Catechism Cath. Church 336
337 God himself created the visible world in all its richness, diversity and order. Scripture presents the work of the Creator symbolically as a succession of six days of divine "work", concluded by the "rest" of the seventh day.(204) On the subject of creation, the sacred text teaches the truths revealed by God for our salvation,(205) permitting us to "recognize the inner nature, the value and the ordering of the whole of creation to the praise of God."(206)
338 Nothing exists that does not owe its existence to God the Creator. The world began when God's word drew it out of nothingness; all existent beings, all of nature, and all human history are rooted in this primordial event, the very genesis by which the world was constituted and time begun.(207)
339 Each creature possesses its own particular goodness and perfection. For each one of the works of the "six days" it is said: "And God saw that it was good." "By the very nature of creation, material being is endowed with its own stability, truth and excellence, its own order and laws."(208) Each of the various creatures, willed in its own being, reflects in its own way a ray of God's infinite wisdom and goodness. Man must therefore respect the particular goodness of every creature, to avoid any disordered use of things which would be in contempt of the Creator and would bring disastrous consequences for human beings and their environment.
340 God wills the interdependence of creatures. The sun and the moon, the cedar and the little flower, the eagle and the sparrow: the spectacle of their countless diversities and inequalities tells us that no creature is self-sufficient. Creatures exist only in dependence on each other, to complete each other, in the service of each other.
341 The beauty of the universe: The order and harmony of the created world results from the diversity of beings and from the relationships which exist among them. Man discovers them progressively as the laws of nature. They call forth the admiration of scholars. The beauty of creation reflects the infinite beauty of the Creator and ought to inspire the respect and submission of man's intellect and will.
342 The hierarchy of creatures is expressed by the order of the "six days", from the less perfect to the more perfect. God loves all his creatures(209) and takes care of each one, even the sparrow. Nevertheless, Jesus said: "You are of more value than many sparrows", or again: "Of how much more value is a man than a sheep!"(210)
343 Man is the summit of the Creator's work, as the inspired account expresses by clearly distinguishing the creation of man from that of the other creatures.(211)
344 There is a solidarity among all creatures arising from the fact that all have the same Creator and are all ordered to his glory: May you be praised, O Lord, in all your creatures, especially brother sun, by whom you give us light for the day; he is beautiful, radiating great splendour, and offering us a symbol of you, the Most High. . .
May you be praised, my Lord, for sister water, who is very useful and humble, precious and chaste. . .
May you be praised, my Lord, for sister earth, our mother, who bears and feeds us, and produces the variety of fruits and dappled flowers and grasses. . .
Praise and bless my Lord, give thanks and serve him in all humility.(212)
345 The sabbath - the end of the work of the six days. The sacred text says that "on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done", that the "heavens and the earth were finished", and that God "rested" on this day and sanctified and blessed it.(213) These inspired words are rich in profitable instruction:
346 In creation God laid a foundation and established laws that remain firm, on which the believer can rely with confidence, for they are the sign and pledge of the unshakeable faithfulness of God's covenant.(214) For his part man must remain faithful to this foundation, and respect the laws which the Creator has written into it.
347 Creation was fashioned with a view to the sabbath and therefore for the worship and adoration of God. Worship is inscribed in the order of creation.(215) As the rule of St. Benedict says, nothing should take precedence over "the work of God", that is, solemn worship.(216) This indicates the right order of human concerns.
348 The sabbath is at the heart of Israel's law. To keep the commandments is to correspond to the wisdom and the will of God as expressed in his work of creation.
