In this issue:
A Translation of the Complete Lithuanian Original, LIETUVOS KATALIKŲ BAŽNYČIOS KRONIKA NR. 22
Documenting the Struggle for Human Rights In Soviet-Occupied Lithuania Today
Translation and printing of this issue made possible by a grant from the Lithuanian Day Committee, Anthracite Council 144, Knights of Lithuania, Schuylkill County, Pa.
Translation Editon Rev. Casimir Pugevičius Published by the Lithuanian R.C. Priests' League of America 301 Highland Blvd. Brooklyn, NY 11207
©Lithuanian Roman Catholic Priests' League of America 1978 Printed by
Franciscan Fathers Press 341 Highland Blvd. Brooklyn, NY11207
INDEX OF PLACES
KAUNAS Liepalingis, 20-22
Lukšiai, 22, 25
Marijampole (Kapsukas) 33, 36, 39
Šiauliai 17-18; 33, 38
Tauragnai 1, 9-17
Vajasiškis 26-27, 34, 35
VILNIUS Zarasai, 28
INDEX OF PERSONS
Ambrasas, K. 20-22
Baltinis, Jonas 32
Baltušis, Rev. 29-30
Dovydaitis, Gvidonas 22-26
Garbstąs, Antanas 33
Grabovskis, Rev. Jonas 33-34
Gurskienė, Viktorija 30
Inkratas, Rev. 10, 16
Klimašauskas, Henrikas 18
Malukaitė, Izabelė 32-33
Misevičius, Canon 10
Podverskis, Zigmas 28-29
Soroka, Petras and his son Gintautas 34
Steponavičius, Julijonas 28
Šaltis, Algimantas-Antanas 43-47
Šėdinienė, Z., 28-29
Vaicekauskas, Rev. Jonas 37,38
Vaičetonis, Rev. J. 39
Vedeckienė, Ona and her son Sigitas 36-37
Zdebskis, Rev. Juozas 18-19
Žilius Vladislovas and wife 41-43
Since 1972, the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania has scrupulously and courageously documented the struggle for human rights in that little country on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, occupied by the U,S.S.R, since World War II.
Laboriously typed in carbon copies, and passed secretly from hand to hand the Chronicle is smuggled out to the western world, to prick our consciences.
Issue No. 22 of the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania begins with a long open letter to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Lithuania, signed by 31 priests of the Archdiocese of Vilnius. The letter, written in response to an article on "Freedom of Conscience" written by a leading anti-religious propagandist, asserts that the faithful in Lithuania today do not have a modicum of the freedoms which atheists had in pre-Communist Lithuania. The letter goes on to document the complaints of religious believers against unfair treatment by the atheistic regime.
The open letter is followed by a report on "Construction of the Church at Tauragnai", a typical case study of harassment of religious believers by the Soviet bureaucracy.
In "News from the Dioceses", we find a report of the partial destruction of a church by fire, due to the deliberate negligence of the local fire department. This is followed by a complaint addressed to the government by Father Juozas Zdebskis, once imprisoned for a year for teaching children religious doctrine. This time he describes how he has been falsely accused of driving under the influence of liquor.
One surprising item reports that there are 1500 secret religious sisters in Lithuania, where all religious organizations are out-lawed. The sisters work mostly as nurses, and also teach religion to children, at the risk of imprisonment or fines.
The message of the Chronicle, loud and clear, is that the atheistic government is slowly strangling the Catholic Church in Lithuania, while doing its best to make it look as though the U,S.S.R. respects freedom of conscience.
In this translation, every effort has been made to remain faithful to the original text in every respect, even at the expense of style in some instances,
Rev. Casimir Pugevičius Translation Editor
Places mentioned in the CHRONICLE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN LITHUANIA, No.22