Document no. 36 (October 20, 1980) announces that three new members have joined the Catholic Committee for the Defense of Believers' Rights:
Fr. Leonas Kalinauskas, ind. 235036, Kėdainiai Rayon, Josvainiai, 16 Susve St.
Fr. Algimantas Keina, ind. 234645, Varėna Rayon, Valkininkai.
Fr. Vaclovas Stakėnas, ind. 234584, Alytus Rayon, Krokialaukis.
Fr. Jonas Kauneckas was elected secretary of the Catholic Committee for the Defense of Believers' Rights for 1981.
Document no. 37 (October 20, 1980). A petition addressed to Second Secretary Dybenko of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Lithuania, states: "As can be seen from his autobiography, Eduardas Bulachas has suffered many undeserved demotions and harassment during his lifetime solely because of his religious beliefs." It further requests that he be allowed to emigrate to the United States.
Document no. 38 (November 1, 1980).
"To: The Prosecutor of the Lithuanian SSR
"In 1975 in Kaunas at the Aleksotas Ferry, a nun, Stanislava Lušaitė, a zealous religious teacher of children, was attacked and stabbed. Regaining consciousness at the hospital, she reported that she had been assaulted by an older man in a grey overcoat, who had wounded her several times. Before dying, the sister, fully conscious, forgave her murderer. She was buried in the cemetery of Viduklė.
"On the night of March 10, 1978, bandits attacked the pastor of Šiluva, Father Vaclovas Grauslys, and stabbed him. Fortunately, he escaped but had to be hospitalized. One attacker wore a police uniform. It is rumored that the culprits were captured but were not brought to trial.
"At 7:30 p.m. on April 28, 1980, the pastor of Karmelava, Father Benediktas Povilanskis, was attacked and badly beaten. At the time he was transferring the Blessed Sacrament from a sacristy safe to the main altar. The culprits were never apprehended, perhaps because they were not seriously pursued.
"The events of the last months have once again deeply shocked the believers of Lithuania.
"On the night of September 12-13, 1980, unknown criminals broke into the apartment of Father Antanas Bitvinskas, pastor of Kulautuva and chancellor of the Archdiocese of Kaunas. After badly beating him, they left him barely alive. The priest had to be hospitalized. The culprits were never found.
"At the beginning of October 1980 unknown criminals using undetermined means burned the pastor of Šlavantai, Father Juozas Zdebskis. The physicians at the Kaunas Clinical Hospital diagnosed second-degree burns. During the course of treatment, it appeared that they were both second- and third-degree burns. It must be said that both before the offense as well as afterwards, Father Juozas Zdebskis was closely followed by people in automobiles. Vytautas Vaičiūnas, an engineer, was also burned along with the priest but to a lesser degree.
"During the night of October 10-11 criminals assaulted the pastor of Luoke, Father Leonas Šapoka, as he slept in his apartment. After four or five hours of sadistic torture, the pastor was found dead on the floor. It must be remembered that this year Tiesa (Truth) actually carried two articles against the murdered priest even though a Soviet court had decided his case in his favor.
"On the night of October 18 robbers attacked the pastor of Griškabūdis, Father Vytautas Užkuraitis. They inflicted several stab wounds and beat him about the head. He is recuperating at the Šakiai hospital while the culprits look for new victims.
"Today the faithful of Lithuania justifiably ask: 'Who are these bestial criminals and which priest will be their next victim? How does one explain the fact that the criminals act so boldly, as if they felt they had nothing to fear?'
"We are very concerned that the Soviet government would not show such criminal negligence as they have shown during the past decade when the churches of Sangrūda, Batakiai, and Gaurė were burned down; when each year in many places the Blessed Sacrament is desecrated. During the past two years the Blessed Sacrament, the most prized possession of the Church, was desecrated in the Church of the Resurrection in Kaunas, in Upyna, Žemaičių Kalvarija, Seda, Juozapavas, Tryškiai, Gadūnavas, Kuršėnai, Dotnuva, Josvainiai, Baptai, Vilkija, Alsėdžiai, Joniškėlis, Vyžuonos, Klovainiai, Skiemonys, Balbieriškis, and other places. Unfortunately, the criminals have not been discovered, or perhaps no one is trying.
"It seems to us that among all these offenses — the robbing of churches, arson, the desecration of the Blessed Sacrament, the torture and murder of priests — there is some sort of internal, organic bond. Thus, it is natural that the faithful categorize these offenses as a conscious and deliberate campaign against the rise in authority and influence of the Lithuanian Church.
"Mr. Prosecutor, please take quick measures to stop the Soviet Mafia and to bring the offenders to trial. These offenses directed against the Church and the priests are not only very damaging to the Church but are especially compromising to the Soviet government, which only protects the atheists and those struggling against the Church.
(signed) Priest-members of The Catholic Committee for the Defense of Believers' Rights: Rev. Leonas Kalinauskas, Rev. Jonas Kauneckas, Rev. Algimantas Keina, Rev. Vaclovas Stakėnas, Rev. Alfonsas Svarinskas, Rev. Sigitas Tamkevičius, Rev. Vincas Vėlavičius"
This or similar petitions have been signed by tens of thousands of Lithuanian faithful and by many priests.
Document no. 39 (November 1,1980). Addressed to the Madrid Conference. It describes the present situation of the Catholics of Lithuania.
Document no. 40 (November 25, 1980). Reports the beating of the Latvian priest Fr. Vladislav Zavalniuk and his confinement to a psychiatric hospital.
Document no. 41 (See above, this issue of the Chronicle.)
Document no. 42 (December 22, 1980).
"To: The Prosecutor of the Lithuanian SSR
The Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the
"We wish to announce that the request of university lecturer Vytautas Skuodis to be accepted as a member of the Catholic Committee for the Defense of Believers' Rights and to add his name to all documents has been granted.
(signed) Priest-members of The Catholic Committee for the Defense of Believers' Rights: Rev. Alfonsas Svarinskas, Rev. Algimantas Keina, Rev. Vaclovas Stakėnas, Rev. Sigitas Tamkevičius"