The French Catholic Church has introduced a new version of the Lord's Prayer in an effort to clear a misunderstanding among some parishioners that God has a direct hand in tempting people to commit sins.
For decades, French Catholics have been praying "Ne nous soumets pas a la tentation" (Do not submit us to temptation), but on Dec. 3, the first Sunday in Advent, the priests began asking the worshippers to pray "Ne nous laisse pas entrer en tentation" (Do not let us enter into temptation).
The new prayer shifts the emphasis of sin more onto the sinner instead of God. Theologians have been debating the issue for over a decade, with some insisting that it is preposterous to suggest that God could do the devil's work. Others have even argued that the idea was downright blasphemous.
According to The Telegraph, the current ambiguous translation was introduced in 1966 after the reformist Second Vatican Council paved the way for the use of the vernacular instead of Latin in Catholic masses across the world.
The new translation was not supposed to be adopted in the Roman Missel until 2019, but French priests who were tired of waiting for its release took the liberty to introduce it a year early.
The Telegraph reported back in 2013, that the correction to the prayer was made following a 17-year debate between theologians and writers.
The change was also reportedly incorporated into a new French translation of the Bible validated by the Vatican.
Monsignor Guy de Kerimel, the French Catholic Church's chief liturgist, maintained that the translation itself was not wrong, but the interpretation was ambiguous.
The new version has been adopted by both Catholics and Protestants, but not everyone was happy about the change.
The national evangelicals of France (CNEF) has acknowledged that the new version better avoids the idea that God "is somehow responsible for temptation but it waters down God's sovereignty."
Traditionalist French Catholic priest Guillaume de Tanoüarn also complained about the new translation, saying "faith is a struggle" and it does not spring from "a world of metaphysical teddy bears."
Raphaël Enthoven, a high-profile French philosopher, surmised that the French Church's decision to omit the word "soumission" (submission) was an attempt to avoid any comparisons with Islam, which means submission.
However, French bishops' spokesman Monseigneur Olivier Ribadeau Dumas dismissed the assertion as "sad and ridiculous," prompting Enthoven to issue an apology and withdraw the claim.
Kerimel noted that "[t]here's going to be some mumbling for a while" as the parishioners adjust to the new words.