On December 12,1987, Vice Chairman Vanagas of the Lazdijai-Royon Executive Committee summoned the priests of the Rayon of Lazdijai to the Offices of the Executive Committee of the Town of Vcisiejai, and warned them that priests commit a criminal act inviting other priests to religious festivals without consulting the rayon government. Also, crosses cannot be erected in churchyards without permission, as Father Vincentas Jalinskas did, for instance, in Lazdijai.
Lazdijai Rayon Vice Chairman Vanagas expressed annoyance that the faithful assembled in Rudamina were spreading the word that Father Juozas Zdebskis was murdered. In the opinion of Vanagas, there is no proof for it, and accidents happen everywhere to everyone. So this should not be done.
The priests, for their part, brought up to Vice Chairman Vanagas the unsuitable behavior of teachers when they herd schoolchildren out of church at funerals. They also stated that organizing excursions is not a crime, so the church watchman of Lazdijai, Alvydas Vainoras, who had organized an excursion to the Festival of the Mother of Mercy at the Gates of Dawn in Vilnius, and Žemaičių Kalvarija, has been fined 50 rubles unjustly.
On December 16,1987, all the clergy of the City of Šiauliai were summoned to the Šiauliai City Executive Committee for a talk. Among them was the leader of the Adventists, Oželis, and the Orthodox priest.
The talk was conducted by First Secretary K. Žalenskas of the Šiauliai City Party Committee, Chairman P. Morkūnas of the City Executive Committee, and Vice Chairman J. Gaurilčikienė. The latter made an announcement concerning current Party policy with regard to the Church. She said that, "The Party and other state agencies will try to involve clergy actively in community work, that is, in various organizations run by the Party."
Party Secretary Žalenskas accused the Associate Pastor of St. George Parish in Šiauliai, Father Kazimieras Gražulis, of bringing out too pointedly in his sermons the negative aspects of our society.
The Pastor of the Church of SS. Peter and Paul in Šiauliai, and Dean, Msgr. Kleopas Jakaitis, gave the government some useful suggestions for taking better care of the city cemetery. The Associate Pastor of SS. Peter and Paul, Father Antanas Milašius, on the basis of information in the newspaper Gimtasis Kraštas (Native Land), concerning the procession which took place on All Souls' Day in Rokiškis, expressed the wish that in the City of Šiauliai also, permission be given to perform religious rites in the cemetery on All Souls' Day.
Vice Chairman J. Gaurilčikienė of the City Executive Committee, avoiding a direct answer, stated that the next All Souls' Day is still far off, and wasn't worth talking about.
Father Milašius inquired what to do so while that quizzing children in church in preparation for First Holy Communion, it would not be necessary to fear committees sent by the government. To this question also, Party and government representatives of the City of Šiauliai had nothing specific to reply.
After the meeting, government and Party officials arranged a trip for the priests to the K. Preikšas Pedagogical Institute in the City of Šiauliai.
On July 7,1987, the Associate Pastor of the Church of St. George in Šiauliai, Father Kazimieras Gražulis, delivered a sermon during the great festival at Žemaičių Kalvarija, in which he recalled that the church of Klaipėda had still not been returned to the faithful, the teaching of religion was forbidden and cameramen would be filming the crowds of faithful from the highest vantage-point, and show it to the world as truth of religious "freedom". Meanwhile, no one is paying any attention to the requests of the faithful.
For that reason, Father Gražulis was summoned to the Šiauliai City Executive Committee where the Vice Chairman of the Šiauliai City Executive Committee, Gaurilčikienė, read him a warning from the Commissioner, Petras Anilionis. The priest refused to sign an acknowledgement of the warning, as he was unjustly accused.
On September 11, in Šiluva, Father Gražulis in his sermons mentioned obvious examples of persecution of religion: the KGB interferes in the internal affairs of the seminary in Kaunas. He mentioned specific examples of the recruitment and terrorizing of seminarians: Vytautas Prajara was threatened with physical violence and the mother of the newly ordained Rolandas Kaušas was discharged from her duties as teacher because she had given her son a petition to the seminary in Kaunas. He mentioned examples of the insulting and vilification of priests in the press and urged believing youth not to be hypocrites and not to join atheistic organizations. For this, Father Gražulis received a warning from Commissioner for Religious Affairs Petras Anilionis in which he was accused of iinciting hatred between believers and atheists and with trying to prove the absence of religious freedom in Lithuania.
In October, the Šiauliai City Executive Committee fined Father Gražulis 25 rubles, arguing "that he is libelling or vilifying our way of life".
