With this year four months gone, the priests of Lithuania received a liturgical calendar, called a Catholic Calendar-Directory. In fact, Catholics did not receive this Catholic Calendar. Churches and priests received one copy each.
The Catholic Calendar did not gratify priests, for its purpose was clearly propaganda. Moreover, we find in the Calendar not only omissions of the truth, but blatant lies and pure propaganda maneuvers as well.
The Calendar (p. 72) omits mentioning the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Kaišiadorys (exiled Bishop Vincentas Sladkevičius), (Reinstated in July, 1982. See Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania, No. 54 — Trans. Note) and only names the diocese's Capitular Vicar; p. Ill likewise omits the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Vilnius, Bishop Julijonas Steponavičius.
For some reason, the Catholic Calendar did not include in the Conference of Lithuanian Bishops the exiled bishops. Being the legal administrators of their dioceses, do they not have the right to belong to the Conference of Lithuanian Bishops?
The Calendar even contains blatant lies. For example, the Chancery of the Diocese of Telšiai sent the editors of the Catholic Calendar information that the Diocese of Telšiai has fifty-one churches with priests, but the calendar (p. 119) shows only forty-three.
In its "Statistical Data on the Catholic Church in Lithuania" (p. 118), the Catholic Calendar introduced a graph purely for its propaganda value showing the ratio between the number of priests and churches. According to the Calendar's data, priests outnumber churches in nearly all the dioceses: in other words, there is no need to clamor that Lithuania has a shortage of priests. If a ratio is to be shown, it should be between the number of churches and working priests, but this ratio would be an indictment against the Soviet government which is responsible for the sharp decline of priests in Lithuania in the postwar years.
The Catholic Calendar completely omits mentioning the diocesan Priests' Senates, though they have officially been confirmed in certain dioceses (Vilnius and Telšiai).
The Directory contains poems, Latvian hymns, as well as several documents which Lithuania's priests had received at one time from the Chanceries and read several times to the faithful. It appears that someone saw to it that the Directory is of more use to Soviet propaganda than to priests.
Priests of Lithuania hope they will receive the 1983 liturgical calendar in time. It should contain information which Lithuani priests find particularly in short supply: for instance, on liturgical, canonical and moral subjects.