The new French version had been discussed for several years, according to Guy de Kerimel, bishop of Grenoble, who said the previous wording was “often misunderstood by believers,” as many parishioners interpreted it to mean that God himself was responsible for the temptation that leads men to sin.
Other French-speaking churches have already made the switch to newer wording. In Belgium and Benin, the revised Lord’s Prayer was introduced earlier this year. The United Protestant Church of France also validated the change during its national synod in 2016.
The Church of England has two forms of the Lord’s Prayer — traditional and contemporary — but both use the same wording in seeking protection from temptation, according to the church’s website.
The pope’s reflection was part of a nine-episode commentary on the Lord’s Prayer that TV2000, which is owned by the Italian conference of Roman Catholic bishops, has broadcast every Wednesday evening since October.
Each program includes an exchange between the Pope and the Rev. Marco Pozza, a prison chaplain in Padua known as “Father Spritz,” after the renowned Venetian aperitif, because of his work evangelizing young people in bars and on the streets.
In a book published in connection with the program, the pope said: “Evil is not something impalpable that spreads like the fog of Milan. It’s a person, Satan.”
Satan is a master of seduction, the pope added, and that, in the end, “is the meaning of the verse, ‘Do not let us fall into evil.’ We must be crafty in the good sense of the word, we must be sharp, have the ability to discern the lies of Satan with whom, I am convinced, it’s not possible to conduct a dialogue.”