Please Explain Original Sin


Could everyone who is a Latin-rite Catholic give me a detailed explanation of the Latin view of Original Sin, complete with the evidence from Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition upon which the view is based?


  1. No posting by non-Latins. (I want to here what Latins believe from the Latins themselves.)
  2. Please refrain from empty arguments, and simply state your assessment of the view.
  3. You may elaborate your view or the view of others, politely raise objections to other posters’ views, and discuss disagreements, but only with Scriptural or Patristic evidence, and only after you have independently stated your view of Original Sin.
  4. Please disregard posts that violate these rules.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Grace, Peace, and Mercy.


Here are some early church fathers on Original Sin:

Here is also a concise explanation of Original sin in accordance with the Catholic Church:



From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

405 Although it is proper to each individual,(295) original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam’s descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: it is wounded in the natural powers proper to it, subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death, and inclined to sin - an inclination to evil that is called concupiscence".

For a fuller investigation begin reading at #402.


Hi Zabdi,

In the footsteps of St. Augustine, Western Theology speaks of original sin. I personally think this is unfortunate, but there you are.

“Original” sin is not a sin in the usual meaning of a personal sin. But as a result of Adam’s sin, we inherit some unfortunate consequences. We have lost our original holiness, are subject to concupiscence and are condemned to die. Baptism restores us the original holiness but leaves us with concupiscence and (bodily) death.

Eastern Theology sticks closer to St. Paul’s terminology. Through one man (Adam) we die (spiritually as well as bodily) and through one man (Christ) we come back to life. Baptism is a “burial” from which we come out restored to spiritual life. This is why the Eastern Churches insist so much on baptism by immersion.

Bottom line, there is no discrepancy ibetween Eastern and Western doctrine. Before baptism we are spiritually dead; after baptism we are spiritually restored to life.When we resurrect, we shall have lost concuspiscence and will be gifted with eternal life and a “spiritual” body.

Does this answer you question?



Here is my long article on the subject, written back in 1996 in response to an “Assemblies of God” pastor who rejected original sin. Also covers differences between East and West.

Original Sin Explained and Defended

In the west/Latin church you have the language of “deprivation” of original holiness, grace, justice, while in the east: “There is indeed a consensus in Greek patristic and Byzantine traditions in identifying the inheritance of the Fall as an inheritance essentially of mortality rather than of sinfulness, sinfulness being merely a consequence of mortality.” (John Meyendorff, Byzantine Theology, page 143-145)

Phil P


Hi Zabdi,

Well, what do you say?



I’m not sure how much I can say, hopefully you have the general idea from my thread in the EC forum.

Anyway, as a basic argument from Scripture I would look at passages like Romans 5:5 which mention the “love of God poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us”. This implies that the “love of God and Holy Spirit” (“sanctifying grace”) were not originally present in our souls. Original Sin is first and foremost the loss of sanctifying grace in our souls, which Adam was originally created with and later lost. This sanctifying grace is a super-addition to human nature, it raises up human nature by participating in God’s life (cf 2 Pt 1:4) when Adam sinned he fell to a purely natural state (retained the image of God: ie use of intellect and will) and could not raise his thoughts and actions to a supernaturally good level without grace. Original Sin first and foremost means all men are born lacking sanctifying grace in their souls.

Also, Adam originally was given other gifts, especially a grace which prevented Adam from dying. When Adam sinned he lost this grace, and became corruptible and subject to physical deterioration and death. This gift was NOT restored, and that is why all of us still die. The more important sanctifying grace was restored, as well as a new promise (a greater good that the original) of God’s promise of Resurrection for us with glorified bodies.


I’ll respond later in the week, or next week at the latest, if the Lord will it. I’ve got final exams tomorrow and have a lot to review (or learn, rather). If I don’t return, I may have had a heart attack when I saw the exam questions. Hopefully that won’t be the case. :thumbsup:


We’ll keep you in our prayers until your ordeal is over. God bless. :slight_smile:


Thank you! I appreciate it! :smiley:


You’re welcome. Now, go out and knock 'em dead! :thumbsup:


So human nature after the Fall is in some way different from human nature before the fall?


What happens when you sin after baptism? Do you lose original holiness due to personal sin, just as Adam did, and will it be restored to you only when you repent?


Is it this purely natural state that is inclined toward sin? And if so, does that mean that humans have always by nature tended toward sin, and the only reason we did not follow these inclinations originally is because of Grace?


According to Latin theology, yes. Before the Fall, man was not inclined to sin. After the fall, he was inclined to sin. That’s a huge difference. Before the Fall, man would not have died. After the Fall, man was subject to death. That is a huge difference.



According to Latin theology, when you sin after baptism, you do not lose original holiness COMPLETELY, even when you sin mortally. By virtue of Baptism, an irremovable mark from the Holy Spirit is received that no sin can remove. This irremovable mark (Latin jargon is “indelible mark”) can be viewed as a tiny spark of grace - it is this grace that constantly moves us to repentance and seek God after we sin (of course, we always have the free will to reject it). No sin can remove this irremovable mark, but it is also by virtue of this irremovable mark that if we die in impenitence (i.e., refusal to repent of sin), then it causes our punishment in hell to be much worse on Judgment Day. For, as Scripture states, it is better for a man to have never received, than for a man to have received and rejected.

If I have misrepresented Latin teaching, please forgive me and correct me.



Dear brother Zabdi,

I just noticed in your first post that you did not want non-Latins to participate. Please forgive me for not noticing it.

I will now stop typing on this thread.:o



No, No, and no.

Let’s start over.

Man does not have inclination to sin in any way. Man has inclination to pleasure. This in itself is not disordered, however, it becomes sin when it is used too freely.


Dear brother Marduk,

Don’t worry about it. It was an honest mistake. :thumbsup:

Normally, I wouldn’t care who posted, but I just want to here how they explain it. Beliefs often sound different when described by those holding the beliefs, than they do when described by other. I just want to make sure I have an understanding of their beliefs based on how they themselves describe it.

In Christ,
Zabdi Premjit


Ah, I see. Is it kind of like what I thought as a Protestant?

Man is made with an inclination to lust/desire, as well as a desire to love. When in the Garden, the fact that Adam was in communion with God, who is Love itself, cause the inclination toward love to dominate. After the Fall, however, the separation form Love itself caused the inclination to lust to dominate. It is this dominance of the inclination to lust that causes us to sin, because as the Scripture say, “Man sins when he is led away by his lusts and enticed.” In Christ, we are reunited with Love itself. As we build a closer and closer relationship with him, the inclination to lust diminishes and the inclination to love increases.

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