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Catholic Dictionary




The doctrine that the human race derived from one original human being, identified in Scripture with Adam. This is the Church's constant traditional teaching. In the Creed of Pope Pelagius I (reigned 556-61) we read: "I confess that all men until the end of time, born of Adam and dying with Adam, his wife, who themselves were not born of other parents . . . will rise and stand firm before the judgment seat of Christ, to receive each one according to his works" (Denzinger, 228a). And Pope Pius XII declared: "No Catholic can hold that after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from his as from the first parent of all" (Humani Generis, 1950, para. 38). (Etym. Latin mono, one + genus, race.)