|The Process of Uniting, i.e. the Church Consolidation in the Reformed Evangelical Church|
|Thursday, 04 August 2011 10:55|
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The Process of Uniting, i.e. the Church Consolidation in the Reformed Evangelical Church of Lithuania
(Presentation of the Essence of Events)
The fundamental of the church unity is the Evangelical faith of the Christians and the tradition of the church structure. There is no schism on the basis of the theological doctrine in the Reformed Church of Lithuania and in this aspect the Church is united. Different opinions may exist on the doctrine but they are not and should not be the cause of the dissidence in the Church. The structure of the Church is based on the church law. The church law differs from the secular law because it is basically grounded on the teaching of the Word of Lord and the execution of this teaching, or the practice of faith - the tradition. The word "tradition" means the " written tradition" and it is very clearly put in the Church agendas, Synods' Acts and in writings of confession of faith. The Lithuanian Evangelical Reformed Christians follow the Canon Law of Evangelical Reformed Church of Lithuania. It was canons that reinforced the Church Acts of the Synod of the Reformed Church of Lithuania, e.g. Canon V-1929 " On the Statutes of the Evangelical Reformed Church of Lithuania". While interpreting the Acts of the church law, the principle of a precedent is applied, although the final interpretation of a legal act is based on the teaching of the Word of Lord. So, on issuing the acts of the church law, the final interpretation is based on the teaching of the Word of Lord. The principle Ecclesia reformata semper reformanda (the Reformed Church is always under reforms), also means that the acts of the church law have to be verified with the times, whether they conform to the teaching of the Word of Lord.
The head of the church is Jesus Christ. The authority of the church arises from Lord, and not from the institutions of state or society .Christian states respect these principles. The state does not execute the functions of the church, and vice versa. In this way, the cooperation among equal persons is being sustained. In the Evangelical Reformed Church, the only earthly arbiter of the church law and, consequently, the unity of the Church can only be the institutions of the Evangelical Reformed Church and their competent leaders. The state has all the means to observe it and to respect the decisions of the church authorities. The church, also, has all the possibilities to know the laws of the state, respect the Constitution and the authorities of the state, who are authorized to act on the basis of the Constitution.
Steps towards the Restoration of the Unity, or the Process of Consolidation of the Evangelical Reformed Church of Lithuania
After Lithuania regained its independence, a possibility occurred for the Lithuanian Evangelical Reformers to restore the church structure and administration. Ever since 1988, when the Synod started to function again, after a gap of 50 years, the total restoration of the church order was not possible to execute in a short time:
1) There were no competent clergymen and worldly seniors who would know enough to look after the execution of the church law.
2) The administrative structures of the church were not formed following the principles of the church law, thus, favorable conditions for administrative chaos and further generation of conflicts were created.
The conflicts in the Church started around 1988, when the last ordained and elected senior priest in the pre-war years, Povilas Jašinskas grew old and weak .Soon after his death, it became impossible to form a competent church authority without a priest. It is also thought that the Soviet authorities in Lithuania put every effort to prevent that.
Since the very first Synod that was held in Biržai in the times of the Sąjūdis movement, a way out of that confusing situation was being searched and new goals had been formed.
1) First of all, the Church had to prepare competent persons to execute the teaching of the church and for administrative purposes, i.e. to carry out the particular requirement of the Synod of 1929(Can. V-1929, §9: "A person only who has graduated from a Lithuanian or a foreign university, the Faculty of Theology and has passed the verification examinations at the Collegium (the Consistory) can become a pastor or a deacon.") The same Act of the church law reads: " The Collegium (the Consistory) consists of a President ,elected from the curators, a vice-president, a senior superintendent- pastor and six members, three of whom have to be pastors (....) and three have to be laymen (...) (Can. V-1929,§ 7). During a certain period of time candidates to study theology had been chosen, scholarships to study abroad had been provided, as it was not possible to study theology in Lithuania until 1994, when the Centre of Evangelical Theology was opened in Klaipėda.
