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CATHOLICS

French Church changes ‘blasphemous’ prayer

After nearly half a century of theological debate, French bishops have decided to change a potentially "blasphemous" version of the Lord's Prayer, to be included in a forthcoming French-language bible.

French Church changes 'blasphemous' prayer
French bishops have decided to change a potentially "blasphemous" version of the Lord's Prayer. Photo of mass at Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris: Bruce Tuten

In a ruling long advocated by traditionalists and with implications for other-language versions of the prayer, the bishops have approved a new edition of the French-language bible which will include a revised wording of one of the prayer's best-known lines, "Lead us not into temptation."

The existing French version of that line reads, "Et ne nous soumets pas ą la tentation", which translates as "Do not submit us to temptation."

This has long been controversial because of the possibility of interpreting it in a way that suggests God has the power to make people succumb to the temptation of sin.

This contradicts most orthodox Christian theology, which holds that He is infinitely and unchangeably good.

In the revised formulation, to be included in new bibles published on November 22nd, the line will read "Et ne nous laisse pas entrer en tentation" or "Let us not enter into temptation."

The change was authorized by the Vatican in July along with the rest of a new translation of the bible into French from the original texts, which were written in a number of different languages.

The task, involving 70 linguistic and theological experts, has taken 17 years to complete.

The current version of the Lord's Prayer has been used in France since 1966.

Ironically, the disputed wording was the result of an attempt to agree on a common version for both Catholic and Protestant churches.

France's small Protestant congregations however never adopted the phrase, opting instead for "Let us not enter into temptation."

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LOURDES

Pope Francis pushes for more prayer and less business at Lourdes shrine

Pope Francis has named a special envoy to prioritise spirituality at the Roman Catholic shrine at Lourdes in France over "managerial and financial" aspects.

Pope Francis pushes for more prayer and less business at Lourdes shrine
Lourdes is one of the most revered sites for the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. Photo: AFP
The Italian press said Friday that the nomination of Lille auxiliary Bishop Antoine Herouard is seen as the equivalent of placing the holy spring in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains under supervision.
 
Lourdes is one of the most revered sites for the world's 1.2 billion Catholics because the town is said to be where the Virgin Mary appeared to a peasant girl in a grotto.
 
“Pope Francis, who has this case very much at heart, wishes to accentuate the spiritual primacy over the temptation to overemphasise the managerial and 
financial aspect,” the official Vatican News website said.
   
The pope wants centres of Marian devotion to be “ever more a place of prayer and of Christian witness corresponding to the needs of the People of God.”
   
A former Renault manager, Guillaume de Vuilpan, was put in charge of Lourdes in 2017, and has introduced new products at the site.
   
The shrine returned to profit in 2018 after 10 years in the red, accumulating losses of 10 million euros.
   
Last year, 1.2 million pilgrims visited the site, half of them on organised tours.
 
 
Photo: AFP
 
 
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