Not All Sins Transmitted to Posterity

It does not follow, however, that all other sins, either of the first parent or of other parents, are handed down to posterity. For only the first sin of the first parent extirpated in its entirety the gift that had been supernaturally granted to human nature in the person of the first father. This is the reason why sin is said to have corrupted or infected nature. Subsequent sins do not encounter anything of this sort that they can uproot from the whole of human nature. Such sins do, indeed, take away from man, or at least tarnish, some particular good, namely, a personal good; but they do not corrupt nature except so far as nature pertains to this or that person. Since man begets his like not in person but only in nature, the sin that defiles the person is not handed down from a parent to his descendants. Only the first sin that defiled nature as such, is thus transmitted.


St. Thomas Aquinas. (1265-1274). Compendium Theologiae: Not All Sins Transmitted to Posterity, trans. by Cyril Vollert. St. Louis & London: B. Herder Book Co., 1947

All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).

Agere Sequitur Esse