Religious Affairs Commissioner Petras Anilionis arrived at Šilalė on January 21,1981. After summoning the members of the entire rayon's parish councils and the rayon's deputies, he explained Soviet law to them. He stated that it is forbidden to teach groups of children the truths of the faith and that children under eighteen years of age are forbidden to serve at mass, keep vigil, sing in the church choir, etc.

He publicly stated that he will remove the Šilalė assistant pastor, Father Vytautas Skiparis, from the priesthood.

A Nevočiai Grade School teacher, Uksas, asked: "Who can take care of Šilalė's assistant pastor?" The commissioner suggested they appeal to interrogation organs.

On March 10, 1981, all Šakiai Rayon Township Chairmen, school principals, and parish council representatives were summoned to the rayon executive committee offices. Murnikov, a lecturer, delivered a lecture stressing that priests do not observe Soviet laws and that parish councils must control them to prevent them from embezzling funds, etc. Following the lecture, the audience submitted questions to the speaker: Why do churches pay 25 kopeks per unit of electricity and not 4 kopeks? Why was the Klaipėda church closed? Why is there no religious press? The speaker merely "beat around the bush" when answering.

Representatives of parish councils should either not attend such meetings or should speak up when they do attend to draw attention to obvious cases of discrimination.

At the beginning of March 1981 the chairmen of parish councils in Radviliškis Rayon received the following letter: "At noon on March 10 of this year a seminar will be held at the rayon executive committee hall (second floor) for members of religious community executive organs and review commissions on the topic 'Religious Community Executive Organs and Review Commissions: Their Rights and Obligations.' " The letter indicated how many people were to attend. It was signed by Executive Committee Vice Chairman A. Krikštanas.

On March 10,1981, the following priests accompanied the representatives of the parish councils: Father Jonas Babonas, pastor of Polekėle; Father Antanas Jokubauskas, pastor of Pociūneliai and Palonai; and Father Juozas Vaičekauskas, pastor of Grinkiškis and Pašušvys. The parish council members were registered as they entered the meeting room. After Father Vaičekauskas entered and sat next to the Grinkiškis and Pašušvys parish council members, Executive Committee Vice Chairman Alfredas Krikštanas of Radviliškis Rayon appeared in the room. He asked Father Vaičekauskas to follow him. When they stepped out of the meeting room, Krikštanas and an official of the Council for Religious Affairs demanded that the priest not attend the meeting. Father Vaičekauskas explained that he was taking the place of ailing Pašušvys Parish Council Chairman Antanas Poškus, that he had been authorized by Poškus to attend. He stated that he intended to attend the meeting along with the representatives of his churches. He returned to the hall. Several minutes later, Fathers A. Jokubauskas and J. Babonas entered the conference room. The district executive committee chairmen and other Soviet officials filed into the room. They began to insult the priests: "Look at the fat slobs . . . bloodsuckers . . . exploiters . . .. Look at the hands of the workers assembled here . . . etc." The believers present in the hall were silent. The Executive Committee Chairman of Daugėlaičiai Township was particularly memorable with his insults.

Once again Krikštanas appeared in the hall. He sternly demanded that the priests leave. Then Vytautas Skar-dinskas, a member of the Radviliškis Parish Council, stated, "If you drive the priests out, we'll all leave." Members of the Šeduva and the Dambrava parish councils also spoke out fearlessly.

Throughout all of this, Religious Affairs Commissioner Petras Anilionis was in Krikštanas's office. Krikštanas ran to him several times for advice.

The second time Krikštanas demanded that the priests leave the hall, Povilas Liutkus, chairman of the Grinkiškis Parish Council, stood up, held up the summons, and stated, "The summons does not state that priests are forbidden to attend. We want the priests to stay."

Father Jokubauskas stated, "The people elected me chairman of the Pociūnėliai Parish Council, and I have the right to participate."

"We haven't acknowledged you!" replied Krikštanas.
"Our Catholic Church is governed by the pope, the bishops, and the priests. We don't need Petras Anilionis's church; we don't need Krikštanas's church," replied Father Vaičekauskas. A man sitting behind the priest, apparently a security agent, growled: "I'll explain to you just what the Catholic Church is. We'll meet another time!"

The parish council members reproachfully rebuked the atheists present in the hall concerning the murders of priests, the persecution of believing children, the poor moral education of the youth, the breaking of church windows, etc. One of the atheists in the hall angrily retorted that priests and the Church are to blame for the holliganism rampant in Soviet society. Others jeered at the believers.

Krikštanas threatened the parish representatives that if they will support the priests, they will be removed from the parish councils and replaced by others. Father Babonas, the secretary of the Polekėlė Parish Council, stated, "Parish councils are chosen by believers and not by the Radviliškis Rayon Executive Committee."

The argument lasted over half an hour. Finally, Krikštanas returned to the hall once again and declared that if the priests did not leave, the police would be summoned. In fact, Krikštanas did return to the hall ten minutes later accompanied by two uniformed policemen. Krikštanas first dashed up to Father Jokubauskas. Meanwhile the members of the Radviliškis, Šeduva, Polekėlė, Grinkiškis, Pašušvys, and other parish councils stood up and silently began to file out of the hall.

The members of the Grinkiškis and the Pašušvys councils were threatened by Krikštanas as they left the hall.

"If you leave you’ll be dismissed from the parish council.


You'll regret this!"

An employee of the Council for Religious Affairs (who did not identify himself) also tried to stop the believers but was not successful. Only the township executive committee chairmen and other atheists remained in the hall.

Officials of the Religious Affairs Commissioner's office conduct similar meetings in all the rayons of Lithuania. Their purpose is to accustom believers to observe the Regulations for Religious Associations, to convince them that a priest is a nonentity in the parish, and that the atheist-invented "Twenty" are everything.