CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 11 August 2018

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Lord’s Prayer: Germans keep translation but Italians update

ROME (CNS): After special study, the German Bishops’ Conference decided on January 25 to stick with the traditional wording in the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father) while the Italian Bishops’ Conference chose amend the words of the prayer in their translation of the Roman Missal.
 
This follows the decision of the French bishops last December they would change the line, “Lead us not into temptation,” to the equivalent of “do not let us enter into temptation.”
 
French-speaking Catholics in Benin and Belgium have been using the new translation since Pentecost last June. The common Spanish translation is: “no nos dejes caer en la tentacion” or “do not let us fall into temptation.
 
The issue received wide attention after Pope Francis discussed the line, “And lead us not into temptation,” with Father Marco Pozza, a prison chaplain, on 6 December 2017 as part of a television series on the Lord’s Prayer.
 
The pope noted that the Italian and English translations of the Our Father can give believers the wrong impression that God can and does lead people into temptation. He told Father Pozza, “I’m the one who falls. But it’s not (God) who pushes me into temptation to see how I fall. No, a father does not do this. A father helps us up immediately.”
 
The pope said, “The one who leads us into temptation is Satan That’s Satan’s job.”
 
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in its discussion of the Lord’s Prayer, says, “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.’”
 
Although German bishops’ conference kept its translation unchanged, it added that it would like to see more done in offering the faithful a clear and fuller explanation and discussion of the prayer’s meaning.
 
However, when the Italian bishops’ conference adopted a new translation of the Bible in 2008, they chose “do not abandon us in temptation” for the Lord’s Prayer both in Matthew 6 and Luke 11. 
 
The Lectionary also contains the change and received Vatican approval.
 
The bishops’ conference has now scheduled an extraordinary assembly from November 12 to 14 to discuss and approve the third edition of the missal, which would use the changed wording of the Lord’s Prayer for Mass and other liturgical rites.
 
Giuseppe Cardinal Betori of Florence, a noted biblicist, said study of the prayer had begun in 1988. 
 
The problem, he told the newspaper, Avvenire, on 10 December 2017, was the Italian verb that had been used, indurre, “is not equivalent to the Latin ‘inducere’ or the Greek (term).”
 
The Latin and Greek terms suggest a form of concession—letting something enter, he said, while the Italian verb is coercive. 
 
Standard versions of the Lord’s Prayer are translated from the Latin, which was translated from the New Testament in Greek.
 
Both Cardinal Betori and the German bishops were pleased Pope Francis’ comments brought wider attention to the prayer and greater discussion of its meaning.

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