Pope Francis Just Cannot Catch a Break

pope francis, pope, papacy, papal

pope francis, pope, papacy, papal

Even when Pope Francis agrees with the CCC he gets criticized. In case you haven’t heard there is a new  ‘Pope Francis controversy.’  The controversy has to do with the translation of the sixth petition of the Our Father – “Lead us not into temptation.”

Here’s the background.

Four years ago (2013) the French bishops made a request to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDWDS) for a new translation of the sixth petition of the Our Father. The reason for the request was that they believed the current translation did not adequately convey the correct meaning of the petition.  Instead of “Lead us not into temptation,” they wanted the sixth petition to say, “Do not let us fall into temptation.”  The CDWDS approved the new translation which was subsequently released by the French episcopal conference on Dec 3.

And here begins the controversy.

According to a Dec. 8 Catholic News Agency article, “In a video series for Italian television network TV2000, Pope Francis said that “lead us not into temptation” is a poorly translated line of the Our Father.

“This is not a good translation,” the Pope said in the video, published Dec. 6. “I am the one who falls, it’s not (God) who pushes me toward temptation to see how I fall. A father doesn’t do this, a father helps us to get up right away.”

And so the criticism began.

As might be expected, Novus Ordo Watch (NOW) was one of the first websites to chime in with the headline “Pope” Francis wants to change the “Our Father.”  The story’s lead said:

“Ladies and gentlemen, we can all breathe easier now: After 2,000 years of Catholics praying the Lord’s Prayer incorrectly, Mr. Jorge Bergoglio (aka “Pope Francis”) has now come to deliver Christendom from a frightening “mistranslation” of the words revealed directly by the Lord Jesus Christ: The line in the Our Father that says “And lead us not into temptation” is a thorn in the side of the Jesuit apostate, since it insinuates, so he claims, that God would ever tempt His own children to sin, which is not something a father would do.”

What the CCC Says

The complete lack of respect for the Holy Father shown by the writer is regrettable.  But so is the writer’s knowledge of Catholic doctrine. NOW might want to take a look at the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  They, and everyone else who is criticizing the Pope for his comment, might want to read the CCC.  They may be surprised to find out that the CCC actually supports what Pope Francis is saying.

2846 This petition goes to the root of the preceding one, for 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.” “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. We are engaged in the battle “between flesh and spirit”; this petition implores the Spirit of discernment and strength. [Italics added.]

Making sense of it all

When I read this in the CCC 24 years ago, my immediate reaction was “I knew it!” I’d always had a problem with that particular petition.  I wondered if perhaps there was a translation problem in taking the Our Father from Aramaic to Greek to Latin and then to English.  I could never understand why a God who so loved us that He would send His only Son to be so horribly put to death for us would ‘lead us into temptation.’

After I read this explanation in the CCC I actually changed the way I recited the Lord’s Prayer. To my way of thinking, asking God “do not let us yield to temptation,” just made sense.

St. James tells us, as referenced in the CCC, God “tempts no one.” (Jas. 1:13) Why then would God ever “lead us into temptation?”  Maybe the French are on to something!?

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23 thoughts on “Pope Francis Just Cannot Catch a Break”

  1. Again, in this instance, the bishop of Rome displays an ignorance of his position as a leader, the Vicar of Christ on Earth. It has nothing at all to do with ‘catching a break’ from anyone.
    This pope is either grossly without self discipline when it comes to public remarks or PF is deliberately trying to stir the pot to advance an agenda. This lack of self discipline is totally unacceptable for a man in his position and for a man of his age.
    He dosen’t like the translation of the Lord’s Prayer. Fine, deal with it Holy Father.
    Men far greater than you or me had no problem, whatsoever, with its style or its meaning. They had more serious issues to address.
    Nevertheless, when a pope remarks in public that it is a ‘poor translation’, his position within the Church implies, by definition, that the translation is unacceptable and should be changed. He was not merely giving ‘one man’s opinion’ of Mt-6 or Lk-11. Bet on it.
    To the author…our pope is a very clever man. Clever enough to use the words ‘coprophilia’ and ‘coprophagia’ during media interviews.
    Indeed, doesn’t that make one proud of the good bishop’s so sophisticated vocabulary? Like you and me, Francis gets the breaks he deserves. Nothing more, nothing less.

  2. Although both would probably disagree, one thing Pope Francis and President Trump have in common is a tendency to vocalize their thoughts before fully reflecting on the effects they might have on some not fully used to the nuances of their thinking. This seems one of the more minor pronouncements that should properly be left to theologians to speculate upon while enjoying a dry sherry at the end of a difficult day of deep thought.