Father Gražulis refused to pay the fine.
Gargždai (Klaipėda Rayon)
On June 9, 1987, at 6:00 P.M., City Executive Committee Secretary Surplienė barged into the church in Gargždai, where the Associate Pastor, Father Antanas Šeškevičius, was testing about 40 children who were candidates for First Communion.
On the spot, a report was drawn up which Father Šeškevičius refused to sign.
A few days later, Father Šeškevičius received in the mail the following communication: "By decision of Administrative Case 23-65, June 10,1987,
Gargždai. The Administrative Committee of the Executive Committee of the Council of Peoples' Deputies of the City of Gargždai in the Rayon of Klaipėda.
"Chairman M. Jurevičiūtė, Secretary J. Surplienė, Members Z. Lukas, J. Miliauskienė, M. Vaišnorienė.
"Having in open session considered Administrative Case No. 23-65, has determined that Šeškevičius, Antanas, Son of Kazys, address: Gargždai, Tilto 1, place of employment: the church in Gargždai, on June 9,1987, taught a group of children catechism in church, and thus violated Par. 214 of the Lithuanian S.S.R. Code of Administrative Law Infringements.
"In accord with the Regulations for Assigning and Collecting Administrative Penalties, the committee has decided to mete out to Šeškevičius, Antanas, Son of Kazys, the administrative penalty, warning."
The signatures of all follow, accompanied by a seal.
When Father Šeškevičius did not cease quizzing the children, a strange man and Teachers Poleikienė and Dapkevičienč barged into church at 6:00 P.M. on June 24,1987, and served him with a repeat warning. Father Šeškevičius did not sign the warning this time, either.
On January 30,1987, Associate Pastor of Gargždai, Father Antanas Šeškevičius, sent a petition to the Procurator of the Lithuanian S.S.R. Father Šeškevičius was moved to write the petition by Commissioner for Religious Affairs, Petras Anilionis, and his assistant, Jozėnas, who, in their official warning, accused the priest of organizing the faithful to write petitions to various government agencies.
Most of them concern the believers' demand to be allowed to elevate the roof of the church-barracks of Gargždai. The aforesaid petition is a reasoned response to accusations which have been brought and, at the same time, a request that the procurator remind the Office of the Commissioner for Religious Affairs of the Constitution, which states, "Every citizen of the L.S.S.R. has the right to submit to state organs and public organizations suggestions for the improvement in its activities and to improve shortcomings in its work.
"Officials are obliged within a reasonable time period to consider the suggestions and statements of citizens, to respond to them, and to take the necessary measures.
"Persecution for criticism is forbidden. Those who do so are to be held accountable."
Father Šeškevičius writes in his petition, "The parish of Gargždai is writing, and will continue to write, petitions for the elevation of the roof on the church-barracks. For this, no organization is necessary; life itself forces us to do so... What kind of priest would I be if I did not help the faithful in their trouble?..."
The people of Radviliškis wrote twenty-five petitions in nine years and received permission to raise the roof of their church... The Commissioner is pressuring us to be quiet, but the Soviet Constitution of the L.S.S.R., Par. 6, guarantees, "The Communist Party of the Soviet Union exists to serve the people. If it really did serve the people, it would not be necessary to write twenty-five petitions. We have been putting up with this for ten years already."
On September 28,1987, priests of the Deanery of Ukmergė applied to the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Kaunas and the Diocese of Vilkaviškis, Archbishop Liudas Povilonis, Commissioner for the Council for Religious Affairs Petras Anilionis, and Executive Committee Chairman for the Rayon of Ukmergė, A. Bernotas, with a petition defending the pastor of the parish of Deltuva, Father Eugenijus Bartulis, unjustly accused in the article, "The Priest Tells Them to Separate", published in the September, 1987 issue of Soviet Woman, and the September 5,1987 edition of the rayon newspaper, Native Land.
In their petition, the priests of the Deanery of Ukmergė write, "A priest's efforts to preserve the stability of a marriage are being twisted 180 degrees. His sensitive administration of the church is called 'interference in things which are none of his affair'!
"A woman of retirement age is demeaned and called the priest's paramour."
At the end of their petition, the priests appeal to religious and state leaders, requesting them to evaluate carefully the atheists' attacks on Father Bartulis, and to take the necessary measures, that similar excesses not be repeated.
