“do not let us fall into temptation”

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Pope Francis has approved a change to the English version of Lord’s Prayer that is said in mass.  Here is a taste of a piece at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Pope Francis has approved a change to the Lord’s Prayer, widely regarded as the best-known prayer in the Christian faith.

The measure, which would change how Catholics around the world recite the prayer, replaces the line “and lead us not into temptation” with “do not let us fall into temptation,” uCatholic.com reported.

The move to change the “temptation” phrasing in the prayer was not a spur of the moment decision, but the result of 16 years of research by experts into the current translation of the prayer, according to the Christian Post.

Pope Francis had said in 2017 that he took issue with the “lead us not into temptation” phrasing.

“A father does not lead into temptation, a father helps you to get up immediately,” the pope said, according to the Christian Post. “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.”

Christians who have been taught the Lord’s Prayer, also known as the Our Father prayer, from the time they were children reacted with surprise to the news of the pope’s comments last year. On social media, many reacted with comments such as, “Leave the Lord’s Prayer alone!”

Read the entire piece here.

Pope to Trump: If You’re Really Pro-Life You Won’t End DACA

Trump and Pope

Here is a taste of Nicole Winfield’s reporting at Religion News Service:

BOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis is urging President Donald Trump to rethink his decision to end a program protecting young immigrants from deportation, saying anyone who calls himself “pro-life” should keep families together.

“If he is a good pro-life believer he must understand that family is the cradle of life and one must defend its unity,” Francis said during an in-flight press conference en route home from Colombia.

Francis said he hadn’t read up on Trump’s decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Children Program, which allows some immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children to stay. About 800,000 people are affected by Trump’s decision to give Congress six months to end their limbo status.

But he said in general, removing children from families “isn’t something that bears fruit for either the youngsters or their families.”

“I hope they rethink it a bit,” he said. “Because I heard the U.S. president speak: He presents himself as a person who is pro-life.”

Read the rest here.

Nice work, Francis.

 

Is Catholicism a “Two-Party System?”

Vatican

One of my favorite religion writers, Mark Silk, thinks so.

Here is a taste of his recent piece at Religion News Service:

Although Crux’s John Allen likes to pretend otherwise, Roman Catholicism is now clearly divided between the Party of Francis and the Party of Benedict. Not since the days of the Jesuits and the Jansenists has the Catholic elite — clerical and lay intellectual — been at daggers drawn as it is now.

Yesterday, the New York Times nicely encapsulated the partisan divide in profiling the two big Irish-American archbishops facing each other across the Hudson — Timothy Dolan of New York and Joseph Tobin of Newark. Can anyone doubt that by making one of the country’s most progressive bishops a cardinal and sending him into its dominant media market Francis wasn’t sending a shot across the bow of Benedictine conservatism?

On the other side, Pope Emeritus Benedict delivered a shot of his own Saturday in the form of a eulogy for the cardinal archbishop of Cologne, Joachim Meissner, who retired in 2014.

“We know that it was hard for him, the passionate shepherd and pastor of souls, to leave his office, and this precisely at a time when the Church had a pressing need for shepherds who would oppose the dictatorship of the zeitgeist, fully resolved to act and think from a faith standpoint,” Benedict wrote. “Yet I have been all the more impressed that in this last period of his life he learned to let go, and live increasingly from the conviction that the Lord does not leave his Church, even if at times the ship is almost filled to the point of shipwreck.”

Read the rest here.

The Pope Goes There

pope-and-trump

That’s right. Francis played the Hitler card.

Here is a taste of an NBC news article about the Pope’s recent interview with a Spanish newspaper:

ROME — Pope Francis has warned against growing populism in Europe, saying such movements could result in the election leaders of like Germany’s Adolf Hitler.

“In times of crisis, we lack judgment, and that is a constant reference for me,” the pontiff said in an in-depth interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais. “The most obvious example of European populism is Germany in 1933. After the crisis of 1930, Germany is broken, it needs to get up, to find its identity, a leader, someone capable of restoring its character, and there is a young man named Adolf Hitler.”

“Hitler didn’t steal the power, his people voted for him, and then he destroyed his people,” the pope added.

Pope Francis’ warnings come as a wave of populism washes over Europe, and as voters angry with traditional political elites throw their weight behind nationalist, anti-immigrant leaders.

During the same interview, the pope said he was reserving judgement on President Donald Trump.

“I don’t like to get ahead of myself nor judge people prematurely. We will see how he acts, what he does, and then I will have an opinion,” he said.

Read the rest here.

Pope Francis’s Visit in Historical Context

If you haven’t heard, Pope Francis will be visiting the United States later this month.  In order to place his visit in historical context, Newsweek is running a piece on the history of papal visits to the United States.  

Only three Popes have ever visited the United States.  Paul VI was here for one day in 1965.  John Paul II made seven visits between 1979-1999.  Benedict XXIII made a five-day visit in 2008.
Learn more here.

Why I Like "Evangelii Gaudium": Part Two

Here is part two of my continuing series on Pope Francis’s Evangelii Gaudium.

Liberal Catholics and non-Catholic liberals absolutely love Francis’s treatment of consumer capitalism in this document.  My Facebook feed is loaded with liberal friends who are gushing all over Evangelii Gaudium.  Some of them are publicly wishing they were Catholic.  Who knows, maybe someone will convert.

Someone at First Things, a voice of conservative Catholicism and, on occasion, free-market Catholicism, allowed Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry to publish this piece in defense of the Pope’s economics.

Francis’s critique of consumer capitalism is stinging and generally on the mark.  He calls consumerism “the great danger in today’s world” and defines it as “the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience.”  I don’t think it was a coincidence that Francis released this document a few days before Black Friday.  He continues: “Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor.  God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades.”  This is pretty powerful stuff.

Later in the document he describes capitalism as an economy that excludes and thus promotes inequality.  (“Such an economy kills”).  Francis asks “How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?” When everything falls under the “rules of competition” and “the survival of the fittest,” human beings become “consumer goods to be used and then discarded.”

And then Francis goes after the defenders of what he calls “trickle down theories.”  He claims that these theories “assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world..  In a statement that will drive certain Catholics (Michael Novak, for example) crazy, Francis concludes that trickle-down theory “has never been confirmed by facts” and expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.” Drawing from Exodus 32, he believes we are all worshipping the ancient golden calf, which has “returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose.”

 I am struck by the fact that this language, while strong, does not seem to be any different than the encyclicals of John Paul II and Benedict XVI.  I believe that John Paul II regularly referred to the “savage capitalism” that defined our society.  Benedict XVI often lamented the unequal distribution of goods under capitalism.

Thoughts?