2) Since the very beginning of the re-creation of the Synods an effort had been made to elect and authorize the inter-Synod institution, the Consistory (which was called the Collegium since 1993, and in 2002 it was called the Consistory again),though not all the requirements of the church law had been met(e.g. the requirement about the four members pastors of the Collegium).Consequently, such an inter-Synod institution lacked authority and competence. To increase its trustworthiness, the post of the President of the Collegium was offered to the children of the former respectable ministers. Thus, the son of pastor P. Jašinskas and the son of pastor Mykolas Frankas - Kostas Frankas had been elected Presidents. Unfortunately, that did not appear to be effective. After the children of those ministers left the Collegium and while forming a new authority, Mr. A. Kvedaravičius, a person responsible for the church property administration, became very active, rallying the people who took great interest in handling the real property of the church. As the prestige of the Collegium /Consistory diminished, its representative, a juridical person the Collegium of the Synod of the Lithuanian Reformed Church was registered on 26th of December, 1995 (known as Lietuvos evangelikų reformatų sinodo kolegija, shorter - LERBSK). This juridical person, acknowledged as representing the traditional religious community of the Reformed Christians of Lithuania, was then re-registered. The documents of this juridical person got into Mr. A. Kvedaravičius hands.
During the confusion, that was provoked in the administration of Vilnius Reformed congregation in 1995, the real property of this congregation which had been returned to it by the state, was registered in the name of the LERBSK. Soon after an enterprise named "Choralas" was founded by four joint owners, which started to administer the church property and make profit. It is since that time that the basic requirements about the venue and the time of the Synod, established in the church Law (can.XVII-1930 and can.VIII-1930 "The Synod of Evangelical Reformed Church of Lithuania is held in Biržai, during the time of St. John Day (Joninės) national festivity"), had been neglected. The order of summoning Synods had been violated. The Synods were no longer held in Biržai, but they were summoned further and further from the church -goers: in 1995 in Papilys (which is not far from Biržai), in 1996 it was held in Kėdainiai. Only persons who had official documents confirming their belonging to a juridical person and, thus, loyalty to the group were allowed into the sessions. The holders of such documents were guarded by state security - the police. In 1997 such sessions were held in Kelmė (again, they were guarded against the members of the congregation by the police), and in a place in the forests near Vilnius in 1998. In 1999 the Church self-government most important meeting was held during Joninės but in Papilys again. In the year 2000 the Synod meeting was not called at all. Obviously, the Synod, as the highest Church institution ceases to exist. Instead, the imitation of its activity continues. Gradually, again, the assemblies of loyal persons take place and, though they are called "synods", freely elected congregations delegates do not participate in them. Actually, in this inner church conflict some state arguments appear - a person who has got a document and a stamp as a juridical person - Mr. A. Kvedaravičius announces himself as the leader of the Church. Officially, his cousin from Kaunas Mr. Rimantas Jankūnas occupies the post of the President of the Collegium, though. Mr. A.Kvedaravičius did not return the documents of the juridical person to the Collegium of the Evangelical Reformed Church (the President elected Mr. Vytautas Vegys),which was elected at the session of the Synod of Evangelical Reformed Church in Biržai during Joninės in June 2001. Instead, Mr. A. Kvedaravičius, after a session of a "synod" in Kaunas inspired by him later in July 2001in the name of a "new" president of the Collegium Mr. Konstantas Reinotas, eloquently presents the documents of the juridical person in a number of state institutions and both of them introduce themselves as legal representatives of the Ev. Reformed Church of Lithuania. The state institutions become involved in the church conflict, as they have to deal with the imitation of the church law documents and not the ones which have been legally approved by the Synod of Evangelical Reformers of Lithuania. After some cases were processed around 2002-2003, Mr.Konstantas Reinotas, realizing he was only a henchman, broke up with Mr.A. Kvedaravičius and started cooperating with the Collegium elected in the Biržai Synod. A conflict between them was inevitable. Mr. A.Kvedaravičius and his allies announced that Mr.Reinotas was expelled from the "collegium". The state institutions took it for granted on the grounds of the document confirmed by the stamp of the juridical person- the LERBSK.
3) In 2000 the term of office of the notorious though having the documents of the juridical person "collegium" expired. At that time, simultaneously operated the Collegium which was elected by the Extraordinary Synod in Biržai summoned in 1997 during Joninės. The Collegium represented the majority of the Ev.Reformed Church of Lithuania but it could not perform any acts in law, i.e. legitimatize the church documents of a juridical person. The Collegium of the Extraordinary Synod and the "official collegium" having in possession the juridical documents functioned simultaneously. The latter never presented any financial reports neither to the Church nor to the partners - Ev.Reformed Churches abroad and thus lost their trust completely. Suffice it to say that the "official collegium" was very active cooperating with the members of the WARC -the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WCRC -World Communion of Reformed Churches since 2010) - the Presbyterian Church (USA) the Mission Presbytery in Texas, the Collegium of Lithuanian Ev. Reformed Church in Chicago, The Lippe Evangelical Reformed Church in Germany and with the representatives of the WARC in Geneva. Since the restoration of independence in Lithuania the "official collegium" got lots of spiritual and material support.