349 The eighth day. But for us a new day has dawned: the day of Christ's Resurrection. The seventh day completes the first creation. The eighth day begins the new creation. Thus, the work of creation culminates in the greater work of redemption. The first creation finds its meaning and its summit in the new creation in Christ, the splendour of which surpasses that of the first creation.(217)
203 St. Basil, Adv. Eunomium III, I: PG 29, 656B.
205 DV 11
206 LG 36# 2.
207 Cf. St. Augustine, De Genesi adv. Man 1, 2, 4: PL 34, 175.
208 GS 36# 1.
209 Ps 145,9
210 Lc 12,6-7 Mt 12,12
211 Gn 1-26
212 St. Francis of Assisi, Canticle of the Creatures.
213 Gn 2,1-3
214 He 4,3-4 Jr 31,35-37 Jr 33,19-26.
215 Gn 1,14
216 St. Benedict, Regula 43, 3: PL 66, 675-676.
217 Cf. Roman Missal, Easter Vigil 24, prayer after the first reading.
350 Angels are spiritual creatures who glorify God without ceasing and who serve his saving plans for other creatures: "The angels work together for the benefit of us all" (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I 114,3, ad 3).
351 The angels surround Christ their Lord. They serve him especially in the accomplishment of his saving mission to men.
352 The Church venerates the angels who help her on her earthly pilgrimage and protect every human being.
353 God willed the diversity of his creatures and their own particular goodness, their interdependence and their order. He destined all material creatures for the good of the human race. Man, and through him all creation, is destined for the glory of God.
354 Respect for laws inscribed in creation and the relations which derive from the nature of things is a principle of wisdom and a foundation for morality.
355 "God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them."(218) Man occupies a unique place in creation: (I) he is "in the image of God"; (II) in his own nature he unites the spiritual and material worlds; (III) he is created "male and female"; (IV) God established him in his friendship.
218 Gn 1,27
356 Of all visible creatures only man is "able to know and love his creator".(219) He is "the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake",(220) and he alone is called to share, by knowledge and love, in God's own life. It was for this end that he was created, and this is the fundamental reason for his dignity:
What made you establish man in so great a dignity? Certainly the incalculable love by which you have looked on your creature in yourself! You are taken with love for her; for by love indeed you created her, by love you have given her a being capable of tasting your eternal Good.(221)
357 Being in the image of God the human individual possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something, but someone. He is capable of self-knowledge, of self-possession and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with other persons. And he is called by grace to a covenant with his Creator, to offer him a response of faith and love that no other creature can give in his stead.
358 God created everything for man,(222) but man in turn was created to serve and love God and to offer all creation back to him:What is it that is about to be created, that enjoys such honour? It is man that great and wonderful living creature, more precious in the eyes of God than all other creatures! For him the heavens and the earth, the sea and all the rest of creation exist. God attached so much importance to his salvation that he did not spare his own Son for the sake of man. Nor does he ever cease to work, trying every possible means, until he has raised man up to himself and made him sit at his right hand.(223)
359 "In reality it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear."(224)
St. Paul tells us that the human race takes its origin from two men: Adam and Christ. . . The first man, Adam, he says, became a living soul, the last Adam a life-giving spirit. The first Adam was made by the last Adam, from whom he also received his soul, to give him life... The second Adam stamped his image on the first Adam when he created him. That is why he took on himself the role and the name of the first Adam, in order that he might not lose what he had made in his own image. The first Adam, the last Adam: the first had a beginning, the last knows no end. The last Adam is indeed the first; as he himself says: "I am the first and the last."(225)
360 Because of its common origin the human race forms a unity, for "from one ancestor (God) made all nations to inhabit the whole earth":(226)
O wondrous vision, which makes us contemplate the human race in the unity of its origin in God. . . in the unity of its nature, composed equally in all men of a material body and a spiritual soul; in the unity of its immediate end and its mission in the world; in the unity of its dwelling, the earth, whose benefits all men, by right of nature, may use to sustain and develop life; in the unity of its supernatural end: God himself, to whom all ought to tend; in the unity of the means for attaining this end;. . . in the unity of the redemption wrought by Christ for all.(227)
219 GS 12,3.
220 GS 24,3.
221 St. Catherine of Siena, Dialogue IV, 13 "On Divine Providence": LH, Sunday, week 19, OR.
222 GS 12 1; 24 3; 39 1.1; 24 3; 39,1.
223 St. John Chrysostom, In Gen. sermo 2, 1: PG 54, 587D-588A.
224 GS 22,1.
225 St. Peter Chrysologus, Sermo 117: PL 52, 520-521.
226 Ac 17,26 Tb 8,6
227 Pius XII. Enc. Summi pontificatus 3;
361 "This law of human solidarity and charity",(228) without excluding the rich variety of persons, cultures and peoples, assures us that all men are truly brethren.
