Catechism of the Catholic Church

98 Part One Original Sin—an essential truth of the faith 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 con- dition 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 knowChrist as the source of grace in order to knowAdam 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 Savior 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. How to read the account of the Fall 390 The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative lan- guage, 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 II. T he F all of the A ngels 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.” 268 261 Cf. Rom 5:12-21. 262 Jn 16:8. 263 Cf. 1 Cor 2:16. 264 Cf. GS 13 § 1. 265 Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1513; Pius XII: DS 3897; Paul VI: AAS 58 (1966), 654. 266 Cf. Gen 3:1-5; Wis 2:24. 267 Cf. Jn 8:44; Rev 12:9. 268 Lateran Council IV (1215): DS 800. 431 208 359 729 422 289 2538