Letter of Complaint

Regarding the Actions oj the LSSR Council of Ministers' State Television and Radio Committee, which Brutally Violated Basic Standards of Truth and Justice as They Relate to Human Dignity and Religious Rituals.

Officials of the State Television and Radio Committee of the LSSR Council of Ministers, by means of covert and tricky deceit, without my knowledge or consent, arranged to have me filmed at the Kaišiadorys Rayon Executive Committee, and while offering Mass in the Church at Kalviai. This film, entitled And for Ever and Ever, was aired on television to the believers and the public of Lithuania with occasionally slanderous comments about me.

I was officially summoned to come to the Kaišiadorys Rayon Executive Committee. There, I was sent from office to office, and asked meaningless questions about the attendance of tourists at the Church of Kalviai and the like. It appears that a television crew filmed me there with equipment set up in advance.

Later, as I was offering Holy Mass on Sunday at the Church in Kalviai, with numerous parishioners ardently praying, men noisily barged into the church with television equipment and without my per­mission began to film, taking over the church as though it were their private studio.

Article 143 of the LSSR Criminal Code provides up to one year of imprisonment for violating the law regarding the separation of Church and state, and thus the separation of state and Church also.

The above-mentioned forced entry rudely interrupted the believ­ers' holiest rite, namely, the solemnity of the Holy Mass, and the religious sensitivities of those praying were deeply offended.

The moment when I distribute Holy Communion is accompanied in the film by the narrator's commentary stating: "With these same hands he blessed the weapons and torture implements of bandits."

These insinuations and assertions regarding my person and activity during postwar years, employing the most effective means of propaganda—repeated television broadcasts—is an unforgivable, deliberate and lasting insult against me, with the intention of dis­crediting me as a priest, a representative of the Catholic Church, in the eyes of the entire community of believers and unbelievers in Lithuania.

This film, produced in such a dishonorable, illegal and slanderous fashion, is an abominable fabrication and a crime punishable under LSSR law.

The fact that I was once sentenced by a Soviet court to ten years of imprisonment at hard labor as a political prisoner, does not give anyone the right to abuse and terrorize me again twenty years later.

Besides, documents of my trial show why I was sentenced to ten years. During the postwar years I often provided food for the partisans of Lithuania, who did not recognize as legal the incorpora­tion of Lithuania into the USSR; I provided them with material sup­port and officiated at the marriage of a couple of them. The allegations made by the film's producers that I blessed the weapons and torture implements of bandits are not documented facts, but malicious slander.

In this open letter of complaint, I address the LSSR Prosecutor and demand the following:

Stop the campaign of terror and abuse against me, a legal Soviet citizen and priest residing in the Soviet Union.

Prevent derision of the dignity of the Holy Mass.

Warn the offenders on the following points:

 1. Delete the frames dealing with me from the television film And for Ever and Ever.

2. Indict the above-mentioned television and radio program editors and technicians and those who directed them to take this course of action, along with their co-conspirators from the Kaišia­dorys Rayon Executive Committee, under art. 18 of the LSSR Crimi­nal Code (deliberate joint participation of two or more individuals in a crime) and under art. 132 and 133 of the Criminal Code (for slander and insult in a publicly circulated format, slander in con­nection with accusation of a serious crime).

3. Rectify the moral injury done me before Lithuanian society by way of the same format used to make public this program which slandered me.

With the purpose of educating Soviet society in the spirit of Communist morality, the Television and Radio Committee should see to it that its programs dealt not with fantasy but with revealing genuine documentary information about the sadism of such tragedies and their perpetrators, as for instance:

    1. The elimination of such popular defenders of the Soviet people, such creators of Soviet society, as Putna, Urborevičius and others.

2.The elimination of such revolutionaries as Z. Angariečius, the wife of K. Požėla and others.

3.The brutal torture and murder 34 years ago of an innocent priest in the Orija woods of the Vilkaviškis Rayon.

4.The coincident torture of a group of Panevėžys doctors and intellectuals.

5.Simultaneously, in the Rainiai woods of the Telšiai "Rayon", the equally brutal torture and murder of completely innocent in­tellectuals, students and workers.

6.The mass murder, during that same period, of inmates and their Soviet guards at the Kaišiadorys Rayon Pravieniškiai political prisoner camp.

Acts of sadism were committed at that time, in certain other parts of Lithuania which, even today, still live in society's memory.

Explain who blessed the weapons of those executioners and prepared the torture implements; explain, in such a way that the documented facts brought to light will serve to prosecute, in a trial similar to the Nuremberg trials, the perpetrators of this sadism which the world does not even begin to imagine. Such documentation broadcast on television from time to time would be invaluable in educating today's young generation, as well as the Lithuanian public, in fostering hatred of injustice and bestial barbarism.

Rev. Z. Neciunskas