Beliefs and Practices
The CMRI presents themselves as a continuation of the group from 1967, but this isn't true. They kept the buildings and have similar costume, but their way-of-life, beliefs, and practices have largely changed. They not only changed the abusive and "cultish" practices, but many other core aspects that had not been criticized by the media. Why they made these changes is a mystery, but it seems the remaining members wanted to created a more relaxed church, and to have things done in the way they preferred.
Fr. Lawrence S. Brey—1972
Fr. Brey had worked with Schuckardt in the late 1960s, but had left by 1972 on negative terms. Although he was complicit in abuse & crimes, his issues with the group are still good to know:
- He said families were being broken up, that Schuckardt was a Jansenist;
- There was a cult of personality around Schuckardt;
- Pretensions of 'supreme magisterium' and being the ultimate norm of orthodoxy;
- Rejection of all ecclesiastical and civil authority;
- Erroneous teaching of the extent of papal infallibility;
- Erroneous teaching on the doctrine of salvation, and said only his followers were the 'elect';
- Erroneous explication and application of the 'Pauline privilege' to break up marriages;
- Erroneous & irresponsible wielding of the Demontfort consecration, with the consequences of its 'necessity' wrongly understood and its being subverted into a vehicle of consecration and sheer enslavement;
- Unorthodox rigorism of the Manichean and Jansenist type;
- Scandalous fraternization of the 'brothers' and 'sisters', and their late-hour 'names-day parties';
- Extreme harshness in treatment of school children;
- Fostering gloom and unnecessary engendering of persecution and 'crises' and the rankest uncharity towards outsiders and ex-members;
- A dubious 3rd order organization under lay leadership with questionable vows;
- Mind-control and secrecy;
- An extreme communitarianism with inordinate collectivist emphasis and subservience of life & property to the group;
- Interference in marriages & separating spouses;
- Encouraging draft dodging and disloyalty to country;
- Spiritual tyranny involving Machiavellian ethic, whereby the end justifies the means;
Here's a snapshot of some of their beliefs:
- Schuckardt believed that they were the remant church, and that all authority was from them. Schuckardt secretly told members he had been mystically crowned pope, but he was removed from power before declaring publicly that he was the pope & sole authority for the Roman Catholic Church. The CMRI abandoned this teaching, now saying they are only a part of the remnant church.
- Schuckardt claimed ordinary jurisdiction, setting up a cathedral, provinces, etc. The CMRI abandoned this, stating that they were only sacramental bishops and have no authority to claim ordinary jurisdiction.
- The TLRC did not accept the priests of the SSPX or any of the Thuc Bishop groups. Only after Schuckardt was removed in 1984 did the remaining members come to accept the Thuc bishops. Schuckardt's issue with the Thuc & SSPX lines is that the bishops had signed the documents of Vatican II & had not totally renounced The Vatican. The CMRI now accepts the SSPX sacraments as valid, and they allow members to attend SSPX chapels.
- Schuckardt taught that Hitler was a saint. Bishop Pivarunas & the CMRI reject this belief.
- The TLRC denied the holocaust and taught that there was a Jewish Freemasonic conspiracy to take over the world. After the 1980s the CMRI under Bishop Pivarunas distanced themselves from this earlier view. Schuckardt had built a prepper bunker in northern Canada during the 1970s in preparation for this takeover.
- Males and females were forbidden from swimming together.
- Dancing was absolutely forbidden, even between married couples. Denis Chicoine had absolutely banned dancing at Mt. St. Michael.
- Schuckardt required an abjuration of error when joining the TLRC from the main Catholic Church. He treated the Novus Ordo church just like you’d treat a Protestant church, so all sacraments had to be repeated. The CMRI no longer requires this adjuration of error when coming from the main Catholic Church.
- Schuckardt did not recognize Novus Ordo marriages. This meant unless you were married in the TLRC, your marriage was invalid. This led to lawsuits and claims of splitting up families. Schuckardt did how accept marriages for people married within the TLRC, although Schuckardt seems to have looked down on marriage in general.
- The TLRC were strongly anti-American and did not have American flags up, since the saw the U.S. Government as being an anti-Catholic Freemasonic republic. The CMRI abandoned this stance and now has flags in the chapel sanctuaries.
- Shuckardt taught that delayed suicide (e.g. smoking) was a grave sin. The CMRI no longer teaches this.
- They advocated for kicking children out of the house who were disobedient. I don’t know the age limit, but I think they’d advocate for kicking out a 14-year-old
- Parents were required to send their children to the boarding school at Coeur d’Alene, otherwise the parents were threatened with excommunication or parents couldn’t receive the sacraments. This teaching is no longer enforced by the CMRI, although they continue to operate schools.
- The dress code for women included clothing all the way up to the neck and down to the wrists. Loose fitting clothing & dresses were required of women as well. The CMRI has abandoned this, now requiring only head coverings and skirts/dresses in the chapels.
- They would shave or crop girls’ hair as punishment. This was abandoned after the 1980s.
- All TV, movies, and reading material was severely restricted. Everyone had to get permission to read or watch anything at all, it was extremely strict. This restriction was abandoned by the CMRI after the 1980s.