4) The preparation for the 2001 year Synod ordinary meeting started with the organizing elections of the delegates in congregations, having intensive talks and inviting to cease the functioning of the alternative Extraordinary Synod in Biržai. The task was fulfilled. The Collegium in Biržai announced ceasing its functioning and acknowledged the requirement of the church law to elect an inter-Synod church institution during an ordinary Synod session in 2001.All the foreign church partners and the members of the WARC were informed and invited to participate at the Synod sesssion in Biržai in 2001.
5) Part of the "official collegium" i.e. its President Rimantas Jankūnas, Algimantas Kvedaravičius, Robertas Jakubėnas spoke against the requirement of the church law to call an ordinary Synod at a particular time and place - in Biržai during Joninės, explaining that they had planned their trips abroad during that time. Realising the situation, the pastors asked the „official collegium" to negotiate. The negotiations took place twice under the mediation of the curator of the Ev. Reformed Church of American Lithuanians Mrs. Dalė Bobelienė. During the first meeting on the 6th April 2001 the opponents of the Synod session claimed they had not been aware of such requirements and had planned their trips at that time. At the second meeting on the 17th May 2001, Mrs. Dalė Bobelienė acting as a mediator, the opponents interrupted the negotiations and left .On the 9th June 2001 at the pre-Synod session in Biržai the president of the "official collegium" Mr. Rimantas Jankūnas took part. In fact, he had been elected candidate from Kaunas congregation to the Synod in Biržai. He expressed his opinion and doubts about the Synod assembly and hinted that the "official collegium" did not intend to participate.
6) On the 22nd June 2001 an officially authorized representative of the WARC (the World Alliance of Reformed Churches) Dr.(Church Jurisprudence) Herbert Ehnes arrived. Before leaving Vilnius for Biržai he expressed a wish to meet with the representatives of the "official collegium" once more. The meeting was organized on the same day in Kaunas. Apart from Dr.H. Ehnes and the pastors of Ev. Reformed Church of Lithuania, guests from Sweden, Poland, who had come to the Synod session, took part. The catechist (deacon) A. Kvedaravičius and the president of the "official collegium" Rimantas Jankūnas were present. They did not deny they did not have to participate at the Synod session, neither did they confirm they would come to the session.
7) On the 23rd June 2001 an ordinary session of the Synod was opened by senior pastor of the Ev. Reformed Church of Lithuania Rev. Petras Čepas (he was also the only member pastor of the "official collegium"). Delegates from seven Ev. Ref. congregations took part (there were no delegates from Papilys and Panevėžys congregations and the elected delegates from Kaunas congregation did not arrive); all the pastors were present, with the exception of catechist (deacon) A.Kvedaravičius and catechist (deacon) Julius Norvila (he was pastor of Panevėžys); all the Synod curators i.e. the only one remaining curator Mr. Petras Zablockas from Panevėžys (elected the Synod curator in 1943 at the Synod in Biržai) participated. At the Synod assembly the Collegium of Ev. Reformed Church of Lithuania was elected and authorized. The total consolidation of the Church did not occur, though (the representatives of three congregations were not present, two catechists were absent, the certificate of the juridical person, given by the state institutions was not handed over to the Collegium, newly elected by the Synod).The Synod assembly and the newly elected Collegium were recognized by all the above mentioned foreign partners.
8) The elected Collegium was authorized by the Synod to announce that the former Collegium was declared void (invalid) and to take over its requisites. However, when the authorized persons went to Vilnius, Rimantas Jankūnas did not arrive and catechist (deacon) A.Kvedaravičius did not hand over the documents and refused to sign the minutes of the meeting. To those participating at the meeting catechist A.Kvedaravičius declared that a "Synod assembly" was to be held in Kaunas in July. The newly elected Collegium did not apply to the Administrative Court to regain the certificate of the juridical person during a legally fixed term because of the hope to solve the problem in a brotherly way, besides, there had been a church regulation not to sue brothers in faith at worldly civil courts. In fact, efforts were made not to make the inner church conflict public and not to harm allegedly benevolent consolidation of the Church.
