Should a Catholic used the term "depraved" when describing human nature?

Or is there a better word? Thanks in advance.

Human nature in general … all humans?

I don’t thinks so. We are not born depraved. Depravity is an acquired talent:rolleyes:, as for example in Nero, or Hitler, or Bin Laden.

If you are referring to the fundamental condition of us all, I would say “fallen” is a better and theologically more specific term.

The fallen angels are demons, incorrigible and truly depraved.

But we are fallen with a chance to rise again.

The term is often used by Protestants, it’s part of the TULIP doctrines. I believe ‘depravity’ also refers to the belief that humans lost their free will after the fall, which is not what the Catholic Church teaches. I think ‘fallen nature’ would be a better term to use.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_depravity

“Depravity” or “depraved” as applied to the human soul is a Protestant concept. Many (most?) Protestants believe that human beings are totally corrupted by sin, and that Christ does not change us in the core of our being. Rather, he “covers over” our sinfulness and corruption. The sinner remains in sin, and even those baptized are incapable of doing anything meritorious in God’s sight. There is no real change in sinners, but instead the merits of Christ are “imputed” to sinners wthout uniting them to God. Luther is often quoted as saying we are like dunghills covered over with a blanket of snow, but underneath the white snow we remain just a pile of dung. I’ve never been able to verify that quote, but it’s very descriptive of the way many (most?) Protestants view human nature because of the Fall. And we stay that way, even after we become Christian.

Total Depravity - It’s the “T” in TULIP.

In the Catholic view, God – who made us “very good” (Genesis 1:31) – remakes our fallen nature in the image of Jesus Christ through Baptism and joins us to the very life of God. Original sin is washed away and our souls are restored to the state of Adam and Eve in the Garden before the Fall – filled with grace. We are regenerated, born again, born from above. We remain grace-filled until we sin. Confession and absolution restore us again to the state of grace – to God’s friendship. We are literally “a little lower than the angels.”
God has given us a share in his own dignity by conferring on us dominion over the rest of creation (Ps 8:5, Genesis 1:26).

Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, not only we were redeemed, but the whole of creation was also redeemed.

Greetings Josphback,

Perhaps use weak or weakened, because we are very weak in our human natures. You can use depraved for the acts that sometimes that are committed by human beings.

God Bless.
Anathama Sit

Thanks everybody. Very helpful:)

Next question. Are we by nature good people who choose evil, or fallen people who have the opportunity with God’s grace to become good?

Greetings Josephback,

A good question that I will take a stab at answering.

We are indeed fallen creatures who have the opportunity with God’s grace to become good. We are not good in of ourselves, for all have fallen short of the glory of God [which is so infinite when one considers it.] We do choose evil though when we choose to act upon it.

God Bless.
Anathama Sit

I like it! I like it!

Greetings Josephback,

A good question that I will take a stab at answering.

We are indeed fallen creatures who have the opportunity with God’s grace to become good. We are not good in of ourselves, for all have fallen short of the glory of God [which is so infinite when one considers it.] We do choose evil though when we choose to act upon it.

God Bless.
Anathama Sit
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I can’t think of a better answer than that.

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