The following priests signed the petition, Fathers: J. Užusienis, J. Babonas, V. Pesliakas, P. Tavoraitis, G. Dunda, J. Girdevičius, VI. Petkevičius, D. Vairą, V. Ramanauskas, V. Vaškelis, J. Voveris.
On October 5,1987, Vice Chairman A. Makštutis of the Alytus City Executive Committee, summoning Father Robertas Rumšas, Associate Pastor of Alytus I, informed him of the warning sent by Commissioner Petras Anilionis in which Father Rumšas is accused of delivering a sermon non-religious in content on September 11,1987, in Šiluva, without permission of the Raseiniai Rayon government, and exaulted the sentenced priests Alfonsas Svarinskas, Sigitas Tamkevičius, and Jonas-Kąstytis Matulionis.
Father Rumšas wrote a petition to General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev. We are printing the text of the petition:
"I came to Šiluva as a worshipper, and my worship as a priest is the Holy Mass. What intention I must pray for, Soviet law, as far as I know, does not indicate. I prayed for the priest-prisoners according to Christ's urging, 'Whenever you did this for one of the least important of these brothers of mine (among whom Christ lists prisoners), you did it for Me.' (Mt 25,40)
"Surely, I, a Catholic priest, can pray for prisoners according to the urging of the Gospel. Part of the Holy Mass is the Liturgy of the Word of God, during which the intention for prayer is announced, and the Gospel is explained. By urging people to show love and pray for the priest-prisoners, I did not violate the Gospel, and at the same time, my word cannot be considered non-religious. The Divine Authority - the Gospel, and not the atheists - government officials - determine what forms religious content.
"Otherwise, we would come against the absurd. For example, how would atheistic propagandists react if the atheistic content of their atheistic lectures had to be set by believers?
"Speaking at Mass about the priest-prisoners, I mentioned that they did not only personally reject the state atheism, but also acted to see that it would not be accepted by others. This statement cannot be considered either disinformation or calumny, since such an attitude is the duty of every priest. Surely, no priest in proclaiming the Gospel, can suppress some aspects of our life, e.g., atheism. To make the Gospel and atheism equivalent would be absurd.
"Honorable General Secretary, order Religious Affairs Commissioner Petras Anilionis to recall this unfounded and absurd warning."
Garliava (Kaunas Rayon)
On December 8,1987, Father Vytautas Prajara, Associate Pastor of the parish of Garliava, was summoned to the Garliava Executive Committee. Kaunas Rayon Executive Committee Chairman Gelčienė read a warning from Petras Anilionis. The warning stated that on November 15, Father Prajara had organized a political-nationalistic commemoration in honor of Maironis in the church, and gave an anti-Soviet sermon. The priest is also to blame for the fact that after the services, the Lithuanian National Anthem was sung. In the warning, it is also indicated that on November 17, in the Church of Saint Theresa at the Gates of Dawn in Vilnius, Father Prajara delivered an anti-Soviet sermon, calumniating the Soviet system. It is for this reason the warning is given.
No copy of the warning was handed over, nor was anyone allowed to make a copy.
Father Vytautas Prajara refused to sign an acknowledgement of the
Šlavantai (Lazdijai Rayon)
During the night of November 13,1987, unknown culprits broke into the Šlavantai church. They broke open the church doors, and tore out the tabernacles on the main and side altars. They did not find the Blessed Sacrament, which is kept in a safe in the sacristy. A crowbar was left in the sacristy. They were unable to pry the safe open.
On December 1,1987, the Garliava Executive Committee summoned the members of the so-called "committee of twenty" of the Garliava church. The conference was conducted by the Assistant Procurator for the Kaunas Rayon.
The Vice Chairman of the Kaunas Rayon Executive Committee, the Chairman of the Garliava City Executive Committee, and his vice chairman accused the the church committee of allowing the associate pastor, Father Vytautas Prajara, to vilify the Soviet system and government during the sermon.
During the commemoration of the poet, Father Maironis, in the church, the Lithuanian National Anthem was sung which, in the words of government represenatives, is strictly forbidden. Moreover, it is not allowed to elect as a member of the church committee a former political prisoner (Jadvyga Bieliauskienė - Ed. Note). Priests who had formerly been tried and sentenced are not allowed to celebrate Mass or to deliver sermons.
Ending the discussion, the government representatives began to threaten the members of the church committee, saying that if, in the future, the situation at the church in Garliava does not change, their names will be publicized in the press. Moreover, a meeting of the church committee will be called again, at which the assistant procurator will explain to the members of the church committee what the Church, the priests, and believers can do in the Soviet system, and what they cannot.
