To:   The Bishops and Diocesan Administrators of Lithuania;

Dr. V. Butkus, Rector of the Theological Seminary. A Statement from: The Priests of the Vilkaviškis Diocese.

Religious Affairs Commissioner K. Tumėnas came to the Kaunas Seminary on Holy Saturday, 1978, and demanded that two seminarians be expelled from the seminary: P. Blažukas from the Vilkaviškis Diocese and V. Pūkas from the Vilnius Archdiocese.

We, the priests ot the Vilkaviškis diocese, take this opportunity to state the following:

1) Only the Ordinaries of Lithuania and the seminary administra­tion have the right to handle seminary matters, as dictated by church law. According to this law, there was no basis for expelling seminarians Blažukas and Pūkas from the seminary. The Religious Affairs Commissioner has no right to interfere in the admission and expulsion of seminarians.

2) The seminarians ousted from the Seminary are charged with duplicating illegal literature. We, the priests of Lithuania, have no other literatūra. All our literature—most prayebooks, all catechisms, sermon material, religious books—is "illegal," without permission from the Religious Affairs Commissioner. Seminarians cannot be ousted from the Seminary because of such literature.

3) The unfounded expulsion of the seminarians from the Seminary calls for the urgent need to see to it that young men seek the priesthood underground.

Please see that the seminarians unjustly expelled from the seminary are readmitted during this academic year.

April 12, 1978

Priests of the Vilkaviškis Diocese:

P. Dumbliauskas, J. Maskvytis, B. Ražukas, J. Zdebskis, J. Žemaitis, K. Montvila, G. Dovydaitis, A. Gustaitis, A. Lukošaitis, V. Stakėnas, L. Kunevičius, J. Matulevičius, V. Urbonas, P. Orlickas, V. Degutis, A. Deltuva, P. Račiūnas, S. Tamkevičius, V. Jalinskas, L. Kavaliūnas, G. Steponaitis, S. Mikalajūnas.


To:   The Apostolic Administrator of the Vilkaviškis Diocese; The Rector of the Seminary.

A   Petition

We, the faithful of the Prienai parish, learned during Easter the sad news that our seminarian P. Blažukas was expelled from the seminary at the government's order. We have seen him serving at the altar for many years and are convinced that he did not break either church or civil law.

We urgently ask you to repeatedly address the appropriate agencies with this request, so that Seminarian Blažukas is allowed to continue preparing for the priesthood.


April 14, 1978                    Signed by 301 parishioners

of Prienai.

Another petition was sent the Apostolic Administrator of the Vilkaviškis Diocese by 316 believers of the Prienai parish.

It appears that the petitions of the Prienai believers will be in vain. The KGB would quickly forgive seminarian Blažukas the "offense" he did not commit, if he agreed to become a KGB informer. It is expected that the KGB will not miss the opportunity to recruit the expelled seminarian as its agent.