The commemoration of late Hugo Chavez with a rewriting of the Christian Lord’s Prayer is causing controversy in Venezuela.
Venezuela’s Roman Catholic Church is denouncing the used of Hugo Chavez’s name in an “untouchable” prayer.
President Nicolas Maduro defends it, and calls critics “new inquisitors”.
The scandal forth started on September 1, when socialist party delegate Maria Estrella Uribe read the prayer at a party convention.
“Our Chavez who art in heaven, lead us not into the temptation of capitalism,” she read.
The commemoration of late Hugo Chavez with a rewriting of the Christian Lord’s Prayer is causing controversy in Venezuela
Hugo Chavez’s legacy has taken on a religious glow in Venezuela since the leader’s death last year. Rosaries adorned with Hugo Chavez’s face, shrines and images depicting him with a Christian cross have become commonplace. Followers often say they believe Hugo Chavez was on a divine mission.
On September 3, the Venezuela Catholic Church released a statement calling the Lord’s Prayer “untouchable, saying it “is the archetypal prayer for Christians around the world, and comes from the very lips of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
On September 4, Nicolas Maduro defended Maria Estrella Uribe’s modification, and said she was being targeted by new inquisitors who wanted to turn her humble prayer into a sin.
During his presidency, Hugo Chavez frequently crossed paths with Venezuela’s church, which sometimes accused the socialist leader of becoming increasingly authoritarian.
Hugo Chavez described Christ as a socialist and said local church authorities were misleading the Vatican with warnings that Venezuela was drifting toward dictatorship.
Venezuela is 90% Catholic, though many marry their Christianity with Santeria and other syncretic belief systems.
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French Catholic Church has finally corrected a “blasphemous” error that crept into the Gallic version of The Lord’s Prayer 50 years ago.
After a 17-year debate, theologians and writers concluded that the French equivalent of “And lead us not into temptation” implied that God Himself could lead us astray, rather than help us keep on the straight and narrow, and thus had “blasphemous” overtones.
The French line before read: “And don’t submit us to temptation.”
It now reads: “And don’t let us enter into temptation.”
The change will be incorporated into a new French translation of the Bible validated by the Vatican that will be published next month.
Traditionalists were appalled when the unfortunate wording was introduced in 1966, as according to father Frédéric Louzeau, a theologian, it suggested that: “God, who is infinitely good and the source of all goodness, could drive man to evil or sin.”
French Catholic Church has finally corrected a “blasphemous” error that crept into the Gallic version of The Lord’s Prayer 50 years ago
Le Figaro, France’s main conservative daily, said the consequences of the poor translation on “millions of Catholics” was “incalculable”.
The “error” was due to an ecumenical compromise between Orthodox Christians and reformed Protestants to create a “common Lord’s Prayer”. The resulting text came in the wake of the Second Vatican Council of 1965, which sought to address relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the modern world.
The French Protestant version of the Bible modified the phrase at the time.
The new translation will be presented during the forthcoming plenary assembly of French bishops at Lourdes. However, it will not be used in French parishes until the changes are incorporated into the latest Roman Missal – not before 2015.
“We’ll have to explain it to our congregation. Even the priest will get it wrong,” Father Scheffels, priest in Nanterre, west of Paris, told Le Parisien.
Eric Denimal, a theologian, told the newspaper that believers should not worry about having said the wrong thing for the past 50 years.
“Whatever way the phrase is pronounced, what counts ultimately is the authenticity of the relationship between the person praying and the God he is addressing,” he said.
The Lord’s Prayer is a central prayer in Christianity also commonly known as the Our Father and in Latin as the Pater Noster.
In the New Testament, it appears a longer form in the Gospel of Matthew as part of the Sermon on the Mount, and a shorter form in the Gospel of Luke, as a response by Jesus to a request by “one of his disciples” to teach them “to pray as John taught his disciples”.
The prayer concludes with “deliver us from evil” in Matthew, and with “lead us not into temptation” in Luke.