9) In 2001-2002 the elected Collegium was operating under very complicated circumstances because of the need of the juridical persons' documents. This fact negatively affected both the activities of the Church and the work towards the Church consolidation. In 2002 both at an ordinary and at the extraordinary assemblies of the Synod, it was decided to accept the initiative of congregations and to legitimate the Church juridical person through the Ministry of Justice at the PE the Centre of Register according to the laws of the Republic of Lithuania. That was carried out and the juridical person under the title The Synod of Evangelical Reformed Church of Lithuania - Unitas Lithuaniae - was registered. Mr. A.Kvedaravičius'efforts to annul the legal registration, performed at the will of the Synod, through administrative courts were crowned by the decision of the Senior Administrative Court of 20th May 2004 about a legal registration of a traditional religious community.
10) The juridical persons of the congregations of Ev. Reformed Church of Lithuania were registered at the Ministry of Justice. Mr.A.Kvedaravičius using some breaches in the legal system of Lithuania took over the certificates of all the congregations without the knowledge of the representatives of those congregations on 22nd October 1998.Up till this time he speaks in the name of those congregations having not been authorized to do that .At the end of the year 2001a process of regaining of the certificates of juridical persons started. It was insistently interfered by Mr.A.Kvedaravičius initiating judicial proceedings at administrative courts, appealing to the General Prosecutor's Office, trying to slander the legally elected representatives of congregations. The investigation of a criminal case in Kėdainiai instituted by Mr.A.Kvedaravičius was dismissed, his complaint on the certificate of the juridical person of Kėdainiai Ev. Reformed congregation was rejected at the Kaunas District Administrative Court on the 29th September 2006, and the decision of the above mentioned court was left unchanged by the decision of the Senior Administrative Court of Lithuania made on the 4th May 2007. The Kėdainiai congregation of Ev. Reformed Church of Lithuania were the first to regain the certificate of juridical person. Later the congregations of Biržai, Nemunėlio Radviliškis, Švobiškis and other took steps to do the same. On the basis of Mr. A.Kvedaravičius complaints against the members of the Biržai congregation another case was started in 2006 and it also was dismissed at the Panevėžys Procurator's Office on the 5th June 2009.According to all available church data the majority of congregations expressed their firm will concerning their belonging to the Synod, mainly through electing and sending their delegates to the ordinary assemblies of the Synods of Ev. Reformed Church of Lithuania held in Biržai during Joninės. So far no delegates have been sent from Kelmė and Jonava.There was no sign of any church service having been held there so far. There are no Ev.Reformed communities nor any meetings there. There is no church service in Salamiestis, either. After the death of Mr.Jonas Naktinis who used to come to the Synods all by himself and later, when Mrs.E.Gudonienė died, who used to be a supporter of Mr.A.Kvedaravičius, very few elderly members of the congregation live there and they are not active ones.
A delegate from the Papilys Ev. Reformed congregation participated in the Synod of 2009. However, the entire congregation was not represented. The church is closed there, the pastors nominated there by the Synod are not allowed in. Nevertheless, the believers of this congregation attend the cemetery gatherings and the service held by the administrator appointed to this congregation by the Synod (can.vVIII-2007) in great number. The donations given by the believers during those gatherings make about one fourth of all the donations through all summer given to support the pastor's of the Synod. So, this congregation is numerous but dispersed, taking into account the fact that there is no place to summon the church service and because of the lack of pastors. There is a group of five to ten supporters of Mr.Kvedaravičius, who sometimes become quite aggressive. The village people are trying to avoid conflicts and choose to boycott them silently and those who come from Vilnius to conduct an occasional service at the church and in the cemetery usually gather from three to twenty people.
At the moment legal procedures concerning the official documents of Vilnius and Šiauliai congregations are in progress at the Ministry of Justice. The Kaunas congregation of Ev. Ref. are going to start such procedures in the nearest future and, apparently, this congregation has united during several past years, especially when a pastor appointed there by the Synod holds church services regularly.