With this, the representatives of the Kaunas Rayon and Garliava City government ended their task of "education".
Mikoliškiai (Kretinga Rayon)
On August 23,1987, the solemn commemoration of the 600th Anniversary of the Baptism of Lithuania was celebrated at the Mikoliškiai parish church. Many faithful from surrounding parishes came to the solemn services in which Bishop Antanas Vaičius also participated. The faithful of the parish of Gargždai were going to the solemnities in a chartered bus. But, before they reached Mikoliškiai, traffic police stopped the bus and demanded that the driver discharge his passengers. Despite the fact that driver had all the documents necessary for the trip, his driver's license was taken away, and the faithful had to travel the remaining 4 km. to the church of Mikoliškiai on foot.
On February 13,1987, Executive Committee Chairman Kazakevičius of the City of Kaunas came to the home of Army officer Juozas Kazalupskas, residing at Kaunas, Mažoji 1-10. The purpose of Kazakevičius's visit was to find out if Army officer Kazalupskas wrote the petition for the church of Klaipėda, and whether he really signed it. They also asked whether Kazalupskas collected signatures on the petition, and whether he accompanied the delegation of the faithful to Moscow.
To all these questions, Kazalupskas answered in the affirmative, adding that about 90,000 of the faithful had signed a petition for the return of the church of Klaipėda, but to date, the question of the Church of the Queen of Peace has not been finally settled. This is evidence that the government pays no heed to the faithful.
When Kaunas City Executive Committee Chairman Kazakevičius accused him of going to Moscow needlessly and wasting the time of responsible officials, Kazalupskas replied that if they did not return the church of Klaipėda, the faithful will fight with all the means at their disposal until they return it. As for delegations to Moscow, they have gone in the past, and they will continue to
go-On June 21,1987, a representative of the Committee on Elections to Local Councils came to the home of Juozas Kazalupskas, and demanded an explanation as to why Kazalupskas is not voting.
Kazalupskas stated that as a believer, he is obliged to defend the faith and the faithful, so as an expression of protest, he refuses to vote, since Bishop Steponavičius of the Diocese of Vilnius has been removed from his duties by the court and exiled to Žagarė.
Fathers Alfonsas Svarinskas, Sigitas Tamkevičius and Jonas-Kąstytis Matulionis, were sentenced just because they were concerned that people be sober, decent, and conscientious.
Kybartai (Vilkaviškis Rayon)
On November 18,1987, at 9:00 A.M., Romas Žemaitis was summoned to the Vilnius Rayon draft board. Major Spritsin and Commissar Vozgirda spoke to him. They were interested in knowing whether Žemaitis had still not changed his decision not to take the military oath, and how he justified such behavior on his part.
Žemaitis explained that by not taking the oath, he is protesting against the unjust imprisonment of Fathers Sigitas Tamkevičius and Alfonsas Svarinskas, and also against the fact that he himself, together with Father Jonas-Kąstytis Matulionis, was unjustly imprisoned in Russian camps.
Žemaitis explained his conviction that Lithuanians should do their military service in Lithuania. Commissar Vozgirda replied that in that case, no one would be able to keep them in line. The Commissar tried to accuse Žemaitis of urging other young men not to take the military oath.
Žemaitis denied the accusation, explaining that he had never pressured or tried to convince anyone not to take the military oath, but that he did not hide his personal stand on this question, nor did he intend to hide it in the future.
Having failed to re-educate the young man, Commissar Vozgirda told the major to take him to Procurator J. Matonis. The procurator tried politely to convince him to take the military oath. To this, Žemaitis replied that he would take the military oath, but on one condition. Let them announce in the press, over television and by radio, that he and Father Jonas-Kąstytis Matulionis had been unjustly arrested and sentenced to two and three years respectively of imprisonment.
The procurator replied that there was no way they could do this. Then Žemaitis, for his part, said that they should understand that he also could not take the military oath. Finally, the procurator suggested that Žemaitis submit a petition to emigrate, and he guaranteed that here, there would be no obstacles.
Žemaitis refused the offer, arguing that he is Lithuanian, his homeland is Lithuania, and he did not intend to leave Lithuania for any other place.
Not satisfied with the answer, Procurator Matonis tried to frighten him, saying that even if he did not take the oath, they would take him for two years of military service, and take him off to the depths of Siberia, where conditions would be similar to prison camp.
Žemaitis replied that wherever he was, he would always speak about God and about his homeland, Lithuania. With this, the conversation which had lasted two hours, ended.
