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