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Violations of Human Rights in USSR
Disorders in Post-Soviet Countries







“First Rome destroyed, second Rome - Constantinople - fall down, now we have the third Rome in Moscow - there will be no other.”   ~IVAN THE TERRIBLE




“Please hurry my friend. Visit Vatican urgently, because will soon disappear”   ~ENGELS TO FELLOW MARKS


“Pray for Russia, this country will destroy churches, kill priests, even Holy Father will suffer much, many nations will disappear, but if Russia converts there will be peace on the world”   ~HOLY MARY TO FATIMA CHILDREN


“Persecution of righteous is good instrument to fear criminals”   ~LENIN





I was born in Rypin (Poland), Kujawsko-pomorskie in 1963.

None of my family was born in Russia.  But 3 of my grandmother’s brothers were Polish soldiers fighting against the Bolshevik marshals, Budionny and Toukhachevsky, near Kiev in 1920.  I am very proud of them.  My interest to “oriental stories” was deepened under the influence of Joanna Goralska – Michalowska.  Joanna Goralska – Michalowska was a French and Russian teacher teaching me in the elementary school in Skrwilno.  She grew up in the region of Bieniakonie.  Today it is on the border of Lithuania-Belorussia.  She was a very educated and patriotic woman familiar with famous philosophers, Berdyaev, Zdziechowski and Koneczny, who were specialists of bolshevism.  

My High school Russian teacher Janusz Szyszko-Bogusz from Brodnica, also influenced me in “oriental stories”.  His mother died in Tashkent – Uzbekistan.

I also met great people who gave me a good background of Russia that attracted me from my childhood to study more about the history and the culture of Russia.

I had love for Russia and at the same I had fear going there.

Divine Providence helped me to become a priest and a missionary to Russia for 10 years from 1992-2002.  These were the periods from Yeltsine and Putin.  

I experienced the painful change from the former communism to democracy.

I agree with Mr. Coustine, who said in the 18th century:

“Russians are beautiful like Angels and dirty like devils.”

We need to study more and more about Russia to help them to stay beautiful and clean.

This talk I am about to give is made from my memory after a long time of personal research and lectures.

I got the basic knowledge for this talk about the East from my Seminary education in Archdiocesan Seminary in Bialystok during 1985-1991.  The other sources that influenced me are “German Colonies in Russian Empire,” and “Golgota Wschodu – Martyrologia ludzi wierzacych w ZSRR”.  “German Colonies in Russian Empire” is a research done by Joseph Schnur .  It is printed in German in Stuttgart in 1978.  “Golgota Wschodu – Martyrologia ludzi wierzacych w ZSRR” was published in Polish.  It is based on research done by professor Zdrojewski and Msgr. Peszkowski.  This particular book is given to me personally by the authors.  I memorized most parts of the book.  I would also like to mention two more sources that influenced me to prepare this talk are small booklet by Fr. Wladyslaw Bukowinski and also Sergey Kurdakov’s book on “Forgive me Natasha.”


The main idea


The goal of my research is to show simple way my point  of view on nowadays history of Russia and Soviet Union, by eyes of a priest and believer.

The sad thing is that communists and post communists use religion similar way as it was made by Russian emperors to justify their evils.

Church, especially the Orthodox but also Moslem, Buddhist and Jewish, officially recognized as traditional have to legitimize all the evils of rulers.

Other believers which do not agree current activities of the tsar will be punished. It happened that claiming somebody as “Vatican spy” was in communist times, but also today an excuse to be sentenced for long time of gulags or to be proclaimed persona non grata, or hidden killed.

Unfortunately nothing changes.





before Communism


First catholic Bishop in Russia Mons. Siestrzencewicz was established by Catherine the Great in 18-th century without permission of Vatican.

Bishop sea was at first in city Mogilev, but in fact residence was ever in st. Petersburg. It was the biggest catholic diocese in the world which included almost all the Russian empire except Ukraine,, Belorussia, Baltic countries and Poland which traditionally were having own structures for centuries.

Other decision of Catherine the Great was to keep Jesuits against the will of Pope which cancelled the Order in 1772. From that very moment Russia started long tradition of treating Catholics on her own way accepting or not the position of Vatican.

The second diocese in Russia was established in 1850 under the name Kherson Diocese with bishop sea in Tiraspol – Moldova but after few years in Saratov. This new diocese was also huge because included new territories conquered by Catherine and other tsars like: Moldova, south part of Ukraine including Odessa, Crimea, Caucasus, Volga, Tatarstan and part of Kazakhstan.

