Q : 
I had a discussion with my Catholic friend about my good inner healing and family tree experience, but he is very skeptical about this. He says that any curses or impact to some sins our ancestors did (especially those we didn't even being told) is not Catholic teachings, and more Protestants teachings when they take Bible out of context. He has quoted Ezekiel 18:19-20, and mention that others' sins (that we don't know) won't be the "root cause" of reasons need for inner healing. Is that true?
【 Question from 】 Canada 加拿大

Fr. Francis : 

The confusion here is not inner healing or “generational healing”– these are legitimate, but the terminology “generational sin”.

The idea is that the pattern of sin of our ancestors can affect us in a way that we are not consciously being aware of. This is true, since we know well how we are shaped by our environment. If our parents are fearful and timid, chances are that we also may be trained to avoid confrontation or speaking up for ourselves. And often, this behaviour of our parents can be traced back to their parents, and their parents, and so on.

We see this in sinful patterns, in relational handicaps, in coping mechanisms, in addictive as well as superstitious behaviours.

These in effect are conditionings that we inherit from our ancestors, and they can tend us toward sin, harmful dispositions, unfreedom, lies, misgivings, fears, anxieties, strongholds, and all sorts of beliefs and behaviours that are contrary to the Gospel message that we are free and loved by God, and are capable of doing great things.

Inner healing and generational healing deal with these and other kinds of negative forces within us, and are very important ministries needed in the Church today.

What Ezekiel 18 talks about is not that, but that when we begin to talk about this generational wound as a sin like any other sin. It is also true that the idea of “generational sin” per se was introduced by Protestants, and sometimes the teachings and books that go with that do not help the confusion. These are wounds, not sins. They are conditionings that could cause us to stumble and sin, often for many years if not treated. But no, we do not inherit, per se, our ancestors sins.

But what maybe more so with this kind of generational conditioning is that we are often unaware of it. As a result we not only fall victim to it at an early age, but we perpetuate it ourselves to the next generations.Therefore, each generation is disposed to sin with the same root cause, and each generation does sin. It is in this context then that we call it generational sin – not by inheritance, but by the same sinful conditioning and weakness.