✟ God the Consummator ✟
For the Individual Human
Revealed Truth (Defined Dogma)

In the present order of salvation, death is a punishment for sin.

Lay Catechist Notes
    Our first parents in Paradise were endowed with bodily immortality and did not endure any suffering. When Adam and Eve disobeyed the Divine probationary command, God punished them with death (and suffering) and subjection to the devil and a built in inclination to sin (also called concupiscence). Sin is at the heart of all suffering that occurs - in fact, all death and suffering can, in a way, be traced back to the Original Sin committed by Adam and Eve, but is also due to the many sins committed each day.
Divine Revelation (Scriptural Proof)
  • 17But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat. for in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death. (Genesis 2:17)
  • 19In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return to the earth, out of which thou wast taken: for dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return. (Genesis 3:19)
  • 12Wherefore as by one man sin entered into this world, and by sin death; and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned. (Romans 5:12)
Catechism of the Catholic Church
  • 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. Harmony with creation is broken: visible creation has become alien and hostile to man. Because of man, creation is now subject "to its bondage to decay". Finally, the consequence explicitly foretold for this disobedience will come true: man will "return to the ground", for out of it he was taken. Death makes its entrance into human history.
  • 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." 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."
  • 405 Although it is proper to each individual, 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.
  • 413 "God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living. . . It was through the devil's envy that death entered the world" (Wis 1:13; 2:24).
  • 418 As a result of original sin, human nature is weakened in its powers, subject to ignorance, suffering and the domination of death, and inclined to sin (this inclination is called "concupiscence").
Ecumenical Council Documents
  • General Council of Trent (1545)
    • Decree Concerning Original Sin
      • "1. If anyone does not confess that the first man, Adam, when he transgressed the commandment of God in paradise, immediately lost the holiness and justice in which he had been constituted, and through the offense of that prevarication incurred the wrath and indignation of god, and thus death with which God had previously threatened him, and together with death, captivity under his power who thenceforth had the empire of death, that is to say, the devil, and that the entire Adam through that offense of prevarication was changed in body and soul for the worse, let him be anathema."
      • "4. If anyone denies that infants, newly born from their mothers' wombs, are to be baptized, even though they be born of baptized parents, or says that they are indeed baptized for the remission of sins, but that they derive nothing of original sin from Adam which must be expiated by the laver of regeneration for the attainment of eternal life, whence it follows that in them the form of baptism for the remission of sins is to be understood not as true but as false, let him be anathema, for what the Apostle has said,  by one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death, and so death passed upon all men , in whom all have sinned, is not to be understood otherwise than as the Catholic Church has everywhere and always understood it. For in virtue of this rule of faith handed down from the apostles, even infants who could not as yet commit any sin of themselves, are for this reason truly baptized for the remission of sins, in order that in them what they contracted by generation may be washed away by regeneration. For, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven."
    • CHAPTER I  The Impotency Of Nature And Of The Law To Justify Man
      • "The holy council declares first, that for a correct and clear understanding of the doctrine of justification, it is necessary that each one recognize and confess that since all men had lost innocence in the prevarication of Adam, having become unclean, and, as the Apostle says,  by nature children of wrath, as has been set forth in the decree on original sin, they were so far the servants of sin and under the power of the devil and of death , that not only the Gentiles by the force of nature, but not even the Jews by the very letter of the law of Moses, were able to be liberated or to rise therefrom, though free will, weakened as it was in its powers and downward bent, was by no means extinguished in them."
Fathers and Doctors of the Church Documents
  • De Civitate Dei (Book 10) (426) - City of God - Augustine
    • Chapter 24: Of the One Only True Principle Which Alone Purifies and Renews Human Nature.
      • "Thus the good and true Mediator showed that it is sin which is evil, and not the substance or nature of flesh; for this, together with the human soul, could without sin be both assumed and retained, and laid down in death, and changed to something better by resurrection.  He showed also that death itself, although the punishment of sin, was submitted to by Him for our sakes without sin , and must not be evaded by sin on our part, but rather, if opportunity serves, be borne for righteousness' sake. For he was able to expiate sins by dying, because He both died, and not for sin of His own."

  • De Civitate Dei (Book 13) (426) - City of God - Augustine
    • Chapter 3: Whether Death, Which by the Sin of Our First Parents  Has Passed Upon All Men, is the Punishment of Sin, Even to the Good.
      • "But a question not to be shirked arises: Whether in very truth death, which separates soul and body, is good to the good?  For if it be, how has it come to pass that such a thing should be the punishment of sin For the first men would not have suffered death had they not sinned . How, then, can that be good to the good, which could not have happened except to the evil? Then, again, if it could only happen to the evil, to the good it ought not to be good, but non-existent. For why should there be any punishment where there is nothing to punish?  Wherefore we must say that the first men were indeed so created, that if they had not sinned, they would not have experienced any kind of death; but that, having become sinners, they were so punished with death, that whatsoever sprang from their stock should also be punished with the same death ."
    • Chapter 4: Why Death, the Punishment of Sin, is Not Withheld from Those Who by the Grace of Regeneration are Absolved from Sin.
      • "If, moreover, any one is solicitous about this point, how,  if death be the very punishment of sin, they whose guilt is cancelled by grace do yet suffer death , this difficulty has already been handled and solved in our other work which we have written on the baptism of infants.  There it was said that the parting of soul and body was left, though its connection with sin was removed, for this reason, that if the immortality of the body followed immediately upon the sacrament of regeneration, faith itself would be thereby enervated . For faith is then only faith when it waits in hope for what is not yet seen in substance. And by the vigor and conflict of faith, at least in times past, was the fear of death overcome.  Specially was this conspicuous in the holy martyrs, who could have had no victory, no glory, to whom there could not even have been any conflict, if, after the layer of regeneration, saints could not suffer bodily death ."

  • De Civitate Dei (Book 14) (426) - City of God - Augustine
    • Chapter 1: That the Disobedience of the First Man Would Have Plunged  All Men into the Endless Misery of the Second Death, Had Not the Grace of God Rescued Many.
      • "We have already stated in the preceding books that  God, desiring not only that the human race might be able by their similarity of nature to associate with one another, but also that they might be bound together in harmony and peace by the ties of relationship, was pleased to derive all men from one individual, and created man with such a nature that the members of the race should not have died, had not the two first (of whom the one was created out of nothing, and the other out of him) merited this by their disobedience; for by them so great a sin was committed, that by it the human nature was altered for the worse, and was transmitted also to their posterity , liable to sin and subject to death. And the kingdom of death so reigned over men, that the deserved penalty of sin would have hurled all headlong even into the second death, of which there is no end, had not the undeserved grace of God saved some therefrom. And thus it has come to pass, that though there are very many and great nations all over the earth, whose rites and customs, speech, arms, and dress, are distinguished by marked differences, yet there are no more than two kinds of human society, which we may justly call two cities, according to the language of our Scriptures. The one consists of those who wish to live after the flesh, the other of those who wish to live after the spirit; and when they severally achieve what they wish, they live in peace, each after their kind."