According to the Catholic Catechism, 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.

At the moment God creates the soul, is it without original sin?

(This is not the same as my earlier question. I hope this version is a bit more refined and specific. I'm trying to sort out this teaching. Is the soul, at the moment God creates it and before it is ensouled in the embryo, without original sin?)


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The Catechism continues (emphasis mine):

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. 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. 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.

The Church does not profess to know when and how the newly-created soul acquires original sin; however, it is inextricably bound to human nature, so one would expect it to be acquired as the soul acquires its human nature, although in a very real sense the soul of a person is itself their human nature.

All we know is, Adam sinned, and his sin cast a shadow upon our nature and gave us a certain tendency to despise God and love evil. This part and parcel of being human is present in us when we are born, and we have no Revelation to guide us any further.

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    If the Church doesn't know when the newly-created soul acquires original sin, it must be that at the moment it is immediately created by God, the soul is without original sin. That means we are created sinless--doesn't it? Mary was given human nature without acquiring the stain of original sin, so it is therefore possible for God to keep each human He creates free from sin--is that right?
    – Stuart
    Jan 28, 2022 at 15:52
  • If the sin is there when soul is created God is producing defective souls.. if the sin is not there when a soul is created Gods word is inaccurate when it says all are sinners from the womb conceived in sin. Thus it must not be true that a soul is not created by God at all. instead we become souls when life begins. And we are no longer souls when life is gone. Our life comes from the natural process of procreation that continues to function even in our inherited sinful human nature.
    – Kris
    Jan 28, 2022 at 18:46
  • @Stuart You might want to review Ken Graham's answer to a related question, which says God gave special grace only for 4. Why? The answer is part of theodicy, which continues to be explored. My favorite is Eleonore Stump's 2010 magnum opus Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering. See related lecture: Suffering, Evil, and the Desires of the Heart. Jan 29, 2022 at 17:17
  • Thanks for the link--that's a good answer. But it's just theory. A God that has the power to prevent people from being born in original sin and threatened with Hell, and chooses not to, doesn't match my understanding of a loving Father. Mary gave her full love and devotion to God of her own free will, and her will was untainted by sin, so the love we give to God can come from our untainted free will. I don't see any benefit that God gets from letting original sin continue when He can stop it. So--maybe original sin is simply false. Maybe not. But it is definitely illogical.
    – Stuart
    Jan 29, 2022 at 21:39

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