Francis Schuckardt

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Francis Konrad Schuckardt
Superior General of the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen
Schuckardt at Mount Saint Michael with several religious of the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen in August 1979
PredecessorOffice established
SuccessorDenis Chicoine
by Daniel Q. Brown
Personal details
Born10 July 1937
Died5 November 2006 (aged 69)
Redmond, Washington, U.S.
Alma materSeattle University, Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Ordination history of
Francis Schuckardt
Diaconal ordination
Ordained byDaniel Q. Brown
Date29 October 1971
PlaceChicago, Illinois, U.S.
Priestly ordination
Ordained byDaniel Q. Brown
Date31 October 1971
PlaceChicago, Illinois, U.S.
Episcopal consecration
Consecrated byDaniel Q. Brown
Date1 November 1971
PlaceChicago, Illinois, U.S.
Episcopal succession
Bishops consecrated by Francis Schuckardt as principal consecrator
Joseph Belzak19 May 2006
Andrew Jacobs19 May 2006

Francis Konrad Schuckardt (July 10, 1937 – November 5, 2006) was an American Traditionalist Catholic independent bishop.

Schuckardt is described by Michael W. Cuneo as "the rock-and-roll outlaw of Catholic traditionalism—the bad influence that people somehow can't bring themselves to stop talking about. During the late sixties and early seventies, Schuckardt almost single-handedly founded an influential community in the Pacific northwest that was characterized by a peculiar blend of Catholic survivalism, paranoia, and lockstep dogmatism." Schuckardt was noted in 1997 as being of "immense symbolic importance" to the Catholic extreme right, despite the fact Schuckardt had "spent much of the past decade either on the run or in hiding".[1]

Early life[edit]

Francis Konrad Schuckardt was born in Seattle, Washington on July 10, 1937 to Frank and Gertrude Schuckardt. He graduated from O'Dea High School in 1954 and from Seattle University in 1959 with a bachelor's degree in education and linguistics.[2]

Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima[edit]

In 1958 Schuckardt joined the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima, a mainstream Catholic Marian organisation. He later became one of the Blue Army's highest administrators. In 1967, Schuckardt was dismissed from the organisation for publicly rejecting Vatican II.[2]

Fatima Crusade[edit]

In 1968, Schuckardt founded a Catholic traditionalist community based in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, called the Fatima Crusade.[2]

Episcopal consecration[edit]

In 1971, Schuckardt was ordained a bishop by Daniel Q. Brown; the same year, Schuckardt changed the name of the group to Tridentine Latin Rite Church.[2]


Schuckardt was a sedevacantist.[3]

He insisted that the Traditional Latin Rite Catholic Church is not a "new church", but the same Catholic Church that existed for almost two millennia prior to the changes imposed by Vatican II. His followers refer to the church generally recognized as the Roman Catholic Church as the "Modern Catholic Church" or the "Post-Vatican Council II Church". They labelled Paul VI the "arch-heretic of Rome" and referred to the mainstream church as "the Church of the Beast".[4] "Who would be so bold or so foolish as to call these bishops Catholic or to pretend that they possess any legitimate authority? Including the arch-heretic in Rome?"[5]

A Spokesman Review article states that Schuckardt claimed to be the only true Catholic bishop.[6]

As related in a Spokesman Review article from 1983, Schuckardt is quoted as saying: "Some of our teachers, studying the French revolution, saw the origins of the red, white, and blue, which was adopted then. The red represented the thousands of bishops and priests who were nailed to the church doors."[6]


Bishop Lawrence Welsh, Bishop of the Diocese of Spokane, wrote of Schuckardt in the Inland Register (a diocesan newspaper): "Bishop Schuckardt has received no mission from the church universal and does not accept the unity of the apostolic office. Yet these are some of the very elements which make the Church Roman Catholic." In another section Bishop Welsh adds: "[T]hey deny the teaching authority of the Second Vatican Council and the last four Popes. Implicitly Bishop Schuckardt has set himself up as the final and last arbiter of Catholic tradition."[7]

One of Schuckhardt's beliefs and policies drew criticism: the dress code for women, which was to be modest. Women were required to have long dresses and counseled to keep their heads covered at all times.[8]

Falling out in Spokane[edit]

In April 1984, four former seminarians reported that they had been sexually abused by Schuckardt.[2]


On June 3, 1984, Denis Chicoine made several public charges from the pulpit against Bishop Schuckardt, related in a Spokesman Review article on August 26, 1984.[9]

Schuckardt's response to the charges[edit]