For the fourth year, the KGB has rejected Algis Gudaitis's application to the seminary in Kaunas. In 1984, together with his brother Aldonas, he had submitted an application, but the KGB struck both of them from the list.
In 1985, when they applied a second time, they accepted his brother, Aldonas Gudaitis, but once again rejected Algis Gudaitis. Algis and Aldonas Gudaitis are twins. By law, twins are not separated, either in school or in the army. The Gudaitises have gone to school together and served in the army together. But when they applied to the seminary, the KGB separated them.
This year, too, 1987, Algis Gudaitis tried to apply to the seminary in Kaunas but again, received the same reply, "This year, we cannot accept your application. Try applying next year."
The case of Algis Gudaitis is not unique, even though recently, the atheistic press and television have been constantly advertising that they place no obstacles to applicants for the Kaunas seminary. The editorial of the television program Argumentai brazenly stated, "This year, all young men wishing to study at the seminary in Kaunas were accepted."
Gadunavas (Telšiai Rayon)
In the Rayon of TelSiai, in the neighborhood of Gadunavas, an old cross, ready to collapse, stood since time immemorial. A local resident, Vincas Urnikis, decided to replace the delapidated cross with a new one. Mrs. Sabutiene, a resident of the same Džiugas Soviet farm, gave him a new cross, fashioned forty years previously by her father, Stenbra.
On October 29,1987, Vincas Urnikis and Albinas Austys replaced the cross. Three days later, Urnikis was summoned to the Office of the District of Gadunavas, where he was told to tear down the newly erected cross. To Urnikis's explanation that he had simply replaced the old cross which had stood on that spot more than fifty years, and had not been in the way of either the Germans or the Russians, with a new one, no one paid any attention.
Urnikis refused to tear down the cross.
On November 11, the Rayon architect came to the district and demanded that Urnikis sign a complaint about his erecting the cross privately. On November 30, Urnikis, Austys and Sabutien6 were summoned before the Administrative Committee of the Rayon of Telšiai where, persuant to Par. 153 of the Criminal Code, they were penalized: Urnikis and Austys with a 50 ruble fine, while Sabutienė, for allowing the aforesaid individuals to put up the cross which had been on her property, received a reprimand.
The night of December 24, the cross was demolished.
On October 6, 1987, the Kaunas Interdiocesan Seminary was visited by Henrikas Zabulis, Minister of Higher and Specialized Education for Lithuania. In his talk to the seminarians, Zabulis gave high marks to the economic achievements of the republic, gave a wide-ranging report on the situation of higher learning in the republic, and spoke about various categories of institutions of higher learning.
After the lecture, the Minister responded to questions from the seminarians: "What is the meaning of teaching atheism in institutions of higher learning?" the seminarians wanted to know.
The Minister judged the question impertinent, and began setting forth his personal views on atheism and religion. He stated that among us, there is complete freedom of religion. The speaker acknowledged that he became an atheist while studying the Greek and Latin languages, and ancient literature. In the Greek language, the word "Christ" means annointed, there is an analogical word in the Hebrew language, and since both words are generic, there could not have been a Christ, since the name is generic.
Obviously, this argument seemed very stupid to the audience, and provoked laughter. No one had ever heard of any philological argument against the existence of God.
Stating that questions were beginning to repeat themselves, and that similar questions are posed by various extremists, Minister Zabulis declared that he would respond only to questions in writing.
In their questions, the seminarians expressed annoyance at articles in Soviet Woman magazine, in which V. Balkevičius dares to ridicule Mary, the Mother of God, so blatantly. Is this not discrimination against believers the seminarians asked? Minister Zabulis tried to avoid answering, explaining that he reads much, and takes an interest in atheistic literature, but that he had not read the articles by Balkevičius.
Finally, he admitted that among the atheists there can be ignoramuses. In his opinion, it was only because of occasional individuals failing to absorb the methodology of atheistic education, that conflicts between believers and atheists arise in school and at work.
Minister Zabulis responded to the questions of the seminarians, not seriously, but in a shallow manner. He would not allow himself to get involved in wider discussions, and he kept cutting off questions.
The meeting lasted one and a half hours.
On October 8,1987, Commissioner Petras Anilionis lectured the first class of the Kaunas seminary. He spoke long and tediously about Church-state relations, about the necessity of staying out of politics, and of being priests loyal to the Soviet government. Anilionis attacked so-called "religious extremists". He told how every year, among priests graduating the seminary, a few extremists show up.
