I have been a Catholic for quite a while, and since going to college I have become a bit more interested than I was previously in ensuring that my faith is the correct one. The question of Original Sin came up pretty quickly in my examinations, and I found that I had no explanation for it. First of all, it is clear from Church doctrine that sin is Voluntary.
The consequences of Original Sin are many, including pain at childbirth, concupiscence, guilt, and the need to wear clothes. But, in addition to this, each and every person born after Original Sin was born with that sin on their soul. In essence, the sin is hereditary. Not only that, but even after the death of Jesus, we STILL have sin on our souls. What? I think we can all agree that sin is voluntary, and that God is both all Just and all Merciful. And yet, after the first sin, he makes all of humanity bear the guilt of a sin that they couldn't possibly have committed. It is as if a whole family of people were thrown into jail because of the sin of their father. That might have been just under very ancient law systems, but how could it be that an ALL JUST and ALL MERCIFUL God puts this guilt on all of us. I can see how our human nature could be corrupted, and that corruption passed down, but according to justice, one cannot be guilty for a sin one didn't commit. Now, I have used google extensively in my search to find an explanation of this that maintains that sin is voluntary, the Catholic Church is the real church, AND we all have the guilt of Original Sin on our souls. However, one explanation (Catholic Encyclopedia, [catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=10849](http://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=10849)) *"The will of Adam acting as head of the human race for the conservation or loss of original justice is the cause and source of original sin. Actual sin is committed by a free personal act of the individual will."* .. really? Another explanation (from [biserica.org/Publicatii/Catechism/catorsin.html](http://biserica.org/Publicatii/Catechism/catorsin.html)) says *"Why should we have to pay for the sins of our parents? they say. Unfortunately, this is so, because the consequence of original sin is the distortion of the nature of man. Of course, this is unexplainable and belongs to the realm of mystery" * In the Catechism, it states that Original Sin is a central part of Catholic Theology, and really it is... and there is no real explanation for this apparent injustice on God's part. I must confess that if I cannot find a good answer to this question, it will be hard for me to close my eyes to this and pretend that the Church is still real. Please help!