To:   Leonid Brezhnev, Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union

The Bishops and Administrators of Dioceses in Lithuania


We have become concerned about the emotional attacks against religion appearing in the press lately. In the speech by First Secretary Petras Griškevičius of the Communist Party of Lithuania, it is stated: "It is necessary to strengthen in all ways the ties of international and patriotic education with the struggle to liqui­date religious anachronisms." (Second Plenum of the Lithuanian Communist Party, Vilnius, June 17, 1981) Communist Party Secre­tary L. Šepetys has also spoken strongly against religion, and against good priests, and Commissioner of the Council for Religious Affairs Petras Anilionis strictly demands that the Regulations for Religious Associations confirmed July 28, 1976, by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the LSSR be carried out.

The Catholic clergy of Lithuania would gladly welcome normal­ization of relations between the government of the LSSR and the Catholic Church in Lithuania. We and our faithful do not refuse to carry out the just demands of the Soviet government which do not contradict the dogma or morality of the Roman Catholic Church. We are ready to stand shoulder to shoulder in the fight against moral ills in our nation: alcoholism, family breakdown, hooliganism, the taking of unborn life, especially abortion which has spread widely since legalization by the government.

However, we emphasize once more that we have no right or possibility of carrying out the Regulations for Religious Associa­tions, since these do not conform with our conscience. Some para­graphs of those Regulations cannot be reconciled with the Gospel of Christ, with the Decrees of the Second Vatican Council, nor especially with the Constitution of the USSR, Lenin's Directives of January 23, 1918, the Communist Party's Directives dated November 10, 1954, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Helsinki Final Accords, the signing of which the obligated the Soviet Union to make all of its laws compatible with the guide­lines of the Helsinki Declaration.

We therefore state:

We do not have the right to transfer to the civilian government or to committees composed of rank-and-file faithful the administra­tion of dioceses and parishes of the Roman Catholic Church, since the hierarchical structure in the Catholic Church was established by Jesus Christ Himself. (Matt. 16, 18-19). The Church is ruled by the Pope, the bishops and their assistants, the priests. This is stated by Lumen Gentium of Vatican II (Par. 10, 19, 22); and the Code of Canon Law (Can. 218, 219, 329, 451). The infraction of the aforesaid Canons is punishable by excommunica­tion (See Can. 2333 and 2334-2).

We priests are obliged to proclaim the gospel through preach­ing and the teaching of catechism (Vatican II, Christus Do-minus, No. 14, Can. 1329, 1330.) The fulfillment of this duty, especially where the state is separated from the Church is regulated, not by the civil government, but only by the bishop (Can. 1337).

We are required and cannot refuse to administer the sacra­ments to those who request them, especially the sick and the dying, everywhere, without regard to boundaries of the territory served by us. (Can. 882)

We request and demand that the quota imposed by the civil government on the number of students at the Kaunas Seminary be abolished, because according to Canon Law (Can. 1352, 1357), bishops and administrators of dioceses accept candidates for the seminary on their own authority, appoint professors, and oversee the courses and training.

We demand that no obstacle be placed by the government in the path of bishops of Lithuania and administrators of dioceses in Lithuania, so that they might freely assign clergy on their own authority to various spiritual duties, without permission of the Commisioner of the Council for Religious Affairs in Lithuania (Can. 147-2, 152, 455-1).

We demand that officials of the Soviet government stop prevent­ing us priests from visiting our faithful if they so request. The obligation of such visits is imposed on us by Canon Law (Can. 467-1). At present, such visitation is forbidden; for example, Soviet officials interfered with priests visiting their people in Alytus and Kalvarija. In Prienai, Father Antanas Gražulis was even fined.

We demand that the Ordinaries be able freely to visit parishes in their dioceses.