362 The human person, created in the image of God, is a being at once corporeal and spiritual. The biblical account expresses this reality in symbolic language when it affirms that "then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being."(229) Man, whole and entire, is therefore willed by God.
363 In Sacred Scripture the term "soul" often refers to human life or the entire human person.(230) But "soul" also refers to the innermost aspect of man, that which is of greatest value in him,(231) that by which he is most especially in God's image: "soul" signifies the spiritual principle in man.
364 The human body shares in the dignity of "the image of God": it is a human body precisely because it is animated by a spiritual soul, and it is the whole human person that is intended to become, in the body of Christ, a temple of the Spirit:(232)
Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity. Through his very bodily condition he sums up in himself the elements of the material world. Through him they are thus brought to their highest perfection and can raise their voice in praise freely given to the Creator. For this reason man may not despise his bodily life. Rather he is obliged to regard his body as good and to hold it in honour since God has created it and will raise it up on the last day 233
365 The unity of soul and body is so profound that one has to consider the soul to be the "form" of the body:(234) i.e., it is because of its spiritual soul that the body made of matter becomes a living, human body; spirit and matter, in man, are not two natures united, but rather their union forms a single nature.
366 The Church teaches that every spiritual soul is created immediately by God - it is not "produced" by the parents - and also that it is immortal: it does not perish when it separates from the body at death, and it will be reunited with the body at the final Resurrection.(235)
367 Sometimes the soul is distinguished from the spirit: St. Paul for instance prays that God may sanctify his people "wholly", with "spirit and soul and body" kept sound and blameless at the Lord's coming.(236) The Church teaches that this distinction does not introduce a duality into the soul.(237) "Spirit" signifies that from creation man is ordered to a supernatural end and that his soul can gratuitously be raised beyond all it deserves to communion with God.(238)
368 The spiritual tradition of the Church also emphasizes the heart, in the biblical sense of the depths of one's being, where the person decides for or against God.(239)
228 Pius XII Summi pontificatus 3.
229 Gn 2,7
230 Mt 16,25-26 Jn 15,13 Ac 2,41
231 Mt 10,28 Mt 26,38 Jn 12,27 2M 6 2M 30
232 1Co 6,19-20 1Co 15,44-45.
233 GS 14,1 Da 3,57-80 Da 3,57-80
234 Cf. Council of Vienne (1312): DS 902
235 Cf. Pius XII, Humani generis: DS 3896 Paul VI, CPC# 8; Lateran 8; Lateran Council V (1513): DS 1440
236 1Th 5,23
237 Cf. Council of Constantinople IV (870): DS 657
238 Cf. Vatican Council I, Dei Filius: DS 3005 GS 22# 5; Humani generis: 5; Humani generis: DS 3891
239 Jr 31,33 Dt 6,5 Dt 29,3 Is 29,13 Ez 36,26 Mt 6,21 Lc 8,15 Rm 5,5
369 Man and woman have been created, which is to say, willed by God: on the one hand, in perfect equality as human persons; on the other, in their respective beings as man and woman. "Being man" or "being woman" is a reality which is good and willed by God: man and woman possess an inalienable dignity which comes to them immediately from God their Creator.(240) Man and woman are both with one and the same dignity "in the image of God". In their "being-man" and "being-woman", they reflect the Creator's wisdom and goodness.
