The newspaper Begegnung (1978—7), published in East Berlin by leftist Catholics, reported on the life of Catholics in Kishinev (Mordovian SSR) and mentioned something more; that is, "the illegal underground press" being published in Lithuania. According to Begegnung no one guarantees the accuracy of the information reported by this press and responsible publishers should not rely on anonymous information, as does Petrusblatt published in West Berlin when it presents a distorted picture of the situation of seminarians in the Soviet Union.
It quotes from the April 30, 1978 issue of Petrusblatt: "Young Catholic men of the Ukraine, Belorussia and other countries are not allowed to study at the Kaunas and Riga Seminaries." As a rebuttal to this so-called deceitful statement, the pastor of Kishinev the Rev. Vladislav Zavalniuk, is held up as an example: he is a 26-year old Ukrainian who trained at the Riga Seminary .. .
It is true that young men from other republics can train in Riga or Kaunas—if they receive permission. But such good fortune rarely smiles on anyone. Most often, they enroll in the seminary as citizens of the republic of Lithuania or Latvia, after establishing residence here and registring and finding some kind of work. There is reason to believe that Zavalniuk also reached the seminary by this road.
After accusing others of spreading false information Begegnung should know that not even every citizen of these republics is granted permission to enter the seminary, and citizens of other republics all the more face obstacles to enrollment.
Begegnung writes that according to the Western press "seminarians and priests are security police agents" in the Soviet Union, while the pastor of Kishinew is known as a zealous and pious priest, which clearly unmasks the assertions of Petrusblatt and other like newspapers.
Perhaps Begegnung sees it differently, but anyone who has studied at the seminary knows how zealously the security police seeks agents there . . .