The abovenamed duties are imposed upon us, the Catholic clergy of Lithuania, by the Canons of the Catholic Church, and the decisions of its councils and synods. On the other hand, the Regulations for Religious Associations forbid us to carry out these duties. Whatever sanctions the Soviet government may apply to us, we must act according to the direction of Sacred Scripture, "Better for us to obey God, rather than men." (Acts. 5, 29)

Normal relations of the Catholic Church with the Soviet government of Lithuania are constantly being muddied by crude, anti-religious propaganda insulting the faithful, excesses on the part of Soviet officials, discrimination against believers at work, per­secution of employees, teachers and schoolchildren for their carrying out of religious duties; destruction of crosses, desecration of the Blessed Sacrament, closing of churches and the robbery of churches and priests.

Clergy and laity were very insulted by the repeated demolition of the Hill of Crosses (Šiauliai Rayon, Village of Jurgaičiai) and the vandalizing of Alkakalnis, or Maiden Hill (Telšiai Ray­on, Village of Pasruojė). The Archcathedral of Vilnius has been converted into an art gallery; the Church of St. Casimir in Vilnius, a Museum of Atheism; the Queen of Peace Church in Klaipė­da into a concert hall, even though the faithful of Klaipėda have no place to pray.

 - To return to Catholics the churches which have been closed or confiscated, especially the Archcathedral of Vilnius, St. Casimir's Church in Vilnius, and Queen of Peace Church in Klaipėda;

 - To forbid the destruction of historical—religious treasures: crosses, shrines and monuments;

 - To forbid the destruction of places venerated by the faithful, and considered as sacred by them;

 - To amend the Regulations for Religious Associations con­firmed July 28, 1978, in such a way that they would be com­patible with Catholic Church Canon Law, thus setting up conditions for priests and faithful to obey them;

 - To reinstate Bishop Julijonas Steponavičius of the Archdiocese of Vilnius, who has been exiled without trial to Žagarė for more than twenty years;

 - To review agreements with the government imposed upon parish committees by force and deceit;

 - To warn rayon and district officials that discrimination against priests and faithful must be discontinued, because the faithful make up the greater portion of the inhabitants of Lithuania, and distinguish themselves by conscientious work; they should not be prodded by tactless actions on the part of officials to look upon the Soviet government in a negative fashion;

 - To allow us to erect churches in cities which are being established, as well as in the microrayons of growing cities;

 - To allow religious services to be carried out in places designated for wakes.

July - August, 1982

The petition was signed by the following priests: In the Diocese of TelSiai, as of November 1, 1982

Fathers:                             Vincentas Gauronskis

Vladas Abramavičius Adomas Alminas Klemensas Arlauskas Antanas Augustis Albinas Arnašius Brunonas Bagužas Jonas Baikauskas Aloyzas Bakšys Antanas Beniušis Petras Bernotas Jurgis Birbilas Jonas Bučinskas Julius Budrikis Juozapas Bukauskas Antanas Bunkus Bronius Burneikis Juozapas Butkus Liudas Dambrauskas Jonas Eičas Antanas Garjonis Juozapas Gasiūnas Kazimieras Gasčiūnas Anupras Gauronskas

