approval, changing the line “lead us not into temptation” to “abandon us not when in temptation,” reported the Italian newswire service Ansa and the U.K. Express.
It was in December 2017 that Francis first proposed that the Lord’s Prayer be changed, arguing that the translation used for centuries in many parts of the world, including the Italian and English versions, go against the teachings of the Church and Bible.
In the centuries-old recited prayer, the world’s Catholics call upon God to “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
Speaking to Italian broadcasters on December 7, 2017, Francis argued this was incorrect, saying, “It is not a good translation because it speaks of a God who induces temptation.”
“A father doesn’t do that, a father helps you to get up immediately,” Francis said in an interview over Italian television. “It’s Satan who leads us into temptation, that’s his department.”
So Christ taught us to invoke a God who leads us into temptation? To think that the Messiah’s instruction to mankind on how to pray—as penned by the Evangelists as the infallible Word of God and followed for 2000 years by all the Saints and members of Christ—is now incorrect!
The Faith Called into Question
To say that the proposed “reform” of the Our Father warrants respect is to say that Catholics for 2000 years have been misled by the Our Father. Moreover, it instigates doubts about the whole of revelation, i.e. the Bible and Sacred Tradition, and the centuries-old guidance of the Church. It appears that it is Pope Francis who is leading us into temptation.
Francis purports to criticize the English and Italian translations of the Our Father, when he knows full well that it is the original manuscript he is criticizing. The text from the Lord’s Prayer, as taken from the Latin Vulgate (which comes from the original Greek: καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν, ἀλλὰ ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ), reads: et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo, which translated is: “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:13).
Hence this is not a translation issue, but a scriptural issue. The English translations of the Our Father as recited today are correct, because they are taken from the Vulgate, which is the official version of Holy Scripture, the source from which all authentic translations must directly or indirectly be taken.
The proposed switch to “abandon us not when in temptation” suggests that it is alright to be around temptation as long as we’re not abandoned by God, which is contrary to God’s design in the Our Father. The idea is that we flee all occasion of sin and not go anywhere near temptation, i.e. that we not test ourselves against it, lest we dignify it and offend God and consequently lose the grace of being “delivered from evil.”
If God in His permissive will wishes to try us with temptation to test our valor, then such temptation is all gain and no loss, provided we turn away from it; but we of our own volition should never abide in its presence but should always beg God that He would “lead us not into temptation.” Francis’ proposed revision guts the Lord’s Prayer of this key essential element, thus opening the faithful up to danger.
His initiative indeed is uncalled for. Never in the 2000-year history of the Church has it occurred to any pope or saint that the Lord’s Prayer stood in need of change, so why is Francis calling into question something so central to the Faith—the “perfect prayer” given to us by Christ Himself on the Mount—and at a time when the Church is undergoing the worst debacle of its 2000-year history? What is needed today is that rock-solid stability of old to offset the new order of change that has misled the Church since Vatican II, so why is Francis leading us into the temptation of change?
It appears he is upset over the idea of being led away from temptation, since he is led by the temptation of globalism and change. The Bible threatens him to give up his change, so instead of humbly admitting that Scripture is correct he judges that it is “incorrect,” in the same way he has denied the miracle of the loaves and has judged that evangelization is “solemn nonsense.”
The Church’s mission is precisely to evangelize and lead us away from the temptation of this world that we may arrive at the shores of everlasting peace. God in His mercy wants us all to know that this world is not our common home, but rather a quagmire of temptation, and that our true home is in Heaven with God and the Saints who said the un-revised Our Father during their lives.
Therefore, as children of God who obey the Father’s commands, we take the Father’s hand and ask Him to lead us not into temptation, but away from all evil, because if we chase after temptation—especially the temptation to change the Bible and the doctrines of the Faith—God will let go of our hand, and in His permissive will He will allow us to fall, not only into temptation, but into the very fires of hell. And by the way, Papa, this condemnation is forever.
Christ warns of the dire consequences of changing but one word of Holy Scripture. He says to St. John in the Apocalypse: “If any man shall add to these things, God shall add unto him the plagues written in this book.” (Apoc. 22:18)
Let us therefore reverence the words of Christ in the Gospel, remembering that all Scripture is “inspired of God.” (2 Timothy 3:16) “Neither let us tempt Christ: as some of them tempted, and perished by the serpents.” (1 Cor. 10:9)