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Conservative groups ask Pope Francis not to change English wording of the Lord's Prayer

Conservative groups ask Pope Francis not to change English wording of the Lord's Prayer

Pope Francis talks as he leads the weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican. | (Photo: Reuters)

A pair of conservative groups have launched a petition asking Pope Francis to keep the current English wording of the Lord’s Prayer, as the Italian version of the prayer was recently altered.

The Ruth Institute and LifeSiteNews created the online petition on Monday, which got thousands of signatories within 20 hours of being posted.

At issue is the possibility that the prayer’s statement “lead us not into temptation” might be changed to “do not abandon us to temptation.”

“We’ve learned the words of our prayers from our mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, our priests, nuns, and brothers,” reads the petition, addressed to the pontiff.

“Please don’t break this precious connection with these cherished people, with our tradition and our past. Please don’t replace these beloved words.”

LifeSiteNews quoted biblical scholar Fr. Reto Nay in defense of their argument that the Lord’s Prayer does not need to be changed.

“The text of the 'Our Father' is passed down to us in the New Testament, which was written in ancient Greek. The phrase ‘and lead us not into temptation’ is contained both in Matthew 6:13 and Luke 11:4 with identical wording,” said Nay. “This means that the wording of the prayer cannot be blamed on a transmission error or misunderstanding.”

Ruth Institute President Jennifer Roback Morse said in a statement released on Monday that this petition was a deviation from her organization’s usual focus on political and social issues.

“This petition is important because faith is the foundation of our lives. It permeates everything, including the Ruth Institute’s work for the family,” said Morse.

“We wish to convey to him that the faithful of the English-speaking world are attached to the words of the Lord’s Prayer. The proposed change will create unnecessary confusion and division in an already confused and divided church.”

On May 22, the Vatican officially enacted a change to the Italian version of the Lord’s Prayer, also commonly known as the “Our Father.”

Pope Francis has been a proponent of the change for years, explaining in comments reported by the BBC in 2017 that he had difficulty with the temptation portion of the famous prayer.

“Do not let me fall into temptation because it is I who fall, it is not God who throws me into temptation and then sees how I fell,” Francis said at the time. “A father does not do that, a father helps you to get up immediately.”

In December 2017, the French Catholic Church opted to edit their version of the Lord’s Prayer regarding the temptation part.

Originally, the Notre Père had "Lead us not into temptation," or "Ne nous soumets pas a la tentation,” which in English reads “Do not submit us to temptation,” according to U.K. Sunday Times.

However, on the first day of Advent in 2017, the worshipers prayed, "Ne nous laisse pas entrer en tentation," which translates as "Do not let us enter into temptation," reported The Times.   

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