In 1982, right after the Feast of All Saints, District Chairman B. Kringelis, coming to the Viduklė parish rectory, wrote up a complaint that the pastor, Father Alfonsas Svarinskas, on November 1, 1982, at 2:15 PM, committed an offense against the procedure established in Par. 50 of the Regulations for Religious Associations, confirmed July 28, 1976, by order of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the LSSR, by organizing a march from the church of Viduklė, to the cemetery and back.
That religious march was organized without obtaining permission of the Raseiniai Rayon Executive Committee, thus violating the order of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the LSSR, dated May 12, 1966, entitled, "Administrative Responsibility for Offenses Against Religious Cults".
On November 25, 1982, the Administrative Commission of the Raseiniai Rayon Executive Committee, consisting of Chairwoman (Mrs.) O. Stonienė (Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee), Secretary (Mrs.) D. Kleivienė and members: (Mrs.) O. Pikelienė (Chairman of the Raseiniai City Executive Committee), P. Korol-kov (Raseiniai Militia Chief) and J. Ažubalis (Director of the Finance Section) fined the faithful of the Viduklė Parish who had actively participated in the All Souls' Procession and their pastor:
1. The pastor, Father Alfonsas Svarinskas, fifty rubles (administratively fined six times).
2.Juozas Norvilą, fifty rubles (also fined in 1981).
3.Alfonsas Staskevičius, fifty rubles.
4.Izidorius Irmoška, forty rubles.
5. Jonas Supranas, thirty rubles. 8. Antanas Steponaitis, forty rubles.
7. Remigijus Kučinskas, forty rubles, and expulsion from the Communist Youth League.
Remigijus Kučinskas refused to accept the decision and took the Administrative Commission to the Peoples' Court of the City of Raseiniai. January 14, 1983, was the date scheduled for consideration of the Kučinskas case.
The government atheists, frightened by the people who gathered, transferred the trial to the Judge's chambers.
Interrogated by the Administrative Commission, all the people of Viduklė boldly defended their faith, the Church and their pastor, affirming that next year, too, they would go in procession to the cemetery, regardless of fines or persecution.
"For forty-two years I have been carrying the processional cross," said Antanas Kazlauskas, "and as long as I have the strength, I will continue to carry it."
The fine imposed on Remigijus Kučinskas was deducted from his pay, even before the Court's final decision.
On January 13, 1982, Regimantas Strumskis, the Chief of Administration in the local farm transport communications accrediting section, was summoned to Vilnius KGB Headquarters. The chekists, without even introducing themselves, threatened Strumskis with dismissal from his duties if he did not rehabilitate his sister, (Miss) Janina Strumskytė, living in Rokiškis. In their opinion, (Miss) Strumskytė organizes children to participate in church services and works along with the Associate Pastor of Rokiškis, the extremist Father Vladas Braukyla.
Rokiškis ' ,
On October 29, 1982, Staff members of the Rokiškis Rayon Executive Committee: Eduardas Firas and (Mrs.) Simanavičienė scolded the Associate Pastor of Rokiškis, Father Vladas Braukyla in the rectory for not consulting with them before giving a sermon, since according to them, "By not consulting, harm is done to atheism."
"In Lithuania, the Church is separated from the state, and therefore there is no ned for the priest to mix with the enemies of the Church — the atheists. The parish is large, and there is enough church work," replied Father Braukyla.
Vice Chairman Firas accused Father Braukyla of passing information on to the Vatican.
On December 30, 1982, (Mrs). Zina Cicenienė, Directress of the Pastry Section of the Dainava Restaurant in Vilnius, announced that the section would be working on Sundays. Pastry cook (Miss) Joana Bukaveckaitė protested: "I will not work on Sundays or religious holidays. Will you allow me to make up for it on other days?"
Directress Cicenienė would not agree to such compensatory time.
"Perhaps she is abnonnal! We'll have to take her to Vasaros gatvė (Vasaros gatvė is the location of the psychiatric hospital.) We will get rid of that fanaticism. If you just try to skip work, we will take care of you, we'll fire you," Cadre Division Chief (Mrs.) Pelenienė lectured (Miss) Bukaveckaitė, uninhibited by people who had come in to pick up their orders.
On January 4, 1983, Section Chief (Mrs.) Cicenienė announced to (Miss) Bukaveckaitė that a truancy report had been written up on her for not coming to work on Sunday. "They will discharge me if they find out that I am giving you compensatory time. You cannot work among young peoole. You're so young to have such convictions," the directress marvelled.
On January 5, 1983, the restaurant director also refused to allow (Miss) Bukaveckaitė compensatory time, ordering her to submit a written excuse for days missed, and threatened to discharge her for truancy.
