Friday, November 16, 2018


The IEC changes the Lord’s Prayer: “God does not lead us into temptation”

The new version is the result of many years of work. Already in 2000 the issue was discussed and Cardinals Biffi and Martini also agreed with the new translation

The IEC changes the Lord’s Prayer: “God does not lead us not into temptation
andrea tornielli
vatican city

The change had already been present in the version of the Bible for several years, but now the Italian bishops have finally approved it also for the missal: in the Italian version of the “Our Father” prayer, the words “do not lead us into temptation” will disappear and will be replaced by “do not abandon us to temptation”.  

Also in the “Gloria” recited at the beginning of Sunday Mass, the expression “peace on earth for people of good will”, is now replaced by “peace on earth to people, beloved by the Lord”.  

It was the extraordinary general meeting of the IEC that gave the green light to the new missal. “There are still small corrections and steps to be taken”, the new secretary of the Italian bishops, Stefano Russo explained. Then the “confirmatio” of the Holy See will be necessary and the new text will enter into common use after the publication of the third edition of the liturgical text: “I think and hope that 2019 will see the printing and release of the new missal in print”. For Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, President of the Episcopal Conference, “it is a step forward in the Council, not only a translation, but a deepening. It will help the communities, we hope so”.

A work that lasted years 
Last August 11, while meeting the young people at the Circus Maximus, Pope Francis said: “In the prayer of the Our Father there is a request: “Do not lead us into temptation”. This Italian translation was recently adjusted according to the precise translation of the original text, because it could sound equivocal. Can God the Father “lead” us into temptation? Can he deceive his children? Of course not. And for this reason, the real translation is: “Don’t abandon us to temptation”.

The new version is the result of many years of work and the text was approved, and specifically voted on, by the Italian bishops gathered in the general assembly. Now, with the approval sanctioned yesterday, that version also enters the missal. It is no small passage, because it introduces a change in the formula of prayer as it has been recited by generations of the faithful. In 2000, when this was discussed during a meeting of the Permanent Council of the IEC, Cardinals Giacomo Biffi and Carlo Maria Martini also agreed with the new translation. And Biffi recalled: “This is the meaning that Saint Ambrose also attributes to those words of the Our Father”.

This article was published in today’s edition of the daily newspaper La Stampa 


Dan said...

I'll be surprised if Francis and associates don't decide to tweak the term "Father" to make it less patriarchal.

John Nolan said...

Actually, the Italian version of a lot of the Mass texts is problematic, and have been for a long time. I can pick this up, and I don't even speak the language!

So one more idiosyncrasy isn't going to make much difference.

There was a bit of a kerfuffle two years ago when PF made some off-the-cuff (and profoundly ignorant) comments about the Pater Noster, but even he would not dare to alter the Latin version, and if he did, we would simply ignore it, just as we ignore, and rightly so, most of what proceeds from his mouth.

It is now a year and a half since I have had to endure a vernacular Mass in either form and in any language. I intend to keep it up. What a blessing to be able to say this!

Victor said...

After 2 thousand years of debate, the Church seems to be accepting the founder of Mormonism's view (Joseph Smith) that "εἰσενέγκῃς" does not mean "lead" as such. Looks like Jesus made a mistake saying "lead" because the evangelists writing in Greek would have certainly used a different word for it.

I guess Italian Catholics will no longer need God's grace to resist temptation, but can simply become Pelagians, resisting evil through their own human strength. After all Job, often a symbol for the Christ, must have been way off field when he said , "Is not the life of man upon earth a temptation?"

Looks like, for the Italian Church, God no longer wants Italians to pray to Him that they may not be led into temptation, but expect Him to grant it without their prayers.

Marc said...

This is comical. They're doing everything they can possibly do to show that their religion is a manmade fake, but people refuse to see the obvious.

rcg said...

I bet they don’t want Him casting them into Hell, either.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Seems like there are splitting hairs! Do not abandon us unto temptation? Would God do such a thing? Well, yes because the prayer implies it. Lead us not into temptation? I can't imagine why they insist on upsetting simple Catholics who simply won't say the new words or won't say anything at all--so much for actual participation.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Translations are very tricky and very nuanced.

Years ago I read about the simultaneous translators at the U.N. who listen with one ear and translate to a second language, all the while continuing to listen. It amazes me.

The Russian diplomat said, in Russian, "This will happen when a shrimp sings on a mountaintop!" meaning, of course, that it would not happen.

The translator rendered the phrase into English, "This will happen when pigs fly!"

Changes in translations are needed because languages change. Is "abandon" better than "lead?" Doesn't seem so to me, but then I am not fluent in Italian so I really can't say.

The French apparently are saying, "“ne nous laisse pas entrer en tentation” (“do not let us enter into temptation”) which makes sense to me.

Fr. Jonathan Morris - I don't know his qualifications - suggests "do not let us fall” into temptation as a better rendering of the Greek.

Who uses, "subject us not to the trial"? I know I have heard that more than a few times...

All serious translation IS about splitting hairs. Nuance, nuance, nuance is the name of the game.

Of course, Traduttori traditori - Translators Traitors...

Tony V said...

At NO Mass, I tend to say the responses etc in Latin anyway. Partly out of fidelity to the original text, but mostly because I like to embarrass the kids.

TJM said...

With the Church in Italy collapsing, this is like re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titantic. Tone deafness must be a serious afflication in liturgical and Church circles.

John Nolan said...


A modern Anglican version, occasionally used, has 'do not bring us to the time of trial' - visions of the Old Bailey!

Louis Bouyer recalls how all the French-speaking members of the International Theological Commission (including Yves Congar) protested vehemently and in writing at the wilful mistranslations and distortions in the 1974 French version of the liturgical books. The English-speaking world had to endure an inaccurate and theologically impoverished paraphrase for forty years.

A good example of deliberate mistranslation is the supposed comment of the Kaiser on the British Expeditionary force of 1914: a 'contemptible little army'. In German this would have been 'ein verächtliches kleines Heer'. The original was 'ein verächtlich kleines Heer (a contemptibly small army). Not the same thing at all.

In the 17th century Urban VIII (with the help of the Jesuits) rewrote most of the Office hymns to make them conform to 'classical' Latin. The originals have recently been restored. There have been several editions of the Vulgate, including the Nova Vulgata. So not all Latin texts can be regarded as definitive, although those of the Missale Romanum, Editio Typica Tertia (aka the OF) are the nearest to definitive that we can get.

Православный физик said...

This is flat out embarrassing....Who was it that lead Christ to the desert? ...God does not lead us to anything that would not lead us towards salvation....the Orthodox may have problems, but they are not liturgy or doctrine related. this is too much.