370 In no way is God in man's image. He is neither man nor woman. God is pure spirit in which there is no place for the difference between the sexes. But the respective "perfections" of man and woman reflect something of the infinite perfection of God: those of a mother and those of a father and husband.(241)
371 God created man and woman together and willed each for the other. The Word of God gives us to understand this through various features of the sacred text. "It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helper fit for him."(242) None of the animals can be man's partner.(243) The woman God "fashions" from the man's rib and brings to him elicits on the man's part a cry of wonder, an exclamation of love and communion: "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh."(244) Man discovers woman as another "I", sharing the same humanity.
372 Man and woman were made "for each other" - not that God left them half-made and incomplete: he created them to be a communion of persons, in which each can be "helpmate" to the other, for they are equal as persons ("bone of my bones. . .") and complementary as masculine and feminine. In marriage God unites them in such a way that, by forming "one flesh",(245) they can transmit human life: "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth."(246) By transmitting human life to their descendants, man and woman as spouses and parents co-operate in a unique way in the Creator's work.(247)
373 In God's plan man and woman have the vocation of "subduing" the earth(248) as stewards of God. This sovereignty is not to be an arbitrary and destructive domination. God calls man and woman, made in the image of the Creator "who loves everything that exists",(249) to share in his providence toward other creatures; hence their responsibility for the world God has entrusted to them.
240 Gn 2,7-22 Gn 2,7,
241 Is 49,14-15 Is 66,13 Ps 131,2-3 Os 11,1-4 Jr 3,4-19
242 Gn 2,18
243 Gn 2,19-20
244 Gn 2,23
245 Gn 2,24
246 Gn 1,28
247 GS 50# 1.
248 Gn 1,28
249 Sg 11,24
374 The first man was not only created good, but was also established in friendship with his Creator and in harmony with himself and with the creation around him, in a state that would be surpassed only by the glory of the new creation in Christ.
375 The Church, interpreting the symbolism of biblical language in an authentic way, in the light of the New Testament and Tradition, teaches that our first parents, Adam and Eve, were constituted in an original "state of holiness and justice".(250) This grace of original holiness was "to share in. . .divine life".(251)
376 By the radiance of this grace all dimensions of man's life were confirmed. As long as he remained in the divine intimacy, man would not have to suffer or die.(252) The inner harmony of the human person, the harmony between man and woman,(253) and finally the harmony between the first couple and all creation, comprised the state called "original justice".
377 The "mastery" over the world that God offered man from the beginning was realized above all within man himself: mastery of self. The first man was unimpaired and ordered in his whole being because he was free from the triple concupiscence(254) that subjugates him to the pleasures of the senses, covetousness for earthly goods, and self-assertion, contrary to the dictates of reason.
378 The sign of man's familiarity with God is that God places him in the garden.(255) There he lives "to till it and keep it". Work is not yet a burden,(256) but rather the collaboration of man and woman with God in perfecting the visible creation.
250 Cf. Council of Trent (1546): DS 1511
251 LG 2
252 Gn 2,17 Gn 3,16-19.
253 Gn 2,25
254 1Jn 2,16
255 Gn 2,8
256 Gn 2,15
379 This entire harmony of original justice, foreseen for man in God's plan, will be lost by the sin of our first parents.
380 "Father,. . . you formed man in your own likeness and set him over the whole world to serve you, his creator, and to rule over all creatures" (Roman Missal, EP IV, 118).
381 Man is predestined to reproduce the image of God's Son made man, the "image of the invisible God" (Col 1,15), so that Christ shall be the first-born of a multitude of brothers and sisters (cf. ).
382 "Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity" (GS 14# 1). The doctrine of the faith a 1). The doctrine of the faith ffirms that the spiritual and immortal soul is created immediately by God.
383 "God did not create man a solitary being. From the beginning, "male and female he created them" (Gn 1,27). This partnership of man and woman constitutes the first form of communion between persons" (GS 12# 4).
384 Revelation makes known to us the state of original holiness and justice of man and woman before sin: from their friendship with God flowed the happiness of their existence in paradise.