Last diocese in Russia was established in Vladivostok in Far East under regime of Kolchak which made own Zabaikal Republic during Revolution 1917-1925.

Many priest from that diocese escaped to Harbin in Manchuria.

In Stolypin times Russian Catholics of Byzantine Rite got own structure under exarkh Leonid Fedorov actually proclaimed as martyr and blessed.




In the very difficult conditions of I-st. WW 3 Portuguese children in small city Fatima got a message from Holly Mother to pray and fast for Russia. Strange and beautiful, long time unrecognized by children Mary was telling that Russia will create wars and revolutions against God and religion. Russia will kill priests, bishops and even pope will experience attempt on his life, many nations may disappear and righteous man will suffer much until the Pope will consecrate Russia to Immaculate Heart. If it happens, Russia may convert  and the world may got peace.




The message of Fatima was banned and ignored even by the church up 1930 when the body of Hyacintha – one of visionaries was found uncorrupted in the coffin which spent 10 years in the ground. Local Bishop encouraged another visionary Lucia to make report about her visions.

First consecration of Russia happened in 1943 it was Pope Pius XII who does it privately.




Lenin concern was same as Marks. He was very sure that religion is opium of people and disturbs revolutionary anger to be expressed. The most of murders of hierarchy and simple priesthood happened in Lenin times. The others killed in Stalin times were  sentenced to die and executed in very significant day ever 21 April, the jubilee of Lenin’s death.




Lenin himself suffered 3 attempts on his life and spend few years in the city Nizhniy Novgorod called later Gorki. Some people witness that he was mentally disordered asking everybody and everything for forgiveness, even the chairs…




We do not know exact number of bishop, priests, monks, nuns and simple believers for their religion beliefs, but most of people repeat the number of 200.000 – Solzhenitsyn is thinking that total number of Russian citizens killed by Communists was 80 millions.




Famous polish prelate who was on Katyn list and miraculously survived made his own list of Catholic  martyrs. It is also the list which need to be revised and fulfilled.




The most famous man in soviet times was simple priest from Ukraine, a member of Assumption Congregation, chaplain of French speaking workers in metallurgy factories in region of nowadays Donetsk was sending daily reports to Vatican about crazy times of Revolution asking to establish structures in condition when most of priests and bishops in Russia were killed or escaped to Europe or America. His parish was in Makeyevka were he spend about 20 years as very dedicated man without any ambition to be a bishop. He was very privileged to be answered the most surprising way.

Vatican answered him in 1925. He was ordained a bishop of Moscow hidden way ordained in st. Louis of France in Moscow very close to Dzerzhinsky Che-Ka headquarters(later NKVD-KGB) by very smart, special Vatican official abp D’Herbigny.




-    Bp Neveux ordained bp Sloskans to Minsk, bp Malecki to st. Petersburg and some others to Caucasus…he was daily invigilated and finally got a room in French Embassy which was very collaborative and friendly to Russian Catholics in all the soviet times.

-    Bp Neveux saved many lives in the times of artificial hunger in Ukraine and in Saratov using  connections in Red Cross, he was also aware about priests in concentration camps making his reports to Vatican again and again up to deep heart decease he got in 1936. He got permission to visit hospital in France but permission to come back was given only in 1946 on his last days before death


-    Bishop Kessler in USA – Dakota


The interesting activities were made by Saratov bishop Kessler who was hiding himself and his Seminary in Odessa but decided to help his sheep other way by witnessing to Western World and collecting donations for suffering church in Germany and USA. His Book about communist cruelties was published in Dakota. His pastoral was in Erfurt and given back to Saratov in 1998 on ordination of bp Clemens Pickel, young German priest from Erfurt Seminary whose parents were Volga emigrants…


-    Bishop Ciszek in New York – Chicago – similar activities made in the middle of Polish Diaspora bp John Ciszek sentenced to death in st. Petersburg in 1921 but forced to emigrate.


Bp Edward Ropp – bishop in st. Petersburg and Saratov forced to emigrate died in Poland and buried in Bialystok




Same as Lenin – Stalin was crazy about religion but his background was very different. He grew up as orthodox seminarian. His knowledge about church was great. When German soldiers were close to Moscow in his desperation he got a talk with famous visionary blind Matrona, actually canonized and much venerated by Russian orthodox. He was advised to reopen the churches to get victory. The last three bishops which were still alive were made free from prison and asked by Stalin to reopen churches. Bishop Sergey was proclaimed new Patriarch with all splendor possible. His election was out of canon way so many orthodox emigrants call actual orthodox, restored by Stalin “Sergeyan Sect”.




