Struggle with Original sin

I had a Eastern orthodox bible and had questions on Original Sin. In the Orthodox viewpoint of Ancestral sin, we do not have Guilt through Adam but have the consequences of the fall. Yet the Holy Spirit came to me and told me “we all have Adams guilt” and my mom told me that Orthodox and Catholic viewpoint are basically the same and yet I still struggle with this issue. It amazes me that the Holy Spirit would tell me this.

Meditate on this “valley of tears”. The Holy Spirit will guide you.


We share in Adam’s sin and the punishments for his sin. We are born with its guilt on our souls. Here is what the Baltimore Catechism says about original sin,

What evil befell us on account of the disobedience of our first parents? On account of the disobedience of our first parents we all share in their sin and punishment, as we would have shared in their happiness if they had remained faithful. … Our nature was corrupted by the sin of our first parents, which darkened our understanding, weakened our will, and left us a strong inclination to evil.
Why is this sin called original? This sin is called original because it comes down to us from our first parents, and we are brought into the world with its guilt on our souls.

It is not the same as actual sin since the child didn’t commit any sin, but the child “begins its life in a condition brought about by the actual sin of Adam” and is considered to be in the state of sin. I don’t know how you would know for sure that the Holy Ghost is telling you something.

Might be worth looking up and studying the concept of “concupiscence”.

I haven’t run across the New Testament scriptural text that explains this, in some time. But the idea is this.

Original sin as described in Genesis is the reason we need a Savior and why we have a Savior. Catholics believe this is one of the major teachings of the Bible.

As a non-Catholic, perhaps this has not been impressed on you, particularly because the words “original sin” do not appear in the Bible. For that same reason, you may have been taught otherwise, that there was no original sin, or that even the idea is not important.

But, SURELY the consequences of Adam and Eve being expelled from the garden of Eden have to tell you that something BIG happened there. REALLY BIG.

It’s quite a matter of history, the many Protestant churches have systematically opposed as many of the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church as they can, to convince their members to not convert to Catholicism.

When Catholics say “guilt,” we mean “consequences.” There are actually multiple words in Latin for these legal sort of things.

An analogy: if your father were to do damage someone’s property, and then pass away suddenly. You, as his heir, although you are not personally responsible for his action, nevertheless would still be required to pay for the damages, as you now possess his estate.

Your father is personally guilty and is required to pay, which are the consequences of his actions. Because he dies though, you inherit the requirement to pay, that is, you inherit the consequences.

To us, Adam did the same thing: he passed on the consequences of his sin to his offspring, and them to their offspring, and so on. It might be better said though that Adam didn’t pass on something he should have, as he should have passed on Original Grace to his offspring, but lost it in the sin of origins (aka Original sin), and Original sin is simply the absence of Original Grace. Luck for us, Christ came to reinstate Grace to children of men :slight_smile:

In Latin Theology, we say that the father has both culpa (personal guilt) and *reatus * (negative consequences), but his heir has only reatus. The word translated as “guilt” in the Council of Trent is reatus, not culpa. Therefore, we should say that we inherit the consequences of Adam’s sin, but not his culpability.

Why does the translation use “guilt?” I think it might be due to the English word “guilt” being more general in the past than it is today, with current translations simply going off the older translations in this instant.

Hope this helps…

Christi pax,


The “guilt” is a state, not an act or even a fault. It’s a state of injustice, a disordered state primarily described as *separation of man from God. * Also described as spiritual death, the “death of the soul”, which necessitates our being “born again” or “born from above”. If we just read the newspaper we should be able to observe and identify this state, in humans, easily enough. For that matter it generally rears its ugly head, causing unreasonable conflicts, in our own, personal relationships, even within ourselves. None of this should present difficulties with the Eastern concept of Ancestral Sin, unless someone wants it to. The following are from the Catechism:

**402 All men are implicated in Adam’s sin, as St. Paul affirms: “By one man’s disobedience many (that is, all men) were made sinners”: "sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned."289 The Apostle contrasts the universality of sin and death with the universality of salvation in Christ. "Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men."290

403 Following St. Paul, the Church has always taught that the overwhelming misery which oppresses men and their inclination towards evil and death cannot be understood apart from their connection with Adam’s sin and the fact that he has transmitted to us a sin with which we are all born afflicted, a sin which is the “death of the soul”.291 Because of this certainty of faith, the Church baptizes for the remission of sins even tiny infants who have not committed personal sin.292

404 How did the sin of Adam become the sin of all his descendants? The whole human race is in Adam “as one body of one man”.293 By this “unity of the human race” all men are implicated in Adam’s sin, as all are implicated in Christ’s justice. Still, the transmission of original sin is a mystery that we cannot fully understand. But we do know by Revelation that Adam had received original holiness and justice not for himself alone, but for all human nature. By yielding to the tempter, Adam and Eve committed a personal sin, but this sin affected the human nature that they would then transmit in a fallen state.294 It is a sin which will be transmitted by propagation to all mankind, that is, by the transmission of a human nature deprived of original holiness and justice. And that is why original sin is called “sin” only in an analogical sense: it is a sin “contracted” and not “committed” - a state and not an act.

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”. Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ’s grace, erases original sin and turns a man back towards God, but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man and summon him to spiritual battle.**

its through the inhearatance of adam and eve its passed from one generation to another

Think of original sin as an exile: Adam and Eve were exiled from Paradise, and since they weren’t in Paradise, their children obviously would be born outside it as well.

The King then came into our exile in order to invite us back :smiley:

Both the Orthodox and Catholic position are basically the same, as far as I’m aware. “Original guilt” is polemical, and not taught by any Western Father, including St. Augustine.

Christi pax,


The Dogma of Trent on Original Sin teaches the personal guilt of Adam & Eve for Original Sin, but the Magisterium does not teach a personal or actual sin or guilt in Adam’s descendants. What is present in our fallen human nature is the stain of that sin in each of us – we all born sinners (St Paul, Rom 5:19) – Adam transmitted his guilt to our nature – left in a state of sin. That is why the** CCC #403 **teaches that Adam “has transmitted to us a sin with which we are all born afflicted….”
Our fallen state lies in our human nature received sinful from Adam’s nature.

The consequences of Adam’s sin and our state of sin are the loss of: sanctifying grace, of integrity, of immortality and happiness (therefore suffering), and of enlightenment.

Thus I have to follow the redeemer, the Christ and His Catholic Church, which teaches, rules and sanctifies

Baptism remits that state of original sin, and incorporates us into the Church founded by Jesus Christ. It infuses sanctifying grace into the soul of the recipient and imparts an indelible character. All of the other consequences of the inherited original sinful state of our nature remain – our growth in holiness depends on our cooperation with the redemption of Jesus to enable salvation.

Those who follow Him through His Church, or follow their consciences and sincerely try to do good and avoid evil, have the opportunity for salvation.

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