My quote earlier from Joan of Arc about how Christ and the church are “just one thing” and “we shouldn’t complicate the matter” brought up the question of how some of the other quotes from the same section of the Catechism might qualify and illuminate that sort of crude language. Well, here they are (emphasis mine):
Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself. Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God’s grace toward us? Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ. For if he is the head, we are the members; he and we together are the whole man…. The fullness of Christ then is the head and the members. But what does “head and members” mean? Christ and the Church. (Augustine)
Our redeemer has shown himself to be one person with the holy Church whom he has taken to himself. (Gregory the Great)
Head and members form as it were one and the same mystical person. (Aquinas)
Now, clearly all of these quotes use far superior language and employ greater sophistication than the quote from the Maid of Orleans. However, I don’t see how they amount to anything much different. To say that the church and Christ are “one person”, even one “mystical” person (definitely not a distinctly Pauline iteration of body of Christ language there), seems to posit a form of unity that is far too conflating. If Christ and the church are “one person” the very notion of distinguishing between the action of the church and the action of Christ is lost, thus rejecting the biblical notion of Jesus as the one who saves, who is the “one mediator between God and humankind” (1 Tim 2:5).