Juozapas Gedgaudas Jonas Gedvila Edmundas Germanas Domininkas Giedra Antanas Gylys Stanislovas Gorodeckis Juozapas Grabauskas Juozapas Grubliauskas Juozapas Gunta Jonas Ilskis Antanas Ivanauskas Aleksandras Jakutis Juozapas Jankauskas Petras Jasas Jonas Jasinevičius Antanas Jurgaitis Izidorius Juškys Vladislovas Juškys Vytautas Kadys Jonas Kauneckas Anicetas Kerpauskas Antanas Kiela Vincentas Klebonas Alfonsas Klimavičius              Pranciškus Ružė Jonas Kusas    Vincentas Senkus Bronislovas Latakas              Liudvikas Serapinas Aloyzas Lideikis         Vytautas Skiparis Juozapas Liutkevičius             Domininkas Skirmantas Alfonsas Lukoševičius          Vaclovas Stribys Kazimieras Macelis   Antanas Striukas Juozapas Maželis           Petras Stukas Petras Merliūnas Pranciškus Šatkus Vytautas Minkutavičius Antanas Šeškevičius Petras Mitkus              Valentinas Šikšnys Vytautas Motekaitis     Juozapas Širvaitis Juozapas Olšauskas              Juozapas Šiurys Aloyzas Orantas             Vladas Šlevas Juozapas Pačinskas              Juozapas Šukys Jonas Pakalniškis            Henrikas Šulcas Algirdas Pakamanis              Tomas Švambrys Jonas Paliukas             Bernardas Talaisis Petras Palšis Julius Tamašauskas Jonas Paulauskas               Stanislovas Vaitelis Jonas Petrauskas              Feliksas Valaitis Konstantinas Petrikas      Petras Venckus Antanas Petronaitis              Pranciškus Venckus Tadas Poška             Konstantinas Velioniškis Kazimieras Prialgauskas            Vincentas Vėlavičius Alfonsas Pridotkas    Jonas Vičiulis Adolfas Pudžemys Antanas Zdanavičius Klemensas Puidokas Ferdinandas Žilys Petras Puzaras              Anupras Žukas Bronislavas Racevičius      Kazimieras Žukas Vladas Radveikis              Romualdas Žulpa Antanas Ričkus             Juozapas Miklovas Kazimieras Rimkus              Julijonas Miškinis Jonas Rudzinskas

In all, 114 priests; moreover, the document was signed by the pastor of Leningrad, Father Pavilonis, and one priest from another diocese whose signature was illegible.

N.B., Signatures are still being collected.

The petition from the priests of the Diocese of Vilkaviškis was signed by:


Juozas Adomaitis Pranas Adomaitis Vincas Akelis Antanas Akevičius Antanas Aleksandravičius Jonas Alesius Konstantinas Ambrasas Algirdas Andrišiūnas Petras Balanda Vincas Bandža Jonas Baranauskas Kęstutis Bekasovas Juozas Berteška Vladas Bilius Vladas Bobinas Kazimieras Burba Vytautas Būdas Jonas Būga Boleslovas Čegelskas Vincas Čėsna Vaclovas Degutis Albinas Deltuva Antanas Diškevičius Gvidonas Dovidaitis Petras Dumbliauskas Vincas Dumčius Antanas Gražulis Juozas Gražulis Jonas Grudzinskas Juozas Gumauskas Vytautas Guogis Msgr. Andriejus Gustaitis Vytautas Gustaitis Vytautas Insoda Juozas Jakaitis Vincas Jalinskas

Povilas Jančiauskas Boleslavas Jarušauskas Albinas Jaudegis Juozas Juškaitis Kazimieras Juškevičius Leonardas Kavaliūnas Petras Krazauskas Juozas Kriščiūnas Jonas Kubilius Kazimieras Kudirka Lionginas Kunevičius Juozas Kupstaitis Leonas Lešinskas Antanas Liubšys Pianas Liutvinas Jonas Maksvytis Jonas Malinauskas Juozas Matulaitis Juozas Matulevičius Antanas Mieldažys Juozas Mieldažys Stasys Mikalajūnas Kazimieras Montvila Viktoras Naujokaitis Bronius Paltanavičius Jonas Paliukaitis Antanas Pangonis Juozas Pečiukonis Jonas Pačiukonis Vincas Petruševičius Juozas Pilipaitis Ignas Plioraitis Juozas Preikšas Pranas Račiūnas Antanas Račkauskas Stasys Račkauskas Vaclovas Radzevičius Boleslovas Ražukas Andriejus Rimas        Sigitas Tamkevičius Jonas Rusinąs              Vytautas Tėvelis Alfonsas Sadauskas        Vitas Urbonas Petras Sitka              Vytautas Užkuraitis Gracijus Sakalauskas Juozas Užupis Salemonas Samuolis              Vytautas Vaitauskas Gintautas Skučas      Jonas Varkala Kazimieras Skučas              Antanas Vitkus Vaclovas Stakėnas           Juozas Zdebskis Gintautas Steponaitis              Msgr. Juozas Žemaitis Jurgis Sventickas   Juozas Radzevičius Juozas Šalčius              Kęstutis Brilius Pranciškus Šulskis            Jonas Matulionis

In all, 100 priests signed; 9 priests refused to sign; 3 priests were not asked to sign in the belief that they would not do so.