11) Mr.A.Kvedaravičius and the collegium headed by him and private persons supporting him in the Kaunas and Papilys churches is not the only problem of the Church unity. At the Synod of 2001, the Panevėžys Ev. Reformed congregation was not able to send their delegate. Certain steps have been taken since 2004 towards the unity of this congregation with the Synod. In 2006 the Panevėžys Reformed congregation acknowledged the requirements of the church law and following it, elected the competent authorities of the congregation, i.e. the Seniors Board and a delegate to represent them at the Synod of that year in which the congregation was fully and legally represented. In 2007 the problem of the administrator of the congregation was solved (at first the post was occupied by pastor T.Šernas, and later by pastor R.Stankevičius). The catechist (deacon) Julius Norvila left the congregation with all the respect and with the participation of the General Superintendent at his last church service in Panevėžys. Since 2010 one of the laymen of this congregation is one of the elected members laymen of the Consistory.
12) The Church continuous its spiritual mission during which the process of consolidation is going on:
a. All possibilities are being used to restore justice and to hand over the certificates of the juridical person to legally elected Boards of congregations. This is known as legal measures and work.
b. New ministers are being trained and a reform on the financial support of pastors has been carried out; their pension fund is being accumulated, teachings on the church law are being conducted; a set of church regulations related to the self-governing of congregations, the highest Church authorities, their functions and competence has been newly restored and supplemented; the order of saving the church requisites has been determined and set, the Revision Committee of the Synod is working; the meetings of the Collegium (the Consistory since 2003), the Synod assemblies, the Priests sessions are held on a regular basis; the church documentation is put in good order; the church real property is being restored - churches, congregations homes and parsonages are reconstructed and all this is named as positive spiritual work.
c. At the Synod of 2005 the Consistory was commissioned to form the Unity Committee to negotiate with the opposing party that broke away from the Synod. There were talks and it was accepted that the highest Church authorities should not be included in the Committee.
Unfortunately, the very first meeting between the Unity Committee and the opposing party showed, that preliminary and mutually agreed conditions were violated, the opposing party refused to sign the minutes of the meeting and it remained unknown who and how many negotiators were representing the opposing party. As the preliminary agreed on conditions were not met and after Mr. A. Kvedaravičius initiated administrative proceedings on the subject of the Kėdainiai congregation the Consistory made a decision to suspend the activities of the Unity Committee.
d. On the 22nd November 2006, the General Superintendent, with the approval of the Consistory, applied in the written form to bishop of Evangelical Lutheran Church of Lithuania Rev. M.Sabutis asking him to act as a mediator in giving a new attempt to call the opposing side not to sit at a negotiations table but, this time, to participate in the mutual church service. We did hope that the mutual service would enable the Evangelic Reformed Christians of both parties to come together, would disperse mistrust in their hearts, would give them one more opportunity to make them see there is a strong wish for unity not only in the hearts of the leaders of the Church, but also among ordinary believers, as well. That would also allow them to solve the problem in a spiritual way, and not using juridical means. We realized this opportunity as a means to act through a spiritual way of prayers, being supported in this aim by a brotherly and closely related Evangelical Lutheran Church of Lithuania. The initiative of the mutual prayer was welcomed by Bishop M.Sabutis but it was ignored by A.Kvedaravičius and his supporters.
13. The authorities of the Church have been considering unofficially the possibilities of a compromise. They came to the conclusion that a compromise requires to know and clearly understand the interests of the opposing party. It is also important to know who really represent the juridical persons LERBSK and LERB (in 2003, just after was registered the juridical person: The Synod of Evangelical Reformed Church of Lithuania - Unitas Lithuaniae, in the end of 2002, on the authority of LERBSK Mr.A.Kvedaravičius registered one more juridical person: Lietuvos evangelikų reformatų bažnyčia - LERB) and the private persons speaking in the name of these juridical persons. After having studied them thoroughly, everything has to be coordinated according to the church law, as illegal compromises create new conflicts and conflicting parties or groups. That would not serve the purpose of consolidation. So far, all such attempts have been rejected by the leader of the opposing party , also failed the missions of the Minister of Justice Petras Baguška and Bishop of Ev. Lutheran Church of Lithuania Mindaugas Sabutis as mediators, because Mr. A.Kvedaravičius refused to arrive at the meetings.
14) The personality of Mr. A.Kvedaravičius and his activities in the Evangelical Reformed Church of Lithuania need to be specially dealt with. He comes of an Ev. Reformed family in Papilys. During the years of the Soviet rule he did no take part in the congregation activities. In 1990 Mr.A.Kvedaravičius appears on stage in Vilnius congregation of Ev. Ref. which was restored at the end of 1989. It is known that in the Soviet times he studied in Vilnius and in Moscow and then was working at a military plant "Venta". When this plant ceased existing, Mr.A.Kvedaravičius became unemployed.
