Pope Francis of Rome has confirmed the new publication of the Missal book, which determines the order of conducting the Mass, introducing changes into the text of the Gospel Lord’s Prayer, also known as the “Our Father”. Thus, in the new edition the words of the prayer, “and lead us not into temptation” (non indurci in tentazione) will be changed to “don’t let us fall into temptation” (non abbandonarci alla tentazione). This decision of Pope Francis, as well as the possibility of a visit by the head of the Roman Catholic church to Russia was discussed by the well known professor of the Moscow Theological Academy Alexei Ilyich Osipov with the Tsargrad TV.
—Alexei Ilyich, back in 2017 Pope Francis announced that he is not satisfied with the gospel text of the Lord’s Prayer, inasmuch as the words, “lead us not into temptation” lead the faithful to a false understanding—as though God Himself can tempt man. But now it is not simply the personal opinion of the head of the Vatican—changes have been entered into the service books. What is the reason for this, and is it at all acceptable to “edit” the words of Christ Himself?
—The reason is obvious: It’s true that these words of the Lord’s Prayer are sometimes not correctly understood. But note: When in scholarly literature we cite even the most elementary author, regardless of how he expressed himself, be it clear enough, be it literary enough, we cite his words without changing them. Only afterwards, in a citation if needed, do we comment on it—either directly or in an interlinear notation.
And in this case they are the words of Christ Himself! How do we dare change them?! Make a comment if you want, but to say that the Lord’s Prayer should be read “like this”, and you, Lord Jesus, didn’t express yourself “fortunately”, is something I consider to be an expression of utter irreverence towards Christ Himself. And this is yet another proof that the papal title, “Vicar of Christ on Earth” is not simply a formal phrase, but a very real, although poorly acknowledged pridefulness. It is yet another proof of what Catholicism really is.
In fact, there has never yet been such a liberal pope as Francis. Earlier I thought that there could not be a worse pope than John-Paul II, but it turns out that I was wrong. The previous pope [before Francis], Benedict XVI, was a true Catholic—serious and with convictions. But no, he wasn’t suitable. Well, and Francis is not only a man of our age in the sense of the times, but a man of our age in thoughts, the spirit of our age. He is a man who is not ashamed to take steps that cross over the line of reverence towards Holy Scripture, and the teaching of Christ.
Remember how he dared to called Christ a “devil”: At one five-minute sermon he said it several times in explaining one apostolic saying—he used that word. Jesuit! That’s Jesuitism for you! By the way, Yuri Feodorovich Samarin (a Russian Slavophile philosopher.—Tsargrad] made an excellent assessment of Jesuitism in his brochure, “Jesuits and their relationship to Russia.”
—Incidentally, this last point is extremely relevant today. It turns out that in theological matters Pope Francis is a true liberal, but with regard to his authority and influence, including in Ukraine, where the Uniate Greek Catholics are wreaking havoc, he is totalitarian?
—He is totalitarian both in this case and the other—“I do what I want. I don’t reckon with the Holy Tradition of the Church.” And concerning his attempts to establish authority over everything that belongs to him, and everything he would like to belong to him, Pope Francis is fully conducting the former politics of Rome.
Here, (in theological matters.—Tsargrad) we see what “things” pop up. There it is: the “Vicar of Christ on Earth!” Even Cicero had an explanation of religion from the word, “reverence”. And where there is no reverence, there is truly no religion. Here, under the flag of, “we must explain to people what Christ meant”, they dare to change His words!
—In this context, I can’t help but ask this concluding question. Recently in the course of his uninvited (from the Bulgarian Orthodox Church) visit to Bulgaria, Pope Francis expressed the desire to “take a trip to Russia”. How do you view the very possibility of such a visit?
—I see no positive aspects that could come for our Church and our people as a result of such a visit. But there are loads of negatives!
Remember what happened during papal visits to Orthodox countries (Ukraine, Georgia, and of course Bulgaria). A huge number of foreign correspondents descend, everyone in the press shouts and screeches, “The Pope! The Pope!” and for many people who are not yet stable in their faith, who do not understand the difference between Catholicism and Orthodoxy, such a visit could be like a hammer blow against their faith.
Therefore I consider that a visit by the pope could become a very strong blow against our entire nation and the Orthodox Christian faithful. We have to remember, that the spirit of Catholicism is absolutely worldly; there is almost nothing religious there about it anymore. Even back in the nineteenth century St. Theophan the Recluse said very precisely and well that the Catholics have not a church but a political corporation. So, such a visit would bring absolutely no benefit to our Church or people—there can be no doubt about it.