An identical petition from the Archdiocese of Kaunas was signed by the following priests;

Gustavas Gudanavičius        Juozapas Čepėnas Juozapas Razmantas     Antanas Ylius Juozapas Dobilaitis              Kazimieras Sirūnas Alfredas Vanagas        Kleopas Jakaitis Vaclovas Tamoševičius        Jonas Stankevičius Boleslovas Stasuitis      Prosperas Bubnys Vaclovas Polikaitis              Jonas Aleksiūnas Lionginas Vaičulionis       Petras Mikutis Bronius Nemeikšis              Vytautas Brilius Vytautas-Kazimieras Pesliakas          Vladas Požėla Jonas Tamonis          Vytautas Radzevičius Bronius Gimžauskas Kęstutis Daknevičius Pranas Ščepavičius           Leonas Kalinauskas Juozapas Vaicekauskas                                       Jurgis Užusienis Jonas Povilaitis Jonas Survila Jonas Račaitis                                       Viktoras Brusokas Feliksas Baliūnas          Eugenijus Jokūbauskas Vladas Valavičius             Steponas Pilka Izidorius Butkus Vaclovas Ramanauskas Bishop Julijonas Steponavičius Antanas Kazlauskas Stanislovas Kadys                                       Romualdas Mizaras Jonas Raudonikis        Pranciškus Matulaitis Petras Petraitis     Antanas Imbras Aleksandras Počiulpis Algirdas Dobrovolskis Eduardas Simaška Antanas Danyla Juozapas Vosylius Vytautas Griganavičius Juozapas Varvuolis Jonas Gudas Vaclovas Griauslys Petras Tavoraitis Jonas Albanavičius Kazimieras Lapinskas Bronius Matusevičius Edvardas Zeidotas Vytautas Melkūnas Alfonsas Bulota Albinas Griauzinis Juozapas Kaknevičius Pranciškus Bastys Jonas Voveris Albertas Perminas Petras Liubonas Jonas Girdzevičius Boleslovas Vairą Zigmas Grinevičius Juozapas Vaičeliūnas Gerardas Dunda Vladas Petkevičius Liudas Semaška Mykolas Buožius Petras Meilus Alfonsas Svarinskas Viktoras Šauklys Antanas Jurgutis Povilas Pranckūnas Algirdas Močius Romualdas Macevičius Jonas Augustauskas Pijus Žiugžda Antanas Juodelis Jonas Kazlauskas Aleksandras Markaitis Antanas Milašius Ričardas Mikutavičius Vladas Simaška Boleslovas Radavičius Alfonsas Petraitis Antanas Slavinskas Jonas Fabijanskas Juozapas Indriūnas Jonas Rakauskas Eugenijus Bartulis Jonas Žemaitis Juozapas Želvys Krizantas Juknevičius Adolfas Grušas Kazimieras Statkevičius Aleksandras Ramanauskas Žygintas Veselka Rapolas Liukas Leonas Jakubauskas Juozapas Sriubas Stanislovas Kurmauskas Juozapas Frainas Alfonsas Lapė Kęstutis Vilutis Antanas Šukevičius Vladas Luzgauskas Leonardas Jasminas Antanas Jokūbauskas Petras Maciūta Boleslovas Povilanskis Vincas Pranskietis Pijus Čižauskas Jonas Katinas Pranciškus Gaižauskas Petras Martinkus Antanas Ligeika

Six priests refused to sign. Neither chancery nor seminary staff were

11 asked to sign. Six other priests were not asked to sign for various reasons.

