As one might expect, the teaching of the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church is heavy in its emphasis on the church as the body of Christ. In its discussion of the totus Christus, and the nature of Christ’s headship over the body there are several sources sited: Augustine, Pope Gregory the Great, Thomas Aquinas, and . . . Joan of Arc?
Indeed. Not only is Joan of Arc quoted, she is quoted as summing up “the faith of the holy doctors and the good sense of the believer”:
About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they’re just one thing, and we shouldn’t complicate the matter.
Now obviously I don’t want to make a statement by Joan of Arc out to be the height of Roman Catholic theological sophistication regarding the nature of the totus Christus. However, the Catechism clearly says that it sums up the teaching of the doctors and the sense of the faithful. As such this seems utterly inadequate and, in fact, an outright contradiction of the New Testament’s way of talking about Jesus and the church. Whatever the relation, Jesus and the church certainly are not “just one thing.”