Pope Francis floated the idea of changing one line of the Lord's Prayer in English on Italian television on Thursday. The pontiff expressed cautious unease with the request that God "lead us not into temptation."
In an interview with the Catholic-influenced Italian broadcaster TV2000, Francis said he disagreed with the implication that "God is pushing us towards temptation."
"It is I who fall into temptation…a father is one who helps you get up," the pope said, "it's Satan who leads people to temptation."
Pope Francis suggested English-speaking Catholics adopt the phrase "do not let us fall into temptation," as French Catholics do.
The Lord's Prayer, or the Our Father as it is sometimes called, is recorded in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew, which were originally written in a form of Greek that was used as a lingua franca in the Mediterranean region both before and after the life of Jesus.
The English version of the prayer has used the phrase "lead us not into temptation," since the Middle Ages – for centuries, scholars have argued that neither lead us nor temptation are proper translations of the original Greek.