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In this issue:
Lithuania .......................................... March 4, 1979
Translation of the Complete Lithuanian Original, LIETUVOS KATALIKŲ BAŽNYČIOS KRONIKA No. 37 Documenting the Struggle for Human Rights In Soviet-Occupied Lithuania Today

Translated by: Vita Matusaitis Translation Editor: Rev. Casimir Pugevicius Published by the Lithuanian R.C. Priests' League of America 351 Highland Blvd. Brooklyn, NY 11207

©Lithuanian Roman Catholic Priests' League of America 1980

Printed by Franciscan Fathers Press 341 Highland Blvd. Brooklyn, NY 11207



In 1940, when the Soviet Union occupied Lithuania by force, 85.5% of the country's more than 3 million inhabitants were Roman Catholic, 4.5% Protestant, 7.3% Jewish, 2.5% Orthodox and 0.2% of other persuasions.

In the two archdioceses and four dioceses were: 708 churches, 314 chapels, 73 monasteries, 85 convents, three archbishops, nine bishops, 1271 diocesan priests, 580 monks, of whom 168 were priests. Four seminaries had 470 students. There were 950 nuns.

Nuns cared for 35 kindergartens, 10 orphanages, 25 homes for the aged, two hospitals, a youth center, and an institute for the deaf-mute.

On June 15, 1940, the Red Army marched into Lithuania; the independent government was replaced by a puppet regime.

On July 14-15, rigged elections were staged. On July 21, with the Red Army surrounding the assembly house, the new People's Diet "unanimously" declared Lithuania a Soviet Socialist Republic.

On June 25, 1940, the Church was declared separate from the state, and the representative of the Holy See was expelled.

Parish lands were confiscated, clergy salaries and pensions were cut off, and their savings confiscated. Churches were deprived of support. Catholic printing plants were confiscated, and religious books destroyed.

On June 28, 1940, the teaching of religion and recitation of prayers in schools was forbidden. The University's Department of Theology and Philosophy was abolished, and all private schools were nationalized. The seminaries at Vilkaviškis and Telšiai were closed, and the seminary at Kaunas was permitted to operate on a very limited scale. The clergy were spied upon constantly.

On June 15, 1941, 34,260 Lithuanians were packed off in cattle cars to undisclosed points in the Soviet Union. After World War II, the mass deportations resumed and continued until 1953.

Vincentas Borisevičius, Bishop of Telšiai, was arrested on Feb­ruary 3, 1946, and condemned to death after a secret trial. Before year's end, his auxiliary, Bishop Pranas Ramanauskas, was also ar­rested and deported to Siberia. Bishop Teofilius Matulionis of Kai­šiadorys and Archbishop Mečislovas Reinys of Vilnius were deported to a Siberian labor camp. Archbishop Reinys perished in prison at Vladimir, November 8, 1953. By 1947, Lithuania was left with a single bishop, Kazimieras Paltarokas, of Panevėžys. He died in 1958.

In 1947, the last convents and monasteries were closed, their communities dispersed, and all monastic institutions were outlawed.

After Stalin's death in 1953, there was a slight improvement in the religious situation. Bishop Matulionis and Ramanauskas were allowed to return to Lithuania, but not to minister to their dioceses or to communicate with the clergy or laity.

Bishop Ramanauskas died in 1959, and Archbishop Matulionis in 1963.

In 1955, two new bishops were appointed by Rome and con­secrated: Julijonas Steponavičius and Petras Maželis. Steponavičius has never been permitted to administer his diocese.

Bishop Vincentas Sladkevičius, consecrated in 1957, is also under severe government restrictions. In 1965, Monsignor Juozas Labukas-Matulaitis was consecrated in Rome to head the Archdiocese of Kaunas and the Diocese of Vilkaviškis.

Relaxation of pressure on religious believers soon revealed that the Lithuanian people were still deeply religious. It was decided in the mid-fifties to resume the attack. The principal means of attack would be unlimited moral pressure, since physical terror seemed only to strengthen and unify the faithful.

In 1972, the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania, clandestinely published in that country, began to reach the free world at irregular intervals. Primarily intended to keep Catholics in Lithu­ania informed of the situation of the Church there, these Lithuaniansamizdat also serve as a constant appeal to the free world not to forget the plight of a people struggling against overwhelm­ing odds to defend their religious beliefs and to regain their basic human rights.

