The Italian bishops' conference has decided to change the wording of the Lord's Prayer in the translation of the Roman Missal, following the example of French Catholics who decided to make the change in early December.
The French Catholic Church had decided to change the line, "Lead us not into temptation," to the equivalent of "do not let us enter into temptation."
The issue garnered attention after Pope Francis discussed the Italian and English translations of the line with Fr. Marco Pozza, a Catholic prison chaplain, on Dec. 6 as part of a television series on the Lord's Prayer.
The pope expressed concern that the Italian and English translations may give believers the wrong impression that God leads people into temptation.
"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 told Pozza. "The one who leads us into temptation is Satan. That's Satan's job," he added.
When the Italian bishops' conference adopted a new Bible translation in 2008, they decided to use "do not abandon us in temptation," for the Lord's Prayer found in Matthew 6 and Luke 11. The change was also adopted in the Lectionary with the approval of the Vatican.
According to Catholic News Service, the conference has called for a meeting on Nov. 12–14 to discuss and approve the missal, which would use the new translation of the Lord's Prayer for Mass and other liturgical rites.
Cardinal Giuseppe Betori of Florence, a noted biblicist, said that the problem with the current version stems from the Italian verb "indurre," which he says "is not equivalent to the Latin 'inducere' or the Greek."
He noted that the Latin and Greek terms suggest a form of concession, while the Italian verb "is coercive, with English equivalents such as "induce," "inspire" or "persuade."
Meanwhile, Catholic bishops in Germany have decided to use the traditional wording of the prayer, following an in-depth study of the issue.
On Jan. 25, the German bishops' conference announced that it would keep using "And lead us not into temptation," saying there were strong "philosophical, exegetical, liturgical and, not least, ecumenical" reasons to leave the present wording unchanged.
The bishops' committee noted that the line in the prayer is not about persuading God to not tempt the faithful, but rather a recognition of one's own weakness and one's trust in God's guidance — that he does not lead people to make wrong decisions.
The Vatican had previously centralized the process of translating liturgical texts under Popes Jonh Paul II and Benedict XVI, but Francis recently allowed individual bishops' conferences greater leeway, making it appear unlikely that the German bishops' will be forced by Rome to adopt the changes to the prayer.