Toward the end of 1971, the Rev. P. Masilionis, pastor of the parish in Krikliniai, requested permission from the Pasvalys Rayon administration to visit family members residing in the United States. In June, 1972, he received a negative reply.
Nobody was surprised at such action by the Soviet government. Apparently, neither was Father Masilionis, for at this time only priests who are completely trusted by the government and who deal more or less with the KGB are permitted to leave in order to visit capitalist countries. The The pastor of the parish in Krikliniai has not earned any "merits" with the Soviet authorities. He had hardly arrived at his parish when Stapulionis, the vice-chairman of the Pasvalys Rayon Executive Committee, warned him sternly: "Stay put in the church! Don't go touring the parish." Neither do the rayon officials like Father Masilionis' sermons, which touch upon questions relevant to the lives of the faithful. For example, the administration of the Krikliniai Collective Farm pays double wages to those who come to work on Sunday: ten rubles for the day. Prior to the Festival of the Visitation (July 2) an announcement was made to the collective-farm workers to the effect that those who would work during the festival would each get a wagonload of hay. Since it is hard to obtain hay, more than one worker succumbed and worked during the festival. In his sermon the pastor reminded the faithful not to sell their Sundays. Moreover, the parishioners were reminded that Catholic parents do wrong to celebrate the wedding of their children who refuse to receive the Sacrament of Matrimony: "There is nothing to rejoice about when a child begins an unauthorized wedded life." Father Masilionis said that a great error is committed when ceremonious funerals —with an orchestra and a large procession of children and youths—are held for suicides. The pastor recalled one driver's funeral. He had killed a man while drunk; later he hanged himself and was buried with much pomp.
At the end of July, 1972, Father Masilionis was summoned to the State Security office in Pasvalys. Its chief rebuked him for the excesses committed by some priests during their sermons. Among the hotheads he mentioned were Fathers Buliauskas and Nykštus. The pastor of Krikliniai was also supposedly acting-up too much. The security agent reminded him that there were enough prayer books for the faithful. He added that the Soviet government had agreed to publish a Catholic newspaper, but the clergy have been unable to form an editorial staff. He also said that there were enough priests, but a better selection of more suitable candidates to the seminary should be made.
Father Masilionis explained that atheistic propaganda had begun to bore everyone, that it was full of fabrications and pornography. It was a priest's duty to tell the truth to the faithful.
"Why do you priests write collective petitions, such as the one in regard to Canon Žiukelis?" asked the security agent.
Canon Žiukelis, you see, under orders of Rugienis, was being assigned to the out-of-the-way parish in Šimoniai. Defending their dean, the clergy of Pasvalys Rayon had objected in their petition to the ecclesiastical administrator Canon P. Bakšys that such a transfer contradicted Church law.
The security agent also reminded him that petitions sent abroad, such as the memorandum of the 17,000, would serve no purpose.
"If you need something, write it down and send it to Rugienis," advised the security agent.
At the end of the meeting, the chief expressed regret that the State Security Committee which had been founded for the struggle against counterrevolution, must now concern itself with priests.