Rev. Casimir Pugevičius Translation Editor


Anilionis Petras, 7, 18, 36, 41-2

Andrikonis, Juozas 41

Bartkienė, Leonora 39

Brezhnev, Leonid 21

Bubnys, Rev., Prosperas 12

Buožius, Rev., Mykolas 5

Butkus, Rev., Izidorius 36

Caprio 5

Cigana 40

Dagis, Ž. 31

Dandienė 45

Dovydaitis, Rev., Gvidonas 39-40

Duliauskienė 44

Dziegorairis 23

Fabijonavičiūtė 42-43

Firas 39

Gajauskas, Balys 51

Gajauskas, Rev., K. 18

Garuckas, Rev., Karolis 50

Graževičius, T. 30

Grikietis, Albinas 40

Gudynas, Adomas 38

Gutauskas, Rev., Algis 18-19, 20

Gužaitytė, A. 43

Gylys, Algis 22

Indriūnas, Rev., Juozas 31

Jakutis, Ričardas 19, 20

Jankus 37

Janulionis 38

Jaras, E. 37

Jaugelis, Rev., Virgilijus 19, 21

Judeikis, Mindaugas 21, 36

Juškevičius, A. 38

Kainauskas, Mindaugas 39-40

Kaliukevičius, Juozas 44

Kauneckas, Rev., Jonas 18, 37

Kelly, Bishop, Thomas 4

Kovalev, Sergei 51

Krikščiūnas, Bishop 18, 39

Krivaitis, Msgr., Česlovas 20

Labukas, Bishop, J. 20

Lapė, Rev., Alfonsas 36

Lapienienė, Elena 34-35

Lapienis, Vladas 32, 34-35, 51

Latvys 44

Laurinavičius, Rev., Bronius 36

Lemkis, Zigmas 43

Lemkienė, Birutė 43

Lukošaitis, Rev., Antanas 40

Mališauskas, L. 30

Maželis, Antanas 44

Mickevičius, Adomas 48-49

Mockienė 38

Montvila, Rev., Kazimieras 41

Mockūnas, Rev., J. 18

Nykštus, Rev., Petras 39

Pačinskas, Rev., J. 37

Paul II, Pope, John 4, 19

Paulaitis, Petras 33-34, 35

Petkus, Viktoras 21, 33, 51

Petruškevičiūtė, Jūratė 44

Plumpa, Petras 32, 51

Pranskūnaitė, Ona 32

Pūkėnas, Rev., Kazimieras 20

Raslanas 39

Razvinavičius, Aleksandras 28-31

Razvanavičienė 44

Sadūnaitė, Nijolė 32

Sapnagis, Romas 43

Sasnauskas, Julijus 21

Savickienė, J. 43

Šeškevičius, Rev., Antanas 12

Šiuškus, T. 31

Sladkevičius, Bishop, Vincentas 20

Slenfuktas 23, 28

Snabaitis, Augustinas 40-41

Sniečkus, Antanas 40           

Spiliauskaitė, Lilijana 44-45

Špiliauskas, Talvydas 44

Stankaitis 22, 41

Steponavičius, Bishop, Julijonas 19

Sterskaya, F. 35

Sutkus, Pranas 39-40

Survila, Rev., Jonas 38

Svarinskas, Rev. Alfonsas 18, 21,22-31, 36, 37

Tamkevičius, Rev., Sigitas 18-21          

Tainauskas, Egidijus 44

Tiškus, Sigitas 44

Urbonas, Juozas 8, 26, 38, 41

Vaičius, Rev., Antanas 37

Velavičius, Rev., Vincas 18

Voveris, Rev., Jonas 41-42

Verseckas, Antanas 44-45

Zamba, Liudas 40

Zambienė, 40

Zdebskis, Rev., Juozas 12, 18

Zitkutė, Vilija 44    

Zupkus, Vidmantas 43          




Adutiškis, 36

Aukštadvaris, 44-45

Biržai, 49-50

Kapsukas, 44

Kaunas, 31, 36

Kėdainiai, 38-39

Kybartai, 22, 28

Nemenčinė, 20

Onuškis, 41-42

Pagiriai, 43-44

Prienai, 38

Sangrūda, 15

Šiauliai, 43

Siesikai, 44

Slabadai, 40

Telšiai, 37-38, 42-43

Varėna, 30

Viduklė, 36-37

Vilkaviškis, 8, 22, 37

Vilnius, 15, 36

Vištytis, 40-41

Višakio Rūda 39-40

Žalioji, 8


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