  3. Our Father that reads “And lead us not into temptation” there are some people running around claiming the Latin is a faulty translation of the Greek.
    Those claiming this are arguing ex ignorantia. I would challenge the Greek credentials of anyone making this claim.
    The Greek has:
    καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἠμᾶς είς πειρασμόν.
    Et ne nos inducas in tentationem.

    The word εἰσενέγκῃς, “Lead us” from (εἰσενεγκεῖν to lead) is subjunctive Aorist. μὴ is an adverb meaning “not” just like “ne” in Latin. When used with the subjunctive/optative in Greek, it means do not, just like ne + subjunctive in Latin, constituting an indirect negative command/request.
    So, the ORIGINAL GREEK is saying “Lead us not into temptation”, EXACTLY AS THE LATIN DOES.

    The Greek is literally rendering an Aramaic idiom. So it does in fact mean “so that we do not fall into temptation,” as the Fathers and doctors, catechisms, etc. explain it. So the Holy Father is not wrong here in regard to what this petition actually means.
    Still, there is no good reason to change the translation when the Catechisms already explain it well. Now, some, like the Spanish and French have opted for a translation that explains rather than is the actual wording. All fine and good. But it is not NECESSARY to make this change. The CCC explains it very clearly already.Our Father that reads “And lead us not into temptation” there are some people running around claiming the Latin is a faulty translation of the Greek.
    Those claiming this are arguing ex ignorantia. I would challenge the Greek credentials of anyone making this claim.
    The Greek has:
    καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἠμᾶς είς πειρασμόν.
    Et ne nos inducas in tentationem.

    The word εἰσενέγκῃς, “Lead us” from (εἰσενεγκεῖν to lead) is subjunctive Aorist. μὴ is an adverb meaning “not” just like “ne” in Latin. When used with the subjunctive/optative in Greek, it means do not, just like ne + subjunctive in Latin, constituting an indirect negative command/request.
    So, the ORIGINAL GREEK is saying “Lead us not into temptation”, EXACTLY AS THE LATIN DOES.

    The Greek is literally rendering an Aramaic idiom. So it does in fact mean “so that we do not fall into temptation,” as the Fathers and doctors, catechisms, etc. explain it. So the Holy Father is not wrong here in regard to what this petition actually means.
    Still, there is no good reason to change the translation when the Catechisms already explain it well. Now, some, like the Spanish and French have opted for a translation that explains rather than is the actual wording. All fine and good. But it is not NECESSARY to make this change. The CCC explains it very clearly already.

    Credit goes to Ryan Grant Post on FB

  4. He is like the Hamburger Chain that wants it his way and not God’s way. You reap what you sow and he is reaping what he wants. Why feel sorry he is happy causing confusion. Look at how much his audiences have dropped. The faithful are speaking with their feet.

  5. The Pope’s criticism of the Italian (and by implication, English) translations of the sixth petition (both of which are valid and have received appropriate approvals by the Church) is in essence a criticism of the official Latin text of the Church used since it was translated from the Greek by St. Jerome in the 400s.

    The English translation is actually true to the official Vulgate Latin. The French and Spanish translations are not true to the Vulgate Latin text. Instead, they go back to the Greek and translate it differently than the Vulgate text. There is no way to square the French and Spanish translations with the Latin.

    Thus, the implication of Pope Francis’ statement is that the Vulgate translates the original Greek not just poorly from a literal point of view, but “incorrectly” from a theological point of view. That would mean the official text of Sacred Scripture used by the Church from the time of St. Jerome is “wrong” in the eyes of the Pope.

  6. Instead of wordy changes, how about ‘lead us from temptation’ instead? The recent re-interpretation of the Liturgy actually is correct, and although was met as controversial, got the masses to think about what was being said and why. A teaching moment as this is.

  7. Considering this papacy and its refusal to clarify its own apostolic letters and exhortations and its declarations on capital punishment, the reception of the Holy Eucharist, “irregular unions”, and its insistence on mercy to the exclusion of justice….I believe it is the Catholic Church that cannot catch a break.

  8. Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit to the desert where he was tempted for forty days. God does test.
    Jesus also in admonishing the the apostles when they were sleeping, could you not stay with me a hour? He continued you should pray that you not be tested.
    The Lord left the Tree of Life with the command do not eat of the fruit…yet the Tree of Life was still avail to them…that was a test, too…a test of obedience and a test of love. God does test.
    Moses and God tested Pharaoh even though the Lord already knew his heart would harden. God does test.
    It is said the Angels were tested with adoration and knowledge that God would be Man and required of them homage. God does test.
    The bible speak of testing the saints in a crucible of fire…
    I interpreted lead us not into temptation as praying not to be tested as arrogant but encounter God’s mercy as a child.