On September 11, and on December 18, 1982, (Miss) Bukaveckaitė refused to participate in organized volunteer Socialist work, and for this, she was discussed repeatedly in meetings.
Lauksoda (Telšiai Rayon)
On January 11, 1983, in the parish of Lauksoda, (Mrs.) Marijona Bumbliauskienė was being buried. As Father Jonas Kauneckas was hearing confessions, three young men, leaving church, said loudly, "That priest doesn't talk about sins in confession, but tells people to fight the Russians." Hearing this, a man behind them remarked, "None of them went to confession, nor even knelt down in church, and they dare to denigrate the priest like that!"
Lately, the KGB in the City of Telšiai has been summoning school children who are believers, and threatening that they will have to pay a penalty for going to church. At the same time, they tell them to go to confession to Father Kauneckas, and afterwards, to come and give them reports denigrating the priest. They are preparing to move against Father Kauneckas.
In December, 1982, in the Republic of Kaunas Clinical Hospital, a student of the Kaunas seminary, third-year seminarian Bronius Tamelis died.
On December 22, 1982, the remains of the deceased were transferred from the Cathedral Basilica of Kaunas to the Church of Ukmergė where priests and a throng of the faithful were waiting. The funeral took place December 23. The rayon government forbade seminarian Bronius Tamelis to be buried in the churchyard. The funeral procession: The casket containing the remains of the deceased, seminary students and the faculty, approximately twenty priests and a large throng of the faithful, marched singing along the streets of Ukmergė to the new city cemetery in Bukstynas (4.5 km from Ukmergė).
After the funeral, the priests of Ukmergė: The pastor, Father Antanas Danyla and associate pastor Father Juozas Kakanevičius were summoned for interrogation. Rayon Executive Committee Chairman Bernotas accused the pastor, Father Danyla, of organizing the procession during the funeral.
Co-workers of the deceased seminarian's father expressed their sympathy in the rayon newspaper. Some time later, the neighbors also wished to express their sympathy to the parents. However, the expression of sympathy never appeared.
Simnas (Alytus Rayon)
Three Sundays before Christmas, 1982, the priests in the church of Simnas announced to the faithful that on the second day of Christmas, Santa Claus would be visiting the churchyard.
The pastor, Father Juozas Matulevičius and his assistant, Father Juozas Gražulis, were summoned to see Alytus Rayon Executive Committee Vice Chairman Makštutis, who demanded that even if Santa Claus came, there be no Christmas tree in the churchyard.
On December 26, 1982, the choir and other parishioners were getting ready in the churchyard to welcome Santa Claus. They were decorating Christmas trees and putting up the lights. The Simnas Executive Committee Chairman Šuoliūnas appeared and demanded that the Christmas trees be removed from the churchyard, but no one would listen to his wishes. Among those working in the churchyard was shop teacher Vyšniauskas of the Simnas Middle School.
The Christmas party took place in a joyous holiday spirit: Many believers were there, Santa Claus came and extended holiday greetings to everyone, giving the children little gifts.
After the holidays, the investigations began. Teacher Vyšniauskas was repeatedly summoned to the office of Principal (Mrs.) Mikalauskienė of Simnas Middle School. The principal scolded the teacher because he, although being an educator, dared to help take care of the lighting in the churchyard. He harassed him for participating in the church choir. Shortly thereafter, Teacher Vyšniauskas was summoned to the Alytus Rayon Department of Education where they tried "gently" to convince him, as an uncertified specialist, to resign as teacher. (Teacher Vyšniauskas resigned.)
Choristers A. Gurčius and Geraltauskas were interrogated by the Alytus Militia Intelligence Section.
The one who most terrorizes the pupils in Simnas Middle School is (Mrs.) Apanavičienė: She drafts them into the Pioneers Organization and forces them to wear kerchiefs. The persecution of pupils who are religious believers has intensified in the Mergalaukis Elementary School. The most notorious here is Teacher Černiauskas.
Simnas (Alytus Rayon)
The Simnas parish priests, the pastor, Father Juozas Matulevičius and his associate, Father Juozas Gražulis, were visiting their parishioners. After they had visited several villages, the atheists of the rayon moved.
Father Matulevičius, the pastor, was summoned to the Simnas Executive Committee to see Chairman Šuoliūnas, who tried to explain that kalėdojimas is forbidden. (Trans. Note — Traditional annual visitation of parishioners' homes, involving certain formalities.) "We are not engaged in kalėdojimas, but just visiting parishioners and not taking any donations." said Father Matulevičius.
