BERLIN — Catholic bishops in Germany say they’ve debated Pope Francis’s suggestion to tweak the translation of the Lord’s Prayer, but will leave it unchanged.
France recently changed its translation of “lead us not into temptation” to “don’t let me fall into temptation,” which Francis has suggested was better, to make clearer that Catholics do not believe God ever induces someone into sin.
The pope told Italy’s Church-owned TV2000 last month that a father would never push a son into sin, and “what pushes you to temptation is Satan.”
TV2000 had been broadcasting a series of conversations between the pope and a Catholic prison chaplain, looking at the Lord’s Prayer line by line. The episode broadcast Dec. 6 focused on the line, “Lead us not into temptation.”
But the German Bishops’ Conference said Thursday there were strong “philosophical, exegetical, liturgical and, not least, ecumenical” reasons to leave the present wording unchanged.
Among other things, they say the line speaks of “the trust to be carried and redeemed by almighty God.”
Francis recently allowed individual bishops’ conferences greater leeway in translating liturgical texts, after the Vatican had previously centralized the process under Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, making it appear unlikely that Rome will attempt to compel the German bishops to take up the pope’s suggestion.
To some observers of Church affairs, the decision by the German bishops may seem slightly surprising, given that they’re usually perceived as among the staunchest allies and supporters of Pope Francis in the Catholic world.
Crux Staff contributed to this report.