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A couple days ago the pope called for a change in wording of the Lord's Prayer (or Our Father)

The current wording that says "lead us not into temptation" is not a good translation because God does not lead humans to sin, he says.

His suggestion is to use "do not let us fall into temptation" instead, he told Italian TV on Wednesday night. (BBC)

According to the article, the Catholic Church in some countries has already changed the wording, such as in France, garnering the pope's approval, but it appears that other countries (like the US) continue to use the current version.

I would have thought that it was the pope's prerogative to make such changes, but maybe it is each country's church? Or perhaps an international group is responsible for English? More specifically, here's what I'm wondering:

  • Can the pope mandate such a change, worldwide?
  • Can the pope mandate a specific change in wording to all English versions, regardless of country?
  • Barring a direct mandate from the pope, who would take action to modify the wording for the United States? A group within the US, or a broader group?
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    The Lord's Prayer comes from Matthew 6. As an interesting note, the English Bible on Vatican.va has the wording "do not subject us to the final test." The Spanish Bible has the wording "don't let us fall into temptation" (No nos dejes caer en la tentación). The Latin and Italian have the "lead us not into temptation" wording. – Samuel Bradshaw Dec 10 '17 at 23:41
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    Even if the Conference of Bishops declare an "official English version" of the Our Father, other versions may still be used as custom prevails in various places. The pope could mandate an official text of the words, but local traditions have always been respected. – Ken Graham Dec 11 '17 at 0:36
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    We should point out that in France and in Spanish-speaking countries, the Our Father was not “changed;” these languages have always used the translation that Pope Francis suggested. – AthanasiusOfAlex Dec 11 '17 at 18:39
  • The Liturgy in English was substantially changed in 2011 due to a drive toward "more literal" form. The mystery of faith "Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again" was removed, among other changes. A change like this comes from the Vatican. Too bad, but then, the difference between a liturgist and a terrorist is that you can negotiate with a terrorist. :p – KorvinStarmast Dec 12 '17 at 15:51
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To answer your three questions concisely:

• Can the pope mandate such a change, worldwide?

He can, based on what was done with the significant changes to the English language versions of the Liturgy in 2011. Be aware that it usually takes a lot of staff effort by the various bishops, cardinals, et al in the Vatican.

In 2002, Saint John Paul II introduced a new edition of the Missale Romanum (editio typica tertia, the "third typical edition" [since the Second Vatican Council]) for use in the Church. Soon after, the complex work of translating the text into English began.

As the Church in the United States introduced the new edition of the Missal in late 2011, so too did much of the English-speaking world.

Most changes like this involve consultation as a preliminary step. One thing I've noticed about the Catholic Church is that the movement rate of change is "slow" to "slower."

• Can the pope mandate a specific change in wording to all English versions, regardless of country?

The answer to that is the same as the first question, which brings us to ...

• Barring a direct mandate from the pope, who would take action to modify the wording for the United States? A group within the US, or a broader group?

The group who need to be on board with and implement any change is the USCCB: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. It is hard to envision the USCCB acting in such a way without first getting instructions or guidance from the Pope.

It is well to recall that the organization chart for the Catholic Church is pretty flat: the pope is at the top, and the next rung down is "all of the Catholic Bishops in the world." (Over 2000 last I checked).

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The Pope is the ultimate authority on this. The reason for the change is due to a misleading translation of a translation.

To be a good Catholic, if the Pope says so, follow his lead.

If the church in the United States is refusing to change, it is technically heresy. But that hasn't stopped them in the past.

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    " Lead us not into temptation" makes sense when followed by the original text of subsequent prayer i.e. " ..and save us from the Evil One" . Unfortunately, most modern versions of the prayer have " save us from evil" which does not strictly refer to the Evil One who is the source of temptations ! – Kadalikatt Joseph Sibichan Dec 13 '17 at 7:00

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