385 God is infinitely good and all his works are good. Yet no one can escape the experience of suffering or the evils in nature which seem to be linked to the limitations proper to creatures: and above all to the question of moral evil. Where does evil come from? "I sought whence evil comes and there was no solution", said St. Augustine,(257) and his own painful quest would only be resolved by his conversion to the living God. For "the mystery of lawlessness" is clarified only in the light of the "mystery of our religion".(258) The revelation of divine love in Christ manifested at the same time the extent of evil and the superabundance of grace.(259) We must therefore approach the question of the origin of evil by fixing the eyes of our faith on him who alone is its conqueror.(260)
257 St. Augustine, Conf. 7, 7, 11: PL 32, 739.
258 2Th 2,7 1Tm 3,16
259 Rm 5,20
260 Lc 11,21-22 Jn 16,11 1Jn 3,8
386 Sin is present in human history; any attempt to ignore it or to give this dark reality other names would be futile. To try to understand what sin is, one must first recognize the profound relation of man to God, for only in this relationship is the evil of sin unmasked in its true identity as humanity's rejection of God and opposition to him, even as it continues to weigh heavy on human life and history.
387 Only the light of divine Revelation clarifies the reality of sin and particularly of the sin committed at mankind's origins. Without the knowledge Revelation gives of God we cannot recognize sin clearly and are tempted to explain it as merely a developmental flaw, a psychological weakness, a mistake, or the necessary consequence of an inadequate social structure, etc. Only in the knowledge of God's plan for man can we grasp that sin is an abuse of the freedom that God gives to created persons so that they are capable of loving him and loving one another.
388 With the progress of Revelation, the reality of sin is also illuminated. Although to some extent the People of God in the Old Testament had tried to understand the pathos of the human condition in the light of the history of the fall narrated in Genesis, they could not grasp this story's ultimate meaning, which is revealed only in the light of the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.(261) We must know Christ as the source of grace in order to know Adam as the source of sin. The Spirit-Paraclete, sent by the risen Christ, came to "convict the world concerning sin",(262) by revealing him who is its Redeemer.
389 The doctrine of original sin is, so to speak, the "reverse side" of the Good News that Jesus is the Saviour of all men, that all need salvation and that salvation is offered to all through Christ. The Church, which has the mind of Christ,(263) knows very well that we cannot tamper with the revelation of original sin without undermining the mystery of Christ.
390 The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man.(264) Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents.(265)
261 Rm 5,12-21
262 Jn 16,8
263 1Co 2,16
264 GS 13# 1.
265 Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1513 Pius XII: DS 3897 Paul VI: AAS 58 (1966), 654.
391 Behind the disobedient choice of our first parents lurks a seductive voice, opposed to God, which makes them fall into death out of envy.(266) Scripture and the Church's Tradition see in this being a fallen angel, called "Satan" or the "devil".(267) The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: "The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing."(268)
392 Scripture speaks of a sin of these angels.(269) This "fall" consists in the free choice of these created spirits, who radically and irrevocably rejected God and his reign. We find a reflection of that rebellion in the tempter's words to our first parents: "You will be like God."(270) The devil "has sinned from the beginning"; he is "a liar and the father of lies".(271)
393 It is the irrevocable character of their choice, and not a defect in the infinite divine mercy, that makes the angels' sin unforgivable. "There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death."(272)
394 Scripture witnesses to the disastrous influence of the one Jesus calls "a murderer from the beginning", who would even try to divert Jesus from the mission received from his Father.(273) "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil."(274) In its consequences the gravest of these works was the mendacious seduction that led man to disobey God.
