Did the devil make us fall?

From the catholic catechism,:
“Behind the disobedient choice of our first parents lurks a seductive voice, opposed to God, which makes them fall into death out of envy”.

I have a hard time accepting the second part of the statement above. It sounds like the “devil made me do it”. If the devil made us fall how can we be held accountable. The way I see it, we made ourselves fall as we gave in to temptation. I don’t think the devil made us do anything. We were disobedient and it is/was our choice. Can anyone shead some light on this,please? thanks.

Look back a few words in the quoted section. It was still the choice of our first parents that led to the fall. Behind that choice was the voice of the evil one. That doesn’t mean the devil made them do it, but that he tempted them and they chose against God.


I don’t think that the word “makes” is meant to be that strong there. That the devil can’t make us do anything but can only tempt is part of Catholic teaching (sin done without free choice is greatly mitigated, if not eliminated. If the devil “made” us do something than it wouldn’t be us who did it, but rather the devil who did it, using us). Reading that sentence in light of that, and considering that the rest of the section explicitly refers to sin (original and otherwise) as man’s choice, I think you could use a weaker version of the word makes.

Something that, if written more explicitly would be “the voice (if heeded) makes…” or “the voice leads towards…” without the implication that we must heed the voice.

Agreed. Some context makes this clear:

CCC 397 Man’s first sin

Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God’s command. This is what man’s first sin consisted of.[sup]278[/sup] All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness.

CCC 398 In that sin man *preferred *himself to God and by that very act scorned him. He chose himself over and against God, against the requirements of his creaturely status and therefore against his own good. Constituted in a state of holiness, man was destined to be fully “divinized” by God in glory. Seduced by the devil, he wanted to “be like God”, but “without God, before God, and not in accordance with God”.[sup]279[/sup]

CCC 399 Scripture portrays the tragic consequences of this first disobedience. Adam and Eve immediately lose the grace of original holiness.[sup]280[/sup] They become afraid of the God of whom they have conceived a distorted image - that of a God jealous of his prerogatives.[sup]281[/sup]
__________278 Cf. Gen 3:1-11; Rom 5:19.
279 St. Maximus the Confessor, Ambigua: PG 91,1156C; cf. Gen 3:5.
280 Cf. Rom 3:23.
281 Cf. Gen 3:5-10.

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