Virtual Panel Discussion: “Faith and Freedom: A Lithuanian Perspective”

The Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania, first published in March 1972, was the longest-running and best-known underground periodical in the former Soviet Union. For 17 years, Catholic priests and nuns published The Chronicle as a way of documenting religious persecution and other human rights violations perpetrated by Soviet authorities. In total, 81 issues were produced clandestinely and smuggled abroad, shining a light on human rights violations in Lithuania and elsewhere in the USSR. English translations reached a wide audience among democratic governments, Catholic bishops and religious, the foreign press, international organizations, and the audiences, including in Lithuania, of radio networks such as Voice of America, Radio Liberty, and Vatican Radio.

2022 is the Year of The Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania, as declared by the Parliament of Lithuania, in recognition of the publication’s role in defending religious freedom during Soviet occupation and in informing the public at home and abroad about Soviet human rights abuses.

This webinar will contribute to this commemoration of The Chronicle, shedding light on the idea behind its publication, the role of the Catholic resistance, and the contribution it made to the Soviet-era human rights movement.

The panel will be led by H.E. Gintaras Grušas, Archbishop of Vilnius, joined by leading Lithuanian intellectuals. It will be introduced by Dovydas Špokauskas, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania to the United States of America, and moderated by Gerard Powers, professor and director, Catholic Peacebuilding Network, University of Notre Dame.

The event will live stream from the event page at 12:00 pm EDT/ 7:00 pm EEST on Wednesday, May 4.

Hosted by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, Keough School of Global Affairs, University of Notre Dame in partnership with the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania, Washington DC, the Catholic Peacebuilding Network, and the Institute for Human Ecology .

A livestream can be accessed from the event page.

Dovydas Špokauskas
Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania to the United States of America


H.E. Gintaras Grušas
Archbishop of Vilnius

Donatas Puslys
Head of Media and Democracy Programme, Vilnius Institute of Policy A

Prof. dr. Arūnas Streikus
Director, Department of Contemporary History, University of Vilnius (Lithuania)

Prof. dr. Irena Vaišvilaitė
Professor of Church and Art History, University of Vilnius

Gerard Powers
Professor and Director, Catholic Peacebuilding Studies, University of Notre Dame