A Closer Look at Francis’ Revision of the Lord’s Prayer, the Gloria

By David Martin

As reported in late August, a new Italian missal featuring a revised Gloria and changes to the Lord’s Prayer will be mandatory for Italian celebrations of the Mass from Easter (April 4) 2021. https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2020/08/pope-gets-first-copy-of-italian-missal-translation/

Avvenire, a Milan-based Catholic newspaper owned by the Italian bishops, reported on August 28 that the new translation was promulgated by Pope Francis in 2019. Avvenire also reported that the Italian Episcopal Conference presented Pope Francis with the new missal containing the changes he had approved. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/italian-bishops-roll-out-new-missal-that-includes-francis-our-father-change-altered-gloria

The revision of the Gloria warrants concern since the opening of the Gloria was first sung by the angels the night that Christ was born in Bethlehem, as recorded in the Latin Vulgate: “Gloria in altissimis Deo, et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis.” (Luke 2:14) The English translation reads: “Glory be to God On High and on earth peace to men of good will.”

The change to the Gloria replaces the words “of good will” with “loved by the Lord,” thus rendering the Italian translation “pace in terra agli uomini di buona volontà” (“on earth peace to men of good will”) to the new “pace in terra agli uomini, amati dal Signore” (“peace on earth to men, loved by the Lord”).

This revision of the Gloria not only corrupts the original text but places a new spin on it. All men are loved by the Lord, since they were created by Him, but not all men receive the peace and blessing of the Lord. Peace is a special gift from God that is given only to “men of good will,” not just to anyone.

Replacing “of good will” with “loved by the Lord” is an apparent attempt to establish the fallacy that God’s peace and mercy are unconditionally granted to all men, regardless if they are living in sin and adultery. It is in keeping with the presumptuous error of Luther, whose statue Francis erected at the Vatican on October 13, 2016.

Francis: The Lord’s Prayer “Induces Temptation”

The changes to the Lord’s Prayer have been more controversial. The key change concerns the rewording of the phrase “lead us not into temptation” so that it now reads “abandon us not into temptation.”

In the centuries-old recited prayer, the world’s Catholics call upon God to “lead us not into temptation, but delver us from evil.”

In a December 2017 interview on the official television network of the Italian bishops, Francis said that this translation used for centuries in many parts of the world, including the Italian and English versions, was “not good” and should be changed. He argued that it was incorrect, saying, “It is not a good translation because it speaks of a God who induces temptation.”

“It’s not God who throws me into temptation, in order to then see how I’ve fallen,” Francis told Italian broadcasters. “No, a father doesn’t do that… The one who leads us into temptation is Satan. That’s Satan’s task,” he said.

So Christ taught us to invoke a God who leads us into temptation? To think that the Messiah’s instruction to mankind on how to pray—as penned by the Evangelists as the infallible Word of God and followed for 2000 years by all the Saints and members of Christ—is now incorrect!

The Faith Called into Question

To say that the proposed “reform” of the Our Father warrants respect is to say that Catholics for 2000 years have been misled by the Our Father. Moreover, it instigates doubts about the whole of revelation, i.e. the Bible and Sacred Tradition, and the centuries-old guidance of the Church. It appears that it is Pope Francis who is leading us into temptation.

Francis purports to criticize the English and Italian translations of the Our Father, when he knows full well that it is the original manuscript he is criticizing. The text from the Lord’s Prayer, as taken from the Latin Vulgate (which comes from the original Greek: καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν, ἀλλὰ ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ), reads: et ne nos induces in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo, which translated is: “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:13).

Hence this is not a translation issue but a scriptural issue. The English translations of the Our Father as recited today are correct because they are taken from the Vulgate, which is the official version of Holy Scripture, the source from which all authentic translations must directly or indirectly be taken. It appears that Francis does not agree with what the evangelists penned in Holy Scripture.

Watered Down

“Lead us not into temptation”

The change to “abandon us not into temptation” suggests that it is alright to be around temptation as long as we’re not abandoned by God. It almost suggests that God “accompanies” us in the pursuit of evil without abandoning us, which of course could never be. The idea is that we flee all occasion of sin and not go anywhere near temptation, lest we dignify it and offend God and consequently lose the grace of being “delivered from evil.”

If God in His permissive will wishes to try us with temptation to test our valor, then such temptation is all gain and no loss, provided we turn away from it; but we of our own volition should never abide in its presence but should always beg God that He would “lead us not into temptation” and away from all evil. Francis’ revision guts the Lord’s Prayer of this key essential element, thus opening the faithful up to danger.

The obvious problem with making changes, aside from sowing error, is that it brings into question what was done before. If nothing else, it is change for the sake of change.

On that note, the new missal includes yet another change to the Lord’s Prayer, which is the insertion of the word “anche” (also) into the phrase “as we forgive those who trespass against us, i.e. “come [anche] noi li rimettiamo ai debiti” (as we [also] forgive those who trespass against us). 

Uncalled For

The revision of the Lord’s Prayer indeed is uncalled for. Never in the 2000-year history of the Church has it occurred to any pope or saint that the Lord’s Prayer stood in need of change, so why is Francis calling into question something so central to the Faith—the “perfect prayer” given to us by Christ Himself on the Mount—and at a time when the Church is undergoing the worst debacle of its 2000-year history? What is needed today is that rock-solid stability of old to offset the new order of change that has misled the Church since Vatican II, so why is Francis leading us into the temptation of change?

It appears he is upset over the idea of being led away from temptation, since he is led by the temptation of globalism and change. The Bible threatens him to give up his change, so instead of humbly admitting that Scripture is correct he judges that it is “incorrect,” in the same way he has denied the miracle of the loaves and has judged that Catholic evangelization is “solemn nonsense.”

The Church’s mission is precisely to evangelize and lead us away from the temptation of this world that we may arrive at the shores of everlasting peace. God in His mercy wants us all to know that this world is not our common home, but rather a quagmire of temptation, and that our true home is in Heaven with God and the Saints who said the un-revised Our Father during their lives.

Therefore, as children of God who obey the Father’s commands, we take the Father’s hand and ask Him to lead us not into temptation, but away from all evil, because if we chase after temptation—especially the temptation to change the Bible and the doctrines of the Faith—God will let go of our hand, and in His permissive will He will allow us to fall, not only into temptation, but into the very fires of hell. And by the way, Papa, this condemnation is forever.

Christ warns of the dire consequences of changing but one word of Holy Scripture. He says to St. John in the Apocalypse: “If any man shall add to these things, God shall add unto him the plagues written in this book.” (Apoc. 22:18) The plagues of COVID-19 and Socialism indeed have been ‘added unto us’ for our having dared to change the Catholic Church.

Let us therefore reverence the words of Christ in the Gospel, remembering that all Scripture is “inspired of God.” (2 Timothy 3:16) “Neither let us tempt Christ: as some of them tempted, and perished by the serpents.” (1 Cor. 10:9)

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3 Responses to A Closer Look at Francis’ Revision of the Lord’s Prayer, the Gloria

  1. James Kalb says:

    What’s the Greek for “hominibus bonae voluntatis”? Is that more ambiguous on the point? (I love the Vulgate, that’s the version I read, but it seems important to follow these translation issues back to the original Greek.)


  2. Gertrude says:

    In Latin this translates as ‘Goodwill towards men’ In the Greek of the Vulgate: Καλή θέληση προς τους άντρες’ – Goodwill to men’
    Not really too ambiguous. One of the Holy Father’s less controversial translations methinks (just in that particular context I hasten to add!).


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