A similar petition was signe Diocese of Panevėžys.


Petras Adomonis Bronius Antanaitis Juozas Antanavičius Vincentas Arlauskas Jonas Bagdonas Juozas Bagdonas Bronius Balaiša Antanas Balaišis Vytautas Balašauskas Jonas Balčiūnas Juozas Balčiūnas Jurgis Balickaitis Kostas Balsys Petras Baltuška Algis Baniulis Kazimieras Baronas Laimingas - Feliksas Blynas Vladas Braukyla Adolfas Breivė Petras Budriūnas Jonas Buliauskas Jonas Butkys Povilas Čiučkis Juozas Dubnikas Kazimieras Dulksnys Stepas Galvydis Juozas Garška Juozas Giedraitis Kazimieras Girnius Mykolas Gylys Antanas Gobis Alfonsas Gražys Antanas Gružauskas Klemensas Gutauskas 

by the following priests of the

Gaudentas Ikamas Vincentas Inkratas Kazimieras Mozūras Jonas Nagulevičius Algirdas Narušis Lionginas Neniškis Petras Nykštas Albinas Paltanavičius Steponas Pelešynas Antanas Petrauskas Albinas Pipiras Jonas Pranevičius Augustinas Pranskietis Leopoldas Prankelis Robertas Pukenis Izidorius Puriuškis Antanas Rameikis Pranciškus Raščius Petras Rauduvė Jonas Rimša Edmundas Rinkevičius Pranciškus Sabaliauskas Raimondas Saprigonas Petras Senulis Bronius Simsonas Leonardas Svardinskas Bishop Vincentas Sladkevičius Mykolas Stonys Vincentas Stankevičius Bronius Strazdas Alfonsas Strelčiūnas Tadas Ivanovskis Alfonsas Jančys Povilas Jankevičius Juozas Janulis Vytautas Jasiūnas Jonas Jatulis Jonas Juodelis Povilas Juozėnas Jonas Jurgaitis Antanas Juška Alfonsas Kadžius Antanas Kairys Vytautas Kapočius Lionginas Keršulis Petras Kiela Antanas Kietis Anicetas Kisielius Povilas Klezys Petras Krasauskas Vladas Kremenskas Stanislovas Krumpliauskas Petras Kuzmickis Jonas Labakojis Jonas Lapinskas Antanas Liesis Juozas Lukšas Leonas Lukšas Petras Markevičius Vytautas Marozas Aleksandras Masys Vytautas Masys Juozas Merkys Antanas Mikulėnas Algirdas Miškinis Povilas Miškinis Antanas Mitrikas Aloyzas Sungaila Paulius Svirskis Ignas Šaučiūnas Bronius Šlapelis Povilas Šliauteris Gediminas Šukys Juozas Šumskis Albertas Talačka Leonardas Tamošauskas Pranciškus Tamulionis Stanislovas Tamulionis Petras Tarulis Petras Tijušas Vytautas Tvarijonas Jonas Uogintas Benediktas Urbonas Sigitas Uždavinys Jonas Vaičiūnas Antanas Valančiūnas Antanas Valantinas Juozas Varnas Povilas Varžinskas Antanas Vaškevičius Juozas Vaškevičius Vytautas Zakrys Stanislovas Zubavičius Antanas Zulonas Bronius Žilinskas Serafinas Žvinys  

This petition was signed by all priests of the Diocese of Panevėžys — a total of 130. Only the Chancery staff did not sign.

Signatures are still being collected in the Diocese of Kaišiadorys and the Archdiocese of Vilnius.

