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Catechism of the Catholic Church

How to read the account of the fall

390 The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man. 264 Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents. 265


264 Cf. GS 13 § 1.

265 Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1513; Pius XII: DS 3897; Paul VI: AAS 58 (1966), 654.

English Translation of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church for the United States of America © 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.

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