Salvation and Original Sin

1. All human persons have original sin from conception, except Adam, Eve, Jesus, and Mary. [Trent]
2. Original sin is taken away only by the three forms of baptism: water, desire, blood. [Trent]
3. Everyone who dies in a state of original sin, never having received any form of baptism, is excluded from Heaven and is instead sent to Hell. [Lyons II, Florence]

* The claim that a person who dies in a state of original sin might still go to Heaven
* The claim that a person can receive a form of baptism after death
* The claim that original sin can be taken away by anything other than the three forms of baptism

Open Question:
+ Whether prenatals, infants, and little children, who die without a baptism of water, might receive from God a baptism of blood prior to death, so that they do not die in a state of original sin.

I believe that all prenatals, infants, and young children, who die at that young age, receive a baptism of blood, from Christ on the Cross, prior to death, so that they die in the state of grace, not in the state of original sin. All prenatals, infants, and young children go to Heaven.

Original Sin Alone

Who dies in a state of original sin alone, if not prenatals, infants, and young children? Only adults who have committed the actual mortal sin of omission of never having found the state of grace, by any of the three forms of baptism, despite ample opportunity.

The Council of Valence (855 AD) — “Nor [do we believe] that the wicked thus perish because they were not able to be good; but because they were unwilling to be good, they have remained by their own vice in the mass of damnation either by reason of original sin or even by actual sin.” [Denzinger 321]

Thus, those human persons who are damned due to original sin are so condemned because “they were unwilling to be good” and instead knowingly chose to remain “by their own vice in the mass of damnation”.

Original Sin in Church Doctrine

The Council of Trent:

“If anyone asserts that the prevarication of Adam … has transfused only death and the punishment of the body into the whole human race, but not also sin, which is the death of the soul: let him be anathema.”

“this sin of Adam … is one in its origin and has been transfused into all by propagation, not imitation, that is, to each one as his own”

“If anyone denies that, through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is conferred in Baptism, the guilt of original sin is remitted; or even asserts that the whole of that which has the true and proper nature of sin is not taken away, but says that it is only diminished or not imputed: let him be anathema.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church:

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”. 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.

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 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.

The Council of Florence: “But the souls of those who depart this life in actual mortal sin, or in original sin alone, go down straightaway to hell to be punished, but with unequal pains.”

The Second Council of Lyons: “The souls of those who die in mortal sin or with original sin only, however, immediately descend to hell, yet to be punished with different punishments.”

All human persons, other than Adam, Eve, Jesus, and Mary, have original sin from conception. The Church has always taught that we inherit original sin, not merely some effects of Adam’s sin, and that baptism takes away original sin.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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