At first he was a very active member of Vilnius congregation, better known as a "photographer", later he joined the Church choir and organized a brass band. In no time he recommended himself as a nice, helpful and active member of the congregation. In 1992 he was elected member of the congregation Seniors Board and the Chairman of the Board. He was very interested in regaining Church's real property and put great effort in helping to do that. However, in 1995, after his office expired, he was already notoriously known at the congregation and he was not re-elected. Mr. A.Kvedaravičius did not hand over neither the church buildings nor the keys to church to the newly elected congregation authorities. At that time he also was holding firm positions at the higher institution of the Church - the Collegium and had already surrounded himself by loyal people in congregations and managed to get support in the Lutheran Church. Then, quite unexpectedly, without having finished theological studies, he was ordained as a catechist (deacon) in Papilys in the summer of 1995. Actually, the ordination was only accepted because the Bishop of the Lutheran Church Rev. Kalvanas, Jn and senior pastor of our Church Rev. Petras Čepas had been present.The fact that the ordination had not been publicly presented and confirmed by the Synod is considered as a serious violation of the church law. Another violation was the fact that Mr.A.Kvedaravičius had not managed to get a degree in Theology up till he was suspended. Allegedly, he had been studying at the Faculty of Evangelic Theology at Klaipėda University. There is no evidence of his having got a university degree of Evangelic theology, i.e. a university education in theology, which is required by the Canon. Mr.A.Kvedaravičius service as a catechis -deacon had been officially approved, though the majority of the members of congregations mistrusted him. One of the most notorious of his unchristian acts was his intended attempt to intrude the Ev. Ref. Church in Biržai in 1997, allegedly to conduct a service there. As he was not allowed in, after the commotion at the gates to the churchyard, he later initiated proceedings against organist A.Praniauskas (who died in 2002), evading the Church institutions. In 2001 Mr.A.Kvedaravičius was asked to stand before the Pastor's sessions and explain his behavior but he repeatedly ignored them. After being warned twice and publicly on March 2001 at the service in Vilnius in the name of the Pastor's session, he ignored those warnings and did not arrive at the Synod in the summer of 2002. Followingly, the Synod suspended him as a catechist (deacon) for purposeful violation of the church law. Still, up till now, without having been ordained and without certain obligatory Church decisions, Mr.A.Kvedaravičius is calling himself "minister" and even senior pastor - "general superintendent" even an " archbishop". He also acts under the cover of illegally obtained documents of the juridical person of the Synod Collegium of Ev.Ref. Church , given to him by the state .
From the above stated facts it is seen that the process of the Church unity or consolidation has been going on through years and it has taken a lot of effort. Progress has been made since 1988 but the problem has not been solved yet. To achieve the Church unity as well as disrupt it, all the more important are the documents of a juridical person, given by the state, using which the opposing party is able to make the conflict public in official state institutions, at courts, in the media. Without the documents of a juridical person (though considered as such, according to the Constitution!) a congregation or even the whole traditional religious community is not actually "seen" in state institutions. During the twenty years of the Church consolidation process certain measures have been taken: competent leaders, pastors have been trained, the fundamentals of the church law have been restored and supplemented and persons of high church authority have been involved as mediators.
A possibility to make a compromise by civil agreement between formally two juridical persons (without getting involved into the questions of church law) with the Minister of Justice P.Baguška has been rejected unilaterally. Seven meetings were arranged at the Ministry of Justice, the last two of which were boycotted by Mr. A.Kvedaravičius.
All the legal proceedings at courts and at the Procecutor's Office of the Republic of Lithuania have been initiated on the basis of Mr.A.Kvedaravičius complaints. Basically, none of them have been complied with except the one against the Panevėžys Register Centre where he complained about the errors in legal proceedings. A proceeding was instituted on our initiative in 2007 against the actions of Mr.A.Kvedaravičius adherents (former Catholic priest R.Šaučiūnas and J.Makūnas ) when 15,000 Lt were "washed" through the congregation account. Actually, it was the opposing party that has always taken the initiative in instigating legal proceedings and disconcerting the Church life. Thus, state institutions have been involved in solving the Church problems. Consequently, tension is being created in the community of Ev. Reformers and the work of clergymen is being disrupted.
Priest Rimas Mikalauskas,
Vicesuperintendent of Evangelical Reformed Church of Lithuania