    1. Correct. I will go on praying the authentic version in conformity to Scripture, Tradition and the Saints of all time, no matter what Bergoglio and his popalators say or do.

  9. ‘They, and everyone else who is criticizing the Pope for his comment, might want to read the CCC’

    Unlikely, Mr Van Son. It’s not in the nature of most of them. After all, they might discover they were wrong.

    1. I had always thought about that very same petition. It didn’t make sense for me to be asking God not to lead us into temptation. This is different from God letting the evil one temp us to pass a test. God does no lead us into temptation. The word “Lead” is problematic here. My mother tongue is Spanish. In Spanish this very same petition is different than the English translation. For in Spanish it says “no nos dejes caer en la tentacion”. This translates “Do not let us fall into temptation”. Here we ask God not to let us fall into temptation which is what God does for us, He protect us and so he does not lead us into temptation but does not let us fall into temptation. I am with Pope Francis, even though I think he should stay out of politics.

    2. Instead of rationalizing away the spiritual depths of the prayer as the neo-modernist Bergoglio does , read better your Scriptues and study some lives of the Saints and you might think otherwise. Just one example among many ‘Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.’ The Spirit specifically LED Jesus to be tempted by the devil, unless you want to interpret that as an Evil Spirit, not God himself. Praying God not to lead us into temptation is an act of humility by us who know that God can lead us into it, while confessing our weakness and absolute need for His grace if He does it anyway in order to test our love and loyalty, which are strengthened by overcoming temptations with God’s help. Do you really think that God’s illumination about this prayer started shining with the arrival of Bergoglio on the scene, while the Apostles, the Church Fathers, all previous saints and popes were in the dark about it? This is yet another significant sign of neo-modernism: the uncontrollable itch for novelty.

  10. it would be real easy for Francis to “catch a break.” He just has to stop speaking off the cuff and without careful nuancing. He has only himself to blame for unsettling not only journalists but a wide swathe of the Faithful. And the question of whether the present translation is correct, or whether something else is availbe that would be better, is not settled. Furthermore, nowhere even thought of are the pastoral implications of abandoning a translation so widely known even among nonbelievers.

    1. ‘Furthermore, nowhere even thought of are the pastoral implications of
      abandoning a translation so widely known even among nonbelievers.’

      Have you taken leave of your senses ?

    2. Or perhaps the, at best, intemperate animadversions concerning Francesco of so many of his online critics. Not to speak of outright duplicity, vilification, and in some cases, blatant defamation.

    3. No, sir, he has not. He has asked a reasonable question which you find unacceptable.
      Your response speaks volumes.

    4. Indeed, it does speak volumes, at least in comparison with what I am hearing from you good folk ; who evidently fancv yourselves as a ‘wide swathe of the faithful’, when in reality you, indeed, we, are but a small, totally spoiled fraction of the faithful.

      We are in the midst of the Great Persecution (albeit at the margins), where more Christians are being tortured and martyred than ever before in the Church’s history.

      Meanwhile, range01, Sir Louis and your coterie are bickering about the overtones of synonyms and vilifying Franco, sometimes in blatantly bad faith, as with the parent with perhaps children who are concerned about her(!), and who roundly denounced him as being pro abortion!

      Not only did he denounce it in the strongest terms, but he made the point to which you are all deaf, that abortion is just one part (albeit arguably paramount) of a culture that includes in it, at best an indifference to the extremities of poverty to which, with the church’s effective acquiescence at the top, the cruel neoliberal economics that has failed so dramatically – although the catastrophe has just started, and no-one yet wants to know – has led, consigning billions of the souls of people of all ages, so precious to God that He speaks of them as himself, other Christs, but egregiously so, to lives of misery and an early death.

      Now, where were we? Oh yes. About that little change of phraseology in the English-language version of the Our Father.

    5. Hmmmm, guess I touched a nerve. So be it.

      If you consider yourself “totally spoiled”, fine. But don’t speak for me, thank you very much.
      The bishop of Rome knows exactly what he is doing and knows exactly the response it will provoke.
      In the mean time, Holy Father, kindly leave the Lord’s Prayer as it is and let us move on to more pressing issues.

  11. If catechesis was taught vigorously and correctly, there would be no problem understanding what “lead us not into temptation” means. I would more than likely remain praying the traditional “Our Father” if the pope changed the words; unless maybe it was unanimously approved by the Magersterium of the entire Church body.

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