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Volume I

LKMA Metraštis, t. XXX, Serija B: Bažnyčios istorijos studijos, I: Arūnas Streikus (red.), Katalikai ir valdžios XX amžiuje, Vilnius: LKMA, 2007.


 Editorial Board 

On the occasion of the 1000 th anniversary of the mention of Lithuania’s name or the bringing of the Gospel to Lithuania we are glad to be able to present to our readers the 32nd volume of the “LCAS Annals” at the end of this jubilee 2009 year. Some of the articles in this volume were prepared on the basis of reports read at the conference “The History and Commemoration in Lithuania of Saint Bruno-Querfurt” at the Pažaisliai monastery on June 19, 2009. These articles at least to some extent fill the gap when in the events and publications in 2009 there was interest only in noting the mention of Lithuania’s name, but absolutely no attention to Saint Bruno-Querfurt and his personality. In the texts published in this volume the speakers at the conference in Pažaisliai extend and supplement the authentic historical sources noted in the work of Viktoras Gidžiūnas, OFM “The Monks of the St. Benedict Order in Lithuania“ (Rome, 1985, pp. 45–57) and also provide the first consecutive account of the life of this saint in Lithuanian historiography. Gidžiūnas entitled the part of the article devoted to St. Bruno “Saint Bruno-Boniface – Missionary to the Jatvingians”. LCAS Academician Zigmas Zinkevičius has also published in “Voruta” and other publications interesting ideas, which affirm that the place of the martyrdom of St. Bruno was in the territory formerly inhabited by the jatvingians. We hope that Zinkevičius will in the future expand this topic in future “LCAS Annals”.

The other authors of this volume continue their previously begun investigations; Monsignor dr. Algirdas Jurevičius analyzes the intricacies of lay and deacon services in Lithuania’s Church.

Valdas Pruskus presents another propagator of the Church’s social teaching doctor of philosophy Rev. Simanas Šultė (1876-1920). The new article of Pruskus is not only the continuation of the topic analyzed by the author for many years, but also a supplement to the articles published in LCAS publications about Prelate Mykolas Krupavičius and Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis.

The article of the Polish Marian Rev. J. Kosmovski nicely supplements the publication of A. Katilius in the 17th volume of the “LCAS Annals”, devoted to the personality of the saintly living and avid missionary in Siberia Marian Kristupas Švirmickis.

The articles of A. Katilius, V. Jogėla, and I. Šenavičienė can be considered to be continuations of the investigations published this year in the LCAS work “The Clergy and the 1863 Uprising in the Lands of the Republic of Two Nations”. The article of R. Laukaitytė about the situation and restitution of the property of the Church in Lithuania after 1990 is interesting although also controversial.

Presenting to readers this 32nd volume of the “LCAS Annals” we hope that the article published here will contribute to further investigations useful to the Church and society and fruitful scholarly discussions.

 Irena Vaišvilaitė
The Project of the Holy See’s Concordat with the Republic of Lithuania Prepared by Jurgis Matulaitis

The Concordat between the Holy See and the Republic of Lithuania in 1927 was one of the most important documents for the newly restored state, but the genesis of the final text of the Concordat has not been fully investigated. It is known that Archbishop Jurgis Matulaitis prepared the first version of the concordat project in the middle of January 1927. We are publishing the texts of the project (in the Lithuanian and Italian languages) in the beatification file of Matulaitis. The text of the Matulaitis project differs significantly from the text of the Concordat between the Holy See and the Republic of Lithuania signed on September 17, 1927. Thus, the publication of the project text can be useful in evaluating the contribution of Matulaitis in the negotiations of the Concordat and the course of the negotiations themselves.

 Paulius Subačius
Reflections on the Preparation of the Concordat Between the Holy See and the Republic of Lithuania (in 1927) in the Correspondences of Blessed Archbishop Jurgis Matulaitis and Bishop Pranciškus Būčys

From his days as a student until his death Jurgis Matulaitis kept an intense correspondence with his friend and colleague Pranciškus Būčys. The correspondence, the greater part of which is preserved at the archive of the Headquarters of the Marian Order (in Rome) as well as in the Lithuanian Central State Archive, has up to now been used only fragmentally in biographical and historical literature. Their letters in 1924–1926 speak openly about the social political atmosphere in which the founding of the church province of Lithuania and the signing of a Concordat were being prepared. In this respect, the testimony that both clergymen fully understood Russia’s destructive influence on Lithuania’s social life and the tactics of the forces opposing the Church is very valuable.

 Regina Laukaitytė
The Integration of the Archdiocese of Vilnius in the Life of Lithuania’s Church in 1942–1944

The article analyzes the changes in the archdiocese of Vilnius in 1942–1944, i.e. the period when Metropolitan Romuald Jałbrzykowski and part of the Polish clergy were interred in concentration camps. It reviews the circumstances of the founding and activities of the Lithuanian seminary, the efforts of Archbishop Mečislovas Reinys and the Lithuanian and Belarusian populations to expand the rights of their native languages in the churches of the archdiocese.