Anilionis claimed that Fathers Edmundas Atkočiūnas, Juozas Kaminskas, Kazimieras Gražulis, and Vytautas Sadauskas had already managed to draw attention to themselves with their anti-Soviet attacks, and Father Rokas Puzonas had already exceeded all limits and would be made criminally liable, if Bishop Sladkevičius did not save him.
Anilionis urged the seminarians to avoid so-called extremists within the seminary, and not to give into those who would like to pull them onto the "anti-Soviet merry-go-round".
"We see and know everything, and we will not allow parasites to breed in the seminary!" shouted Anilionis.
He recalled also the August 23 rally which took place at the Adomas Mickevičius Monument in Vilnius, and expressed annoyance that among the active participants was Julius Sasnauskas, presently a first-classman in the seminary who, in the words of the Commissioner, had not yet learned from his mistakes in the past. Julius Sasnauskas explained that he considered it his duty to participate in the commemoration of the victims of Stalin and Hitler, and that this activity was not organized in the West, as Anilionis claimed.
The seminarians, growing bolder, began to pose questions. First-classman Arūnas Janušauskas stated that before he came to the seminary, KGB agents had told him to spy on seminary instructors and his own classmates, saying that he was doing so at the direction of Commissioner Petras Anilionis.
Anilionis was shocked by the way the meeting turned out.
On November 27, 1987, Petras Anilionis "educated" the fifth class seminarians. During the lecture, the speaker described how hopeless the climate had been for freedom of conscience in independent Lithuania, and that only now, under conditions of socialism, were the conditions present to practice full freedom of conscience. At the end of his lecture, Anilionis advised the future priests not to get involved in politics, and to concern themselves strictly with "satisfying the needs of the faithful".
In his words, "It is too bad that priests who have just finished the seminary begin to be actively involved in anti-Soviet activity (i.e., struggling for the rights of believers and conscientiously carrying out ones' duties as a priest)".
After the lecture, the seminarians posed a whole list of questions for the Commissioner. Seminarian V. Sabaliauskas inquired why believing youth may not gather even privately in the home, in small groups, and discuss questions of religion of concern to them; why participants in a gathering of this sort often have to deal with security agents; he emphasized that such examples are not rare, hence, how to reconcile them with the Soviet freedom of conscience touted by Anilionis.
The Commissioner tried to explain that if the KGB actually gets involved, it means that religion in that case was being used as a cover, and the security police see through it that in such meetings, there is some sort of forbidden activity.
The question of V. Aukštakalnis, asking why the Office of the Council for Religious Affairs interferes in the right belonging to the bishops to assign priests to parishes and why seminarians are recruited to work as security agents, threw Commissioner Anilionis off balance.
Annoyed, he began excoriating "priest extremists", declaring that there is interference in the appointment of priests only because they cannot stand it when the extremists dictate to the bishops. The fact of recruiting seminarians he denied outright, saying that the KGB agents, in their conversations, seek only to get acquainted with the seminarians and with their outlook, but not to recruit them.
Moreover, in his opinion, the government should know what opinions a person holds preparing to enter the seminary. It must know whether the person is suitable to be a priest or not.
Aukštakalnis emphatically stated, and offered himself as a personal example, that the KGB specifically demands that they sign an agreement to cooperate by supplying information concerning life in the seminary. Otherwise, they threatened not to accept him for the seminary.
Having no argument against the seminarian's statement, the Commissioner asked not to be mixed up with the KGB and KGB agents, but that the KGB, to his way of thinking, has its own laws and knows what it is doing.
Seminarian Miroslavas Balcevičius got into the conversation: "I am concerned neither with the idea of independence for Lithuania, concern for which you accuse us of, nor with politics. I want only one thing, the priesthood. I am of Polish nationality, yet for five years, the KGB has given me no peace. They tried to recriuit me before I entered the seminary, and now, during vacation time, they won't leave me alone: they promise various kinds of subsidy help, and career. I would like to ask why the KGB incites national dissatisfaction, urging me to join a Polish National Church, which they are trying to organize in Lithuania."
The Commissioner was unable to answer the question. He was rescued from a tricky situation by the seminarians, who presented him with a concrete suggestion: "Comrade Commissioner, when you return to Vilnius, please tell the security organs to stop compromising the U.S.S.R. Constitution by such activities, and also your beautiful tales about freedom of conscience in our socialist society."
Commissioner Anilionis declared that the lecture was over, and that he would try to respond to issues of concern to the seminarians the next time.