Maybe the “apple” was covered with chocolate?


Monsignor Charles Pope takes a closer look at the events leading up to The Fall of Man.


  1. As eloquent as this essay is, it does not even touch on the “justice” of the effects of Original Sin defaulting on all of Adam and Eve’s descendants: who, of course, were not their accomplices. (Readers of this blog will instantly recognize my recurring complaint.)

    Perhaps Fr. Pope will cover that in a future post. I’m not counting on his ability to satisfy me, though.

    “Oh happy Fault!”?? There has not been a day in my life wherein that fault made me happy, not even when garnished with scripture quotations and well-intended platitudes.

    I remain chronically grumpy about the whole thing.

    • Imagine that your great, great, great, great, great grandfather lost the billions of dollars worth of assets that he once controlled, and was sold into perpetual slavery – which also automatically applied to his descendants (kind of like living in a third world country.) Your only hope would be another family member with the desire and the necessary “clout” to extract (redeem) you and yours from that hopeless predicament. As Moe, Larry and Curly of the Three Stooges have been known to say, “We’re victims of circumstance!”


      • Good try. Faulty analogy. Really, no adequate analogy is possible.

      • Exactly where is the anology faulty?


      • It is called Original Sin, not Original Loss. In your analogy, the forebear committed no wrong, unlike the deliberate choice made by Adam. Indeed, a wrong (perpetual slavery) was perpetrated upon him by another. Furthermore, one has some chance of escaping slavery by one’s own wits, means, etc. without gratuitous redemption by another. In your analogy and in the way you wrote it, “Patient Zero” is a victim of circumstances, not a culpable malefactor.

        Yet every human being is conceived suffering the consequences of a particular choice—i.e. sin—that he did not make/commit.

      • Slavery is slavery. It remains permanent and in full force unless and until someone comes along who is powerful and righteous enough to free the slaves. This is a recurring theme and constant undercurrent in the OT of the Bible.

        The supernatural aspect of Original Sin makes the problem all the more intractible.

        Saint Paul explains that through Adam’s sin all of mankind became permanently and eternally enslaved to Satan, sin and death. The only one who could fix that was Jesus Christ.

        Take a look at my on-line ebook which goes into this in much more detail.

        Click to access passionfinawebl.pdf


      • “Saint Paul explains that through Adam’s sin all of mankind became permanently and eternally enslaved to Satan, sin and death. The only one who could fix that was Jesus Christ.”

        This is no explanation, simply a statement of facts. I do not deny the facts. But I cannot through reason reconcile the first fact with an infinitely just God. But of course, I cannot—through reason—posit an infinitely just God, either. Enter Faith.

        We know not—nor is it knowable in this world—what would have been the fate of mankind had not Adam himself sinned in the Garden. One might just as well speculate on how many angels fit on a pinhead.

        One might further noodle over whether Adam and Eve’s children, grandchildren, etc. might have been tempted—as the first parents were—had neither of the latter succumbed to that proto-temptation and sinned. And, if tempted, would the progeny of the hypothetically sinless first parents have sinned? If so, what would have been the fate of their progeny? All of this is pointless whatiffing. Back to counting angels.

        One could reasonably argue that, by permitting the Prince of Darkness—whose overwhelming power is well known—to tempt Adam and Eve, God was setting mankind up to fall from the very beginning. Then, along comes liturgical rhetoric such as “happy fault” and “necessary sin of Adam” that would appear not to refute, but to affirm such an argument.

        As I have said many, many times: These expressions profoundly trouble me ever year at the Easter Vigil.

      • It’s kind of like Abraham, who was credited with righteousness due to his faith. Once you pass the required test, God cuts you (and yours) some major “slack”. As for all the other speculations, your guess is as good as anyone’s. One thing’s certain though – there’s a profound lesson in there – for all of us.
        As for the number of angels dancing on the head of the pin: There is no pin!


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