Suddenly, he's worried about correcting theological misunderstandings. If he would only get to the long list of his own.
In any event, the Pope said the Our Father has been teaching 2000 years of Catholics to believe God tempts us to sin by leading us to debauchery - and we have to ask him not to.
I don't know anyone who thinks that, do you? Who are these mysterious people?
One would have to be completely ignorant of the nature of God to believe He, and not the devil, is the force behind leading us to break Commandments.
The Our Father doesn't need a sophisticated theological scholar to understand. I learned the prayer at 3 and I was capable of grasping that "lead us not into temptation" asked God, who is the Good Shepherd, to counsel and guide us when we encounter the wiles of...wait for it.. the devil.
Temptation is the spiritual marathon that develops and matures love, trust and the tools the soul and intellect need to guide us to salvation. It's in the category that "all things work together for the good of those who love God".
Bishop Sheen gives a good explanation of temptation in the Life of Christ. He reminds us that Christ and the angels pass through temptation as an act of choice to prove love because words are not enough.
"The defenses of the soul are seen at their strongest when the evil which has been resisted is also strong. The presence of temptation does not necessarily imply moral imperfection on the part of the one who is tempted. In that case, Our Divine Lord could not have been tempted at all. An inward tendency toward evil, such as man has, is not a necessary condition for an onslaught of temptation. The temptation of Our Blessed Lord came only from without, and not from within as ours so often do. What was at stake in the trial of Our Lord was not the perversion of natural appetites to which the rest of men are tempted; rather, it was an appeal to Our Lord to disregard His Divine Mission and His Messianic work. The temptation that comes from without does not necessarily weaken character; indeed, when conquered, it affords an opportunity for holiness to increase. If he was to be the Pattern Man, He would have to teach us how to gain holiness by overcoming temptation....The tempter was sinful, but the One tempted was innocent.
It is part of the discipline of God to make his loved ones perfect through trial and suffering. Only by carrying the Cross can one reach the Resurrection."
It seems to me that the Holy Father, like many, is kidding himself into thinking the problems we face in the Church are about a sudden inability of people to learn their faith. But the reality he doesn't want to face is, ordained men don't want to teach it.
There are a host of reasons for that.
Over the many years of watching ordained men avoid the hard work of catechizing their people, absolving their sins and restoring their souls with the properties in the Divinity of Christ, every time they start 'leading people into temptation' with banality and heresy, I can't help thinking that cowardice and the sin of sloth is probably the least of their problems.
Some of them have taken lovers or wish they had. Most of them have abandoned their vocation to pursue their own insatiable need to be praised and adored. (Which is actually a sin against the First Commandment). We see the same fatal flaw in the vocations of mothers and fathers.
Of all the things ordained men incorrectly translate, the Our Father is very low on the list.
Take a look at this Act of Contrition found in missalettes:
Sinning is stripped of the consequences behind the choices we make: Hell. It fails to teach the absolution of sin once again gives the person the chance to live their eternity in Heaven.
Our people do not know, more than ever through this papacy, that Commandments are still in force and breaking them sends us to Hell and robs us of Heaven. All the sacrilegious communion he advises them to take does not change this reality.
If the Holy Father started working on correcting the misinterpretations of his own papacy, we'd be getting somewhere.
The irony in the Holy Father's statement does not go unnoticed:
"... it's not the Lord that tempts. It is not He that pushes me into temptation and then sees how I fall," Francis said in Italian. "A father does not do this. A father quickly helps those who are provoked into Satan's temptation."
Exactly. And I think the question on everyone's mind is, why do you do it?