To: Their Excellencies, the Bishops of Lithuania

Their Reverences, the Administrators of Dioceses

A Petition

1.   LITURGICAL MATTERS. After the 1977 circular letter from the bishops and administrators of Lithuania concerning the introduction of the new missal and of the vernacular in certain parts of the Mass, we would like to see a new pastoral letter by which the use of the vernacular in the Mass would be increased. Some Ordinaries are keeping to the directives of the 1977 letter, without making any changes; others, not having received further instructions, began to make changes on their own, even to the extent of celebrating the entire liturgy in the vernacular. For this reason, great differences have appeared in the liturgy.

In an effort to abolish the discrepancies which have arisen, it is essential to issue an instruction by which the use of the ver­nacular in the Mass would be expanded. The vernacular should be used at least for the Penitential Rite, the Gloria and for all the liturgical prayers of offering coming after the Our Father.

On Vilnius television, Commissioner Petras Anilionis of the Council for Religious Affairs said that the entire Lithuanian missal would be printed by 1985, and that only then would liturgical reform be finished. Word has reached us that this year will see the publication of the first volume of the missal, containing the Ordinary of the Mass, Eucharistic Prayers and the texts of all Sunday Masses.

We are convinced that liturgical reform should not be delayed, and once we have the first volume of the missal, the use of the vernacular in the Mass should immediately be expanded.

For lack of new instructions, we notice discrepancies in exposing the Blessed Sacrament, and in the recitation of related prayers, especially in connection with the Mass.

2.  THE BISHOPS' CONFERENCE OF LITHUANIA. From the Catholic Calendar-Directory, we have learned that the Bishops' Conference of Lithuania consists of two bishops and four priests. The list does not include the two bishops who have been prevented from functioning. The clergy of Lithuania are quite concerned about this. After all, the pope appointed these bishops to their posts and has never demoted them.

3. PRIESTS' COUNCILS. Between our spiritual leadership and the priests, there are disagreements on the subject of Priests' Councils. We hear some saying that the Holy Father does not think that there should be Priests' Councils in Lithuania. Others claim that it is only the Commissioner of the Council for Religious Affairs who does not wish to have Priests' Councils. We have heard over Vatican Radio that Priests' Councils are supposed to be established as soon as possible. That the Commissioner is opposed to Priests' Councils is confirmed by his words spoken to one administrator, "You have hung an albatross around your neck by allowing the Priests' Council to function."

We are waiting for the Ordinaries of Lithuania to confirm by secret ballot the Priests' Councils which have already been elected, so that, "By its counsel, this body will be able to give ef­fective assistance to the bishop in his government of the diocese." (Vatican II, "Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests" No. 7)

4. SECRETIVENESS IN ECCLESIASTICAL MATTERS. We know that there are many quest. in the decision of which the Ordinaries must maintain secrecy. However, here is what pains the priests of Lithuania: Often the plans of the Ordinaries are known by the Commisioner of the Council for Religious Affairs, and by agents of the Communist Party and the Security Police, and sometimes even by low-level officials of executive committees; the only ones who do not know these plans are the clergy, who are concerned about the fate of the Church. It is doubtful whether such "secrecy" can serve the needs of the Church well. We therefore request that everything which the enemies of the Church can know be known promptly by the priests of Lithuania.

5. DIVIDING THE PRIESTS. Using the rule, "Divide and con­quer", officials of the Soviet government began dividing priests up into the reactionary and the good, the extremists and those loyal to the government. It is regrettable that such categorizing of priests is heard even in the chancery and the seminary. Those carrying out all the requirements of the government are considered wise and suitable for any ecclesiastical post; those refusing to obey the atheists, but remaining faithful to the Church are considered naive and un­suitable for responsible posts. Such categorizing is foreign to the Church. The Church recognizes only good, prayerful and zealous priests on the one hand, and on the other, those neglectful of their prayer life and pastoral work, and sometimes even coopera­ting with the atheists in the work of undermining the Church.

6. SEMINARS FOR DEANS. The Commissioner of the Council for Religioius Affairs annually "educates" the deans on the proper manner of carrying out the Regulations for Religious Associations. We would like the Ordinaries from time to time to gather the deans and to discuss with them how the Decrees of the Second Vatican Council must be implemented, and how better to do the work of caring for souls.

