POPE Francis has changed the Lord’s Prayer after becoming frustrated at a line suggesting God might lead people into temptation.
The head of the Catholic Church officially approved altering the phrase “lead us not into temptation” to “do not let us fall into temptation”.
But the significant change to the most famous prayer in Christianity has prompted outrage from some worshippers.
The Pope called for the new line because he believes the original portrays God in a false light – as Satan is the “one who leads you astray”.
The amended phrase will be used in a revised third edition of the Italian Missal – a book which includes all the texts for the celebration of Mass in the Catholic Church.
This means the change will not directly affect Anglicans or Protestants as they have separate texts.
President Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti announced the approval of a third edition of the Italian Missal on May 22 during the General Assembly of the Episcopal Conference of Italy.
It comes following 16 years of research by experts who claim to have found a mistake in the current translation.
Bishops and experts have worked on improving the text from a “theological, pastoral, and stylistic viewpoint”.
The Pope first signalled his support for the change in 2017 – despite some opposition.
“A father does not lead into temptation, a father helps you to get up immediately,” he said at the time.
‘Satan Leads you into Temptation’
“It is not a good translation because it speaks of a God who induces temptation.”
“The one who leads you into temptation is Satan,” he added. “That’s Satan’s role.”
Pope Francis pointed out that Italian bishops followed the example of French bishops in the Catholic Church.
“The French have modified the prayer to ‘do not let me fall into temptation,’ because it is me who falls, not the Lord who tempts me to then see how I fall,” he said.
But German bishops have decided to stick with the traditional wording.
The Lord’s Prayer originates in Matthew 6:9-13.
The key verse in question is 13, which, in the NIV translation, reads: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
It is a translation from the Latin Vulgate, which was translated from ancient Greek by Saint Jerome in the late fourth century.
Some Christians have vented fury over the significant change to the centuries-old prayer.
One person wrote on Twitter: “You don’t change the Lord’s Prayer, only the Lord can do that.”
Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said the changes are “deeply problematic”.
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Mr Mohler told the Seattle Times: “I was shocked and appalled.
“This is the Lord’s Prayer. It is not, and has never been, the Pope’s prayer, and we have the very words of Jesus in the New Testament.
“It is those very words that the pope proposes to change. It is not only deeply problematic, it’s almost breathtaking.”