by Graham Pierrepoint
Of all the papal figureheads to have come and go over the years, Pope Francis is perhaps one of the most progressive, and with it one of the most controversial – though his moves to condemn child abuse within the Catholic Church and his advice that the Church should be more open-minded as to whom can get to heaven have been met with praise. He’s even allegedly made a trip out to the local opticians, apparently giving his official ‘route’ the slip – making him a breath of fresh air for many people, and something of a chain-breaker for Catholics worldwide. Recent proposals put forward by the Pope, however, could be set to be the most ground-breaking – and most controversial – yet.
The Lord’s Prayer is well-known worldwide and is delivered by a number of different churches and faiths – it’s recited at home and away – and its wording has stood largely unchanged across the ages as an appeal to God. Pope Francis has this week stated that the wording of the long-standing prayer should be amended slightly, and not for the reasons you may necessarily be expecting. The Pope’s stance emanates from what he feels to be a suggestion that God may be responsible for leading humans into temptation – whereas the pontiff has advised broadcasters in Italy that this certainly shouldn’t be the case, and it shouldn’t be construed as such.
▶ Pope Changes the Lord's Prayer
“It is not a good translation because it speaks of a God who induces temptation,” advised Pope Francis. The passage he of course refers to is ‘lead us not into temptation’ – and he continued to assert that a change to the translation must be forthcoming. “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.”
The Pope’s suggestion that the Lord’s Prayer should be amended in various translations has already been adapted in France – meaning that French Christians now approach God with ‘don’t let us fall into temptation’ instead of the implication that temptation is introduced at God’s hand. It’s an interesting move for the pontiff to make, particularly at this time of year – and it may well be one that is met with acclaim despite its epoch making nature!