Noting the conflicts between the Lithuanian and Polish societies and clergy due to different political positions and the evaluation of the occupational regime there is a search for the deeper motives for changes in the Church. They are investigated in the context of Church needs not ignoring the pressure on the Church authorities by the radical layers of Lithuanians and Belarusians. In fact, the needs of the Church determined that a Lithuanian seminary had to be founded due to the lack of clergy. It was not separated from Polish society. Several Polish seminarians, in the process of whose preparation the rector of the Polish seminary Jan Uszyłło participated, completed studies there and were ordained as priests.

Local inhabitants, for a long time dissatisfied with the order of Masses and the excess of Polish patriotism in them, initiated the liturgical changes in the ethnically mixed parishes in the archdiocese. In changing the long time fixed liturgical practice the church authorities analyzed the statistical data, but also had to take into account the developed national feelings, the threats to the clergy by the local administration.

The process of the integration of the Vilnius Archdiocese into the life of Lithuania begun in 1939 was somewhat speeded up in 1942–1944, but did not bring about any noticeable changes favoring Lithuanians. About 45 seminarians studied at the opened Lithuanian spiritual seminary, the number of priests in the archdiocese increased by almost 25 priests from Lithuania (10 of them were assigned to parishes outside the boundaries of Vilnius). Such changes were not threatening to Polish society which was unable to reconcile itself to the fact that the archdiocese was ruled independently by a foreign archbishop.

 Arūnas Streikus
The Efforts of the Soviet Regime to Hinder the Commemoration of the Jubilee of Lithuania’s Baptism

The article presents the program of methods of the Soviet regime whose purpose was to guarantee that the commemoration of the jubilee of Lithuania’s Baptism would take place within the boundaries set by the authorities and would not have any potentially dangerous effect on it. The most important role in this program belonged to the propaganda methods whose purpose was to diminish the importance of Christianity in Lithuania’s history, and to promote the conviction that the Church was always opposed to national interests. This was done not only by exploiting in all possible ways the Marxist interpretations about the Church’s role in the system of economic-social oppression, but also by propagating some national ideological stereotypes. On the other hand, the regime limited in a maximum manner the possibility to present alternative interpretations of the history of Lithuania’s Baptism and Conversion to Christianity. The period of preparation for the jubilee and its commemoration became a serious challenge also for the Soviet secret services which had to guarantee the “smooth” course of the jubilee. During the jubilee there was a particular fear of dangerous impulses against the regime from the émigré community and thus the control of its ties with the country received particular attention in this period. The article was prepared based on archival documents from Soviet government institutions and publications in the press.

 Egidijus Jaseliūnas
Echoes of the Baptism Jubilee in Underground Samizdat

The underground samizdat paid a great deal of attention to the preparations and commemoration of the jubilee of Lithuania’s Baptism. The articles published in the samizdat publications are an important historical source, exhibiting the hopes of the faithful community in occupied Lithuania and evaluations of the jubilee’s importance. The samizdat press (“The Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania”) not only reported about the efforts of the Soviet authorities to restrict the celebrations this jubilee but also issued information about the activities of the faithful opposing the official demands of the Soviets or even protest activities (collective petitions and so on).

 Juozas Banionis
The Jubilee of Lithuania’s Baptism: The Efforts of the Émigré Community to Proclaim the Condition of the Occupied Country

The article tries to reveal the efforts of the Lithuanian émigré community, actively participating in the process of Lithuania’s liberation, to bear witness to the Christian heritage of the homeland. During the whole period of the Soviet occupation this activity was carried out by the main organizations – Amerikos lietuvių taryba (ALT) [the Lithuanian Council of America], Vyriausiasis Lietuvos išlaisvinimo komitetas (VLIK), [the Supreme Committee for the Liberation of Lithuania], Lietuvos laisvės komitetas (LL K) [Lithuania’s Freedom Committee], Pasaulio lietuvių bendruomenė (PLB) [World Lithuanian Community]. In the 1980s the Lithuanian émigré community paid great attention to prepare for the jubilee of Lithuania’s Baptism, to participate in its ceremonies in the Vatican, and to organize commemorations in other countries.

 Arūnas Streikus (pareng.)
The minutes of the meetings of the commission forthe 600 year jubilee of Lithuania’s baptism

With the approach of the 600 year jubilee of Lithuania’s Baptism, the Conference of Lithuania’s Bishops formed a commission, which held 17 meetings from the autumn of 1984 until the spring of 1988, to prepare the jubilee’s commemoration. The published minutes of the Commission’s meetings with all supplements are an important historical source, revealing the broad spectrum of proposals to commemorate the jubilee and the narrow possibilities to implement them.