395 The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of God's reign. Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries - of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature- to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but "we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him."(275)
266 Gn 3,1-5 Sg 2,24
267 Jn 8,44 Ap 12,9
268 Lateran Council IV (1215): DS 800
269 2P 2,4
270 Gn 3,5
271 1Jn 3,8 Jn 8,44
272 St. John Damascene, Defide orth. 2, 4: PG 94, 877.
273 Jn 8,44 Mt 4,1-11
274 1Jn 3,8
275 Rm 8,28
396 God created man in his image and established him in his friendship. A spiritual creature, man can live this friendship only in free submission to God. The prohibition against eating "of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" spells this out: "for in the day that you eat of it, you shall die."(276) The "tree of the knowledge of good and evil"(277) symbolically evokes the insurmountable limits that man, being a creature, must freely recognize and respect with trust. Man is dependent on his Creator, and subject to the laws of creation and to the moral norms that govern the use of freedom.
397 Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God's command. This is what man's first sin consisted of.(278) All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness.
398 In that sin man preferred himself to God and by that very act scorned him. He chose himself over and against God, against the requirements of his creaturely status and therefore against his own good. Constituted in a state of holiness, man was destined to be fully "divinized" by God in glory. Seduced by the devil, he wanted to "be like God", but "without God, before God, and not in accordance with God".(279)
399 Scripture portrays the tragic consequences of this first disobedience. Adam and Eve immediately lose the grace of original holiness.(280) They become afraid of the God of whom they have conceived a distorted image - that of a God jealous of his prerogatives.(281)
400 The harmony in which they had found themselves, thanks to original justice, is now destroyed: the control of the soul's spiritual faculties over the body is shattered; the union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions, their relations henceforth marked by lust and domination.(282) Harmony with creation is broken: visible creation has become alien and hostile to man.(283) Because of man, creation is now subject "to its bondage to decay".(284) Finally, the consequence explicitly foretold for this disobedience will come true: man will "return to the ground",(285) for out of it he was taken. Death makes its entrance into human history.(286)
401 After that first sin, the world is virtually inundated by sin There is Cain's murder of his brother Abel and the universal corruption which follows in the wake of sin. Likewise, sin frequently manifests itself in the history of Israel, especially as infidelity to the God of the Covenant and as transgression of the Law of Moses. And even after Christ's atonement, sin raises its head in countless ways among Christians.(287) Scripture and the Church's Tradition continually recall the presence and universality of sin in man's history:
What Revelation makes known to us is confirmed by our own experience. For when man looks into his own heart he finds that he is drawn towards what is wrong and sunk in many evils which cannot come from his good creator. Often refusing to acknowledge God as his source, man has also upset the relationship which should link him to his last end, and at the same time he has broken the right order that should reign within himself as well as between himself and other men and all creatures.(288)
276 Gn 2,17
277 Gn 2,17
278 Gn 3,1-11 Rm 5,19
279 St. Maximus the Confessor, Ambigua: PG 91, 1156C; Gn 3,5
280 Rm 3,23
281 Gn 3,5-10
282 Gn 3,7-16
283 Gn 3,17,
284 Rm 8,21
285 Gn 3,19 Gn 2,17.
286 Rm 5,12
287 Gn 4,3-15 Gn 6,5-12 Rm 1,18-32 1Co 1-6 Ap 2-3
288 GS 13# 1.
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.
406 The Church's teaching on the transmission of original sin was articulated more precisely in the fifth century, especially under the impulse of St. Augustine's reflections against Pelagianism, and in the sixteenth century, in opposition to the Protestant Reformation. Pelagius held that man could, by the natural power of free will and without the necessary help of God's grace, lead a morally good life; he thus reduced the influence of Adam's fault to bad example. The first Protestant reformers, on the contrary, taught that original sin has radically perverted man and destroyed his freedom; they identified the sin inherited by each man with the tendency to evil (concupiscentia), which would be insurmountable. The Church pronounced on the meaning of the data of Revelation on original sin especially at the second Council of Orange (529)(296) and at the Council of Trent (1546).(297)
289 Rm 5,12-19 Rm 5,12,
290 Rm 5,18
291 Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1512
292 Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1514
293 St. Thomas Aquinas, De malo 4, I.
294 Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1511-1512
295 Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1513
296 DS 371-372
297 DS 1510-1516
Catechism Cath. Church 336