On January 24, 2983, Father Matulevičius and Father Gražulis were both summoned to see Vice Chairman Makštutis. The vice chairman scolded the priests for organizing the Christmas party and forbade them to visit parishioners.
On November 9, 1982, the Administrative Commission of the Vilkaviškis Rayon assessed the pastor of Kybartai, Father Sigitas Tamkevičius, an administrative fine because on November 1, 1982, he had organized a procession of the faithful from the church to the cemetery.
On January 23, 1983, that same administrative commission again assessed Father Sigitas Tamkevičius an administrative fine "to warn" him for "organizing ceremonies in the churchyard without permission of the Rayon Executive Committee," thus violating the July 28, 1976 order of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Council. The so-called "ceremonies" were as follows: On December 26, after evening devotions, Santa Claus arrived in the churchyard, greeted the children gathered there, and distributed little gifts among them. It appears that Santa Claus is also being treated as a serious threat to the government and the atheists of Lithuania.
Užuguostis (Prienai Rayon)
On January 17, 1983, the pastor of Užuguostis parish, Father Zenonas Navickas, wrote to thank A. Matulaitis, author of the article, Aklos neapykantos akys (Eyes Blinded by Hatred), in which the writer libeled and derided the priest with various inventions, and the editor of Naujas Gyvenimas (New Life) which had printed the aforesaid article. In the words of Father Navickas, people reading this fantastic article became interested in many questions, became clearly convinced whose side the truth was on, and church attendance increased.
Mikoliškės (Kretinga Rayon).
On December 5, 1982, the parish committee and the faithful of the parish of Mikoliškės sent Chairman Barkauskas of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the LSSR a petition signed by 793 persons. Following is a summary of the text:
"In the third section of the instruction adopted July 28, 1976, by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the LSSR, it says: 'A religious association has the right to obtain means of transportation.' Since no organization gives us a bus, and no one changes their route, we, on the basis of this instruction, request permission to obtain a used bus. Many of the Mikoliškės parish people live 4-11 km. from the church, while buses to the remote villages travel a route such that the faithful can never get to church.
"Believers have approached the Administation of the J. Janonis Communal Farm in the Rayon of Klaipėda where they work, and asked to rent a bus for three hours, but the request remained unfilled. The Klaipėda and Kretinga Terminals refused to change the routes. The Ministry of Transport likewise did not pay attention to the people's requests. The Klaipėda Rayon Communal Farm Organization said to the faithful, 'We have buses for going to the theater, but not for going to church.
"Surely it is not polite or humane so to treat people who have given their entire lives to the communal farm. Why such fanaticism and discrimination?"
Palėvenėlė (Kupiškis Rayon)
December 18, 1982, Chairman Osvaldas Gasiūnas of the Palėvenėlė District, Kupiškis Rayon, detained letter-carrier (Mrs.) Teresė Petrulienė, demanding that she turn over the Christmas wafers she was carrying. When Petrulienė refused to surrender the Christmas wafers, the district chairman ordered her into the communal farm office where he searched her arbitrarily and took away about thirty blessed Christmas wafers. Right then and there he threatened that the letter-carrier would be discharged from her duties. Not long after, the Supervisor of the Kupiškis Rayon Communication Section reprimanded (Mrs.) Petrulienė, threatening to withold a bonus due her.
(Mrs.) Petrulienė wrote a complaint to First Secretary Tamošiūnas of the Kupiškis Rayon Party, concerning the illegimate search and threats. Secretary Tamošiūnas replied that (Mrs.) Petrulienė was guilty and that she had been treated fairly.
Mikoliškės (Kretinga Rayon) To: LSSR Council of Ministers
From: The Mikoliškės Parish Church Committee and Believers
In 1954, every parish in the Diocese of Telšiai received from the Diocesan Chancery Communication Number 577, written on July 7, 1954, which directed:
"Crosses may be erected not only in the churchyard and cemeteries, but also in the yards of the faithful." Obviously, this announcement was made only with the agreement of the then Commissioner for Religious Affairs. For in Lithuania, it was an old custom to erect crosses and wayside shrines. No one to date has rescinded this permission.
On this basis, we began in October of this year to erect a small wayside shrine (1 m. x 1.2 m.) for a statue of Mary in the Mikoliškės churchyard, but a committee organized by Forester Mazonas came and wrote up a report calling it "private construction". We found out that we had to go to the architect. We went to the Kretinga Executive Committee with a petition carrying 185 signatures, and asked permission to finish the shrine. We received a reply: "The shrine is to be demolished within a month; if you do not take it down, the forestry department will knock it down."
