Shalom! a question about original sin

Discuss general issues pertaining to the Catholic faith.

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:12 pm

Shalom! a question about original sin

Post by Thoma »

I'd like to understand what is the traditional Catholic teaching concerning original sin. I have read some of Saint Jerome's Against Jovinianus, and some more writings by the Church fathers, and from what I understood, they seem to be making a very strong connection between sexuality and original sin (and for that matter, also marrige, which came as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve, as Saint Jerome emphatically claims) Now, I know most theologians nowdays are very careful not to present original sin in that manner. (I gusse the very idea of original sin is so unpopular that they are afraid to make it sound even worse, this is my theory anyway) C.S Lewis also rejects it completely.
So i'd like to know what the Church REALLY teaches about this matter, did the church fathers had it right in stressing sexaulity as the reason behind original sin?
Thank you!

Site Admin
Posts: 143
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:28 am
Please enter the fourth number in the list (eight): 0
Location: Jerusalem

Re: Shalom! a question about original sin

Post by Ariel »

hi Thoma,

in one word, the answer to your question is: no.

yes, some of the Church Fathers had a rather negative view of sexuality, and some associated it with original sin. However one must distinguish between the personal theological opinions of the Fathers (or of any Catholics at any time for that matter) and the authoritative teachings of the Church which we consider binding and true.

Today, the Church makes no association whatsoever between original sin and sexuality (apart from the fact that sexuality became disordered after the fall - like the rest of our human nature). Nor does the Church say that the original sin was somehow sexual in nature.

For an overview of the Church's teachings, see our PowerPoint presentation on the fall original sin: ... index.html

This is a basic introduction, but if you follow the link references in the PPT to the CCC, this will open another window and direct you to the Catechism of the Catholic Church with all of the Church's official teachings on the topic.

I hope this helps. God bless!

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world” C.S. Lewis

Post Reply