Congregatio Mariae Reginae Immaculatae
|Type||Sedevacantist Catholic religious congregation|
|Headquarters||Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.|
The Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen (Latin: Congregatio Mariae Reginae Immaculatae; CMRI) is a sedevacantist Traditionalist Catholic religious congregation. The CMRI is dedicated to promoting the message of Our Lady of Fátima and the devotion of the practice of Total Consecration to the Virgin Mary as taught by Saint Louis Marie de Montfort.
The CMRI holds that the Chair of St. Peter has been unoccupied since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958. The CMRI is not connected to the present Holy See or any territorial church diocese.
The congregation lists over 90 traditional Catholic churches and chapels both in the U.S. and abroad, as well as at least 13 schools staffed by religious.[non-primary source needed]
The group had used and was designated by various names:
The following people are part of the core membership of the group:
The Sisters at Mt. St. Michael record CDs and perform an annual Christmas concert.
The CMRI hold the Fatima conference at Mt. St. Michael in Spokane, Washington in October each year. The conference includes five days of lectures, daily Mass, devotions, and meals.
The CMRI has been involved with mass media since their founding as a method of recruitment and information. Throughout their history, the CMRI has produced books, pamphlets, and audio recordings. The CMRI runs a bookstore (Mary Immaculate Queen Center) and produces various periodicals: The Reign of Mary (quarterly magazine), Adsum (Mater Dei seminary monthly newsletter), and Anima Mariae, the CMRI sisters' newsletter. The CMRI also produces annual CDs of the Fatima Conference talks, as well as providing a livestream of Daily Mass and devotions from the City of Mary in Rathdrum, Idaho.
Main article: Francis Schuckardt
Francis Konrad Maria Schuckardt (a Catholic layman from Seattle, Wash.) and Robert Denis Chicoine (a former Marine, bricklayer, and newspaper pressman from New Bedford, Mass.) attracted their initial followers through international speaking tours as part of The Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima. Chicoine first heard Schuckardt in a 1965 talk in San Diego about the message of Fatima. After listening to Schuckardt for three nights in a row, he became his disciple.
Beginning in the late 1960s, Schuckardt was able to attract numerous vagabond priests.
Schuckardt was ordained a priest and consecrated a bishop by Daniel Q. Brown from 28 October to 1 November 1971 at a motel in Chicago in front of 40 witnesses. Brown had been consecrated a bishop in 1969 by Hubert A. Rogers, a bishop of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church, but had left it and become independent in 1971.
The same year, Schuckardt changed the name of the group to Traditional Latin Rite Catholic Church.
The CMRI owned and operated numerous schools, camps, and properties.
On June 3, 1984, Schuckardt and a small group of his followers were expelled from the CMRI and left the Spokane area, taking the name Tridentine Latin Rite Church (TLRC). In addition to Fr. Alphonsus, Schuckardt was followed by 4 religious sisters and 10 religious clerics and brothers. A larger group of the priests, religious, and laity remained with Chicoine at Mt. St. Michael, retaining the CMRI name and the bulk of the church property. Chicoine accused Schuckadrt of abuse & drug addiction. Local media in 1984 reported that there were 5000 followers of the group in the United States, 800 of whom live in the Spokane area. In 1986, local media reported that about half the members of the church's religious orders left.
Following the expulsion of Schuckardt, sedevacantist Bishop George Musey (of the Thuc apostolic line) conditionally re-administered the sacraments imparted by Schuckardt, whose validity was now considered dubious, and conditionally re-ordained the remaining priests.
In 1986, the Congregation held its first General Chapter, which established its rule and constitutions, that were later approved by sedevacantist Bishop Robert McKenna.
In August 1989, Father Tarcisius Pivarunas (Mark Pivarunas) was elected as the Superior General of the congregation.
On 1 February 1991, sedevacantist Bishop Moisés Carmona expressed his desire to consecrate as bishop whomever the congregation chooses. On 3 April 1991, Mark Pivarunas was elected to be consecrated a bishop. In accordance with Catholic practice, Mark Pivarunas discontinued the use of his religious name, "Tarcisius", and in accordance with the CMRI Constitutions, resigned his post as the Superior General. He was succeeded by Father Casimir M. Puskorius. On 24 September 1991, in Mount Saint Michael, Mark Pivarunas was consecrated a bishop by Bishop Carmona.
In June 2007, 15 sisters (including Rev. Mother Ludmilla) living at Mount Saint Michael in Spokane were expelled from the congregation because they had come to disagree with the congregation's stance of sedevacantism. They later reconciled with the Catholic Church and formed the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church (SMMC) under the authority of William Skylstad, bishop of Spokane.
There has been a criticism from among former members, the media, and others toward the Schuckardt group, CMRI.
The Southern Poverty Law Center in 2006 designated Mount St. Michael one of twelve "anti-semitic radical traditionalist Catholic groups." The SPLC 2021 list of "Radical Traditional Catholicism" no longer includes Mt. St. Michael.
CMRI has been involved in lawsuits beginning in the 1970s across various states. These lawsuits occurred both before & after the Schuckardt split. Notable cases include:
Since Schuckardt's departure, information has been released that has shown the CMRI or TLRC were connected to people later accused of sexual abuse. The CMRI does not publish lists of former CMRI-affiliated priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse. The following accusations of sexual abuse have been made public:
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