We now come to you, earnestly asking you to stop the destruction of the shrine, and to give us permission to complete it, since we need it for purposes of worship. We erected it, not arbitrarily, but on the basis of the general permission.
The permission given in 1954 was never rescinded, so we were convinced that was the only thing necessary.
Its demolition would evoke the angry reaction: "The Communists are demolishing shrines and crosses in churchyards with bulldozers."
The Kretinga Rayon Executive Committee last year bulldozed a shrine erected in the yard of a certain woman believer. People not only in Lithuania, but abroad, were shocked by such behavior. They proclaim religious freedom with words, but demolish it with bulldozers.
We appeal to you, since the Commissioner for Religious Affairs is of a mind with the Kretinga Rayon Executive Committee: it would not even allow a cross to be erected in the cemetery, but Moscow made them allow it.
We sincerely ask you to stop the demolition of our shrine as soon as possible, and to give us permission to complete it.
November 7, 1982
Signed by approximately 200 faithful
To: The Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Council of Peoples' Deputies, Rayon of Biržai
Church law obliges pastors to be responsible not only for care of the church building, but also for parish cemeteries.
With the approach of All Saints' Day, I inspected the cemeteries located in the Papiliai and Kvetkiai parishes. Seeing that some of the graves were quite neglected, I called for a volunteer group to clean up the cemeteries. We cut out the weeds, pruned the trees, and raked up the leaves in the Kvetkiai Cemetery. In the same way, we straightened out the Papiliai Cemetery.
Chairman A. Martinkėnas of the Executive Committee of the Papiliai District Council of Peoples' Deputies had promised the people to provide the machinery for hauling out debris and weeds, piles of which have lain just outside the Kvetkiai Cemetery fence from time immemorial. However, he showed no initiative toward cleaning up the cemetery, or hauling away debris.
After the cemeteries had been put in order, on the eve of All Souls', we gathered in the cemeteries at Papiliai and Kvetkiai to pray. On November 9, I was summoned to a meeting of the Council Religious Affairs connected with the Executive Committee of the Papiliai District Council of Peoples' Deputies, in which District Chairman A. Martinkėnas, his wife the Principal of the Papiliai Middle School and Veterinary Doctor Morkauskas, Director of the Papiliai District Veterinary Station participated.
I was accused "because during a livestock disease quarantine, people had gathered in the cemetery and because I had not requested district permission to pray in the cemetery, and thereby violated the Regulations for Religious Associations."
1. The ban against public gatherings in connection with the livestock epidemic quarantine, I have never received.
2. No laws forbid praying in church, in the churchyard or cemeteries. In 1982, in the bulletin Socialist Truth, the third issue, Petras Anilionis in an article entitled "Monitoring the Implementation of Laws Concerning Religious Cults", page 34, line 16, writes:
"Believers, among them children with their parents, are allowed without restriction to fulfill their religious requirements in
houses of prayer, churchyards and cemeteries; rites and ceremonies organized in these locations require no permissions."
On what basis does the interference in the internal affairs of the Church take place, and why are believers ridiculed? For example:
1. Veterinary Doctor Morkauskas, when requested by communal farm workers to certify animals for sale to the state, and when summoned to treat animals, insults believers by saying: "Go to the prist, let him give you the certification, and let the pastor treat your animals."
2. A pensioner, A. Kasmauskas, a veteran of the Great War for the Homeland, worked as a guard at the Papiliai Cemetery. District Chairman A. Artinkėnas discharged him form his job as cemetery guard without paying him even for the month's time, and saying, "If you go to church, you are an unsuitable man."
3. By someone's order, a sensational novelty has taken place in Papiliai. Right in front of the main doors of the church, a children's playground has been constructed. The place is full of various kinds of swings, housses and other playthings.
Why is it necessary to annoy believers and to ridicule them, to hang around the church and to disturb the peace? They bring the deceased to church, services take place there, and here, at the very main door of the church, children are screaming.
Strange, is there really no piece of land in all of Papiliai where it would be possible to construct a children's playground? In the yard of the District Executive Committee, fountains flow and flowers grow, and there are rock gardens. Under their windows is peace, but under the church windows, noise and distrubance as nowhere else.
You, Vice Chairman, summoned me to the Executive Committee of the Biržai Rayon for a talk with you five times, but I did not come and I will not come:
1.Until the ridiculing of believers and interference in church internal affairs is ended.
2.Until you do re-establish peace in the vicinity of the church by relocating the children's playground.
Under present circumstances, I refuse to come to you for any kind of talk.
December 1, 1982
Rev. S. Krumpliauskas, Pastor of Papiliai and Kvetkiai Parishes