Regarding Chicoine's allegation of finding large amounts of cash and out-of-day checks, the Spokesman Review quoted Bishop Schuckardt as saying "an assistant failed to properly handle the matter and that he was unaware of the problem."[9]

Legal battles between CMRI and Schuckardt[edit]

In an article by Tim Hanson that appeared in the Spokesman Review article on August 26, 1984 Schuckardt is quoted as saying: "If there is some way I can just let the people know we didn't run away. We were sent away. We were thrown out of our home. If there was anyway we could have stayed there, we would have. They must know that it was made impossible." The article goes on to state that On June 7, 1984 Chicoine filed a lawsuit in Superior court asking that Schuckardt and 10 of his associates be prohibited from returning to the church property at Mount St. Michael's or Schuckardt's mansion at E2314 South Altamont Blvd.[10]

After leaving Spokane, they moved around and finally settled in Greenville, California. “One of the main reasons we move is because of the harassment we’ve been getting from Chicoine” stated loyal Bishop Schuckardt follower, Brother Mary Fidelis, “They're trying to do anything they can to destroy us, literally. We fear harm, physical harm, coming to the Bishop. We wouldn't put anything past them.”[9] As further reported by Jim Sparks in the Spokesman Review.[11] On May 9, 1987 a Plumas County, California Sheriff's Department SWAT team, with support from the California Highway Patrol, conducted a raid on the TLRCC.[12]

Later life[edit]

For the remainder of his life Schuckardt lived in the Seattle area. As reported November 2005, the TLRCC had about 100 members in the area. The article states: "At the heart of the mysterious group lies its founder, Francis Konrad Schuckardt, a charismatic leader who considers himself to be the true Pope, according to members of the group." The church has no public address or telephone number.[13]

In 2002 a reporter from The Seattle Times attempted to obtain an interview with Schuckardt for an article, but requests were denied because of health reasons, although the reporter was allowed to conduct an extensive interview with 6 Church members and given access to Church services.[14]


  1. ^ Michael W. Cuneo (1997). "4: Catholic Separatists". The Smoke of Satan: Conservative and Traditionalist Dissent in Contemporary American Catholicism. Internet Archive. Oxford University Press. pp. 102–3. ISBN 978-0-19-511350-1.
  2. ^ a b c d e Michael W. Cuneo (1997). "4: Catholic Separatists". The Smoke of Satan: Conservative and Traditionalist Dissent in Contemporary American Catholicism. Internet Archive. Oxford University Press. p. 103. ISBN 978-0-19-511350-1.
  3. ^ Michael W. Cuneo (1997). "4: Catholic Separatists". The Smoke of Satan: Conservative and Traditionalist Dissent in Contemporary American Catholicism. Internet Archive. Oxford University Press. p. 106. ISBN 978-0-19-511350-1.
  4. ^ The Reign of Mary, Issue 16, p. 4. "Why are supposedly uncompromising traditionalists willing to wink their eyes at the compromises of such apostate bishops as Marcel Lefebvre (whose much tauted "traditional" seminaries are being operated under the watchful eye of Pittsburgh's apostate Cardinal Wright WITH THE PERMISSION OF THE VATICAN!; whose much-tauted "traditional" priests will serve apostate bishops in apostate dioceses - NOT the true Catholic remnant faithful in the catacombs (you don't build million-dollar seminaries in the catacombs!); and the venerable, but sadly mistaken, Cardinal Slipyi who addresses the arch-heretic of Rome as "his holiness" and pledges his fidelity to the apostate hierarch of the Church of the Beast - the Mystical Body of Satan?"
  5. ^ The Reign of Mary. Issue 18. Page 3.
  6. ^ a b Bart Preecs, "Award will wipe out church, says leader", Spokesman Review, August 10, 1983.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-05-12. Retrieved 2006-04-28.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Years Beneath Her Mantle. Published by Students of Maria Regina Academy. June 9, 1972.
  9. ^ a b c Tim Hanson, A bishop's life on the run. Spokesman Review, August 26, 1984.
  10. ^ Tim Hanson, Tridentine bishop target of lawsuit. Spokesman Review, June 7, 1984.
  11. ^ Jim Sparks, Schuckardt reportedly running school in California. Spokesman Review, July 27, 1986.
  12. ^ Jim Sparks, Former Tridentine bishop in drug bust. Spokesman Review. 198X.
  13. ^ Brady, Noel S. (25 November 2005). "Charges shed light on church: Eastside 'cult' is likely hiding members accused of sex abuse, police say". WWRN - World-wide Religious News. Retrieved 2022-08-05.
  14. ^ Susan Kelleher. "The Sect Behind the Shroud". Seattle Times. November 25, 2002.

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