Rorate Caeli

The Spectator: "Is the Pope a Catholic? You have to wonder."

By Melanie McDonagh, for The Spectator:

Is the Pope a Catholic? You have to wonder. In the old days, a pope’s remit was modest: infallible, but only in the vanishingly rare cases when he pronounced on matters of faith and morals concerning the whole Church. But even at their most bombastic and badly behaved, earlier popes would have hesitated to do what nice Pope Francis has done, which is to approve changes in the liturgy which amount to rewriting the Lord’s Prayer.

That bit that says ‘Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil’ is, for Pope Francis, a bad translation. ‘It speaks of a God who induces temptation,’ he told Italian TV. ‘I am the one who falls. It’s not him pushing me into temptation to then see how I have fallen. A father doesn’t do that; A father helps you to get up immediately.’

Which sounds as if it’s not the translation he doesn’t like, it’s the sentiment — Christ not being Christian enough. And so, he’s approved changes by the Italian bishops to the Italian translation of the Roman Missal. The original Latin Vulgate version reads: ‘et ne nos inducas in tentationem’ which is pretty well exactly the same as the familiar English one. The Italian translation, ‘e non ci indurre in tentazione’, is now being replaced with ‘e non abbandonarci alla tentazione’, or ‘and do not abandon us to temptation’.

This matters because the Lord’s Prayer is common to Christians of all denominations. It’s part of our languages and our culture. We say it at weddings, funerals; the unreligious remember it from school. It’s a common prayer which binds us together. Why change the words? Especially since, as Greek scholars will tell you that the root verb, eisphero means bring or carry in, and hence, lead; nothing about ‘allow’.

The whole piece is here. We have to disagree with just one point, where the author writes, "Henry VIII and Pope Francis don’t have much in common but they did see eye to eye on this. Henry wanted ‘lead us not…’ to be translated as ‘Suffer us not to be led into temptation’, only to be seen off by Archbishop Cranmer..."

Actually, Francis and Henry share exactly the same kind of personality, and, except for the womanizing, Francis only differs from Henry in the great restraints posed by current mores on how to get rid of adversaries... But he has destroyed orders (Franciscans of the Immaculate, and others), organized coups (Knights of Malta), changed teachings of immemorial Tradition (on marriage and adultery, and others), acting exactly as the "Renaissance Prince" he is, even though he loathes the title...