7. SEMINARS FOR PARISH COMMITTEES. In parish com­mittee seminars organized by the Commissioner of the Council for Religioius Affairs, they try to undermine the hierarchical system of the Church. According to Soviet officials, the priest is merely an employee, while they try to make the committee, called "persons", an affiliate of the rayon or city Council of Peoples' Deputies. We want the Ordinaries in their pronouncements to quell things, so that dissent between priests and people would not be incited.

8. THE SEMINARY. In latter years, at the seminary in Kaunas, an abnormal situation has developed. A negative element has entered the seminary, and is doing destructive work. The good seminarians are forced to step aside, and others are actually under­mining the spirit of the seminary. The seminarians affirm that in the present seminary, it is difficult to prepare seriously for the priesthood; even the instructors have noticed that some seminarians, after spending a few years in the seminary, change for the worse.

It seems to us that the seminary is in need of reform. However, the seminary is interdiocesan, hence, all the Ordinaries of Lithuania ought to be concerned about it and to take collegial responsibility for it. It is necessary to see that no one is accepted into the seminary who is not thinking of seriously preparing for the priest­hood.

9.  THE SOBRIETY PROBLEM. At one time, the Ordinaries of Lithuania wrote pastoral letters on the topic of sobriety, which the Vatican Radio has broadcast. It is unfortunate that everything ended there; only in the Diocese of Telšiai did they progress somewhat. At the Samogitian Calvary, during the important religious feasts, impressive sobriety services are held, in which about one hundred priests participate, sermons on the subject of sobriety are delivered, and priests used to make the Way of the Cross in a spirit of penance. It would be desirable in all dioceses to have annual services on the theme of sobriety, to which all the priests of the diocese would be invited.

10. POLITICAL CONFERENCES. For a number of years, the civil government has required individual priests or groups of them to go to political peace conferences. Participation under duress in peace conferences has nothing in common with the defense of peace. If we wish peace, we must abolish the causes of tension. One of these causes is the restriction of religious libesrty. We are familiar with the words of our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II in his Encyclical Redemptor Hominis":

"The basis of peace is a respect for inalienable human rights, for peace is justice, and war arises out of a transgression of these rights." Therefore priests taking part in conferences for the defense of peace should bring up the lack of respect for human rights and the persecu­tion of believers, and demand religious freedom. If these facts are obscured, then such defenders of peace participate in misleading world public opinion, since the impression is given that we have complete freedom of religion.

The faithful ask in anger by whose commission participants in such conferences add their signatures in the name of the Catholic Church of all Lithuania?

We ask the Most Reverend Ordinaries to consider collegially the problems we have raised, since their solution is long past due.


July - August, 1982

This petition was signed by the following priests of the Diocese of Vilkaviškis, elected to the Priests' Council:

Fathers:                              Jonas Maksvytis

Msgr. Andriejus Gustaitis Msgr. Juozas Žemaitis Albinas Deltuva

Sigitas Tamkevičius Petras Dumbliauskas Juozas Adomaitis Antanas Gražulis

A similar petition was signed Senate of the Diocese of Telšiai:


Julius Budrikis Jonas Gedvila Jonas Kauneckas Alfonsas Lukoševičius by the members of the Priests'

Tadas Poška
Adolfas Pudžemys
Petras Puzaras
Vincentas Senkus
Antanas Šeškevičius
Vincentas Vėlavičius

 In the Diocese of Panevėžys, this petition was signed by the following priests elected to the Priests' Council:


Fathers:                             Antanas Balaišis

Petras Budriūnas

Msgr. Leopoldas Pratkelis      Petras Adomonis

Canon Bronius Antanaitis       Stanislovas Krumpliauskas

Jonas Pranevičius                 Juozas Šumskis

Petras Baltuška                   Juozas Janulis