In the book of Mons. Hnilica about attempt on John Paul II life is mentioning a legend that Stalin permitted to make a procession with icon of Kazan around Moscow to save the city by parallel procession of Pozharsky and Minine in 1612 when small polish army was conquered and expelled from Kremlin by power of Holy Mary’s Icon.

The curious story is that Putin made a feast of Holy Mary in 4-th November to deepen same legend. For Russians it play encouraging role.

Sergey Mikhalkov the son of soviet poet and Konchalovsky brother, famous Russian movie maker made a movie under the title 1612 three years ago.

It may help us to understand all the mythology which Russia uses from the times of Ivan the Terrible telling poor Russians that “we are the third Rome and after us will be none”.




Khrushchev grew up in the same places as nowadays Ukraine president Yanukovych means Donetsk region. As native Ukraine he have to be religious but surprisingly he was same crazy as Lenin and provoked many disasters against church.

During his presidency happened strange story very famous in Russia about young woman from Samara city which forced her mother to take out all the icons from house but not st. Nicolas. During some party all the girls were dancing with the boys but the mentioned girl in blaspheming act start dancing with icon. He became like a mummy for half a year and the house was under observation of police up to the visit of Khrushchev who happened to be in the neighbor. Under his personal intervention priests invited the boy, son of priest to take icon which nobody can deliver from woman’s hands. It happened that lady which was not drinking and eating half a year wake up healthy. The story was televised recently.




Brezhnev grew up in Kamenka-Dneprodzerzhynsk. According the legend his grandmother was a Baptist so people explain his nice behavior in relationship to believers by that legend. In fact on the list of soviet leaders Brezhnev is most acceptable in common memory and praised by believers for real freedom of faith in comparison with previous leaders.




Nevertheless, in Brezhnev times happened most crazy experiment in Russian Far East Siberian peninsula Kamchatka. The story titled “Forgive me Natasha” describes small Christian communities attacked by “special forces” represented by the author of the book.

Young members of so called Komsomol were beating believers, arresting and torturing. Kurdakov happened to be converted by young and pretty student attacked by him. Reading literature he understood a saying of Jesus: “give your left cheak if somebody hurts your right”. Kurdakov after many conscience problems and prayers converted, emigrated to Canada, made nice book and was killed in hotel room during one of his many missionary tours along Canada. He was found suicided, but many believe that it was dirty murder of Soviet secret service workers in 1979 late Brezhnev times. Sooner in similar unclear circumstances John Paul II experienced attempt on his life in very day of 13-th may, anniversary of Fatima apparitions. One of the first sympathies came from Kremlin. It was Brezhnev who expressed the. Very juicy circumstances. All the ways follow to Rome…the third one!




One of the most beautiful personalities in the landscape of soviet underground is very educated man with universal way of thinking. Friend and visitor of catholic center Russia Christiana in Seriate – Italy. Published under pseudonym Bogomolov in Brussels. Respected by both Catholics and protestants theologian. Spiritual director of intelligent people in Moscow, inspired creation of Christian University of st. Andrew. His followers are still very ecumenical and charity minded group in st. Cosma and Damian Orthodox parish in Moscow, part of them became Catholics and participate in st. Olga Moscow roman-catholic parish.






Catholic life in USRR was destroyed but survived in some places with deep concern of new republic annexed to USRR in 1940 with blessing of Hitler.




The only catholic seminary permitted to train candidates to priesthood from all the USRR was Riga. Cardinal Vaivods who was permitted by Vatican to send priests to all the USRR was caring about Kazakhstan, Georgia, Ukraine even Belorussia which also was offered some spiritual care of polish bishop Edward Kisiel in Bialystok




Lithuania was the second republic with great number of Catholics and more religious freedom than all the rest of USRR. Nevertheless most of Lithuanian priests were in lagers of Siberia and only death of Stalin changed a little the situation for simple priests. Bishop of Wilno Stepanovicius spend many years imprisoned in small village, forbidden to appear in public. All the nuns were working in underground. The big pressure on workers of Priest Seminary was described by ex-priest Rogauskas in famous book translated in communist times in  many languages also in polish: “ITE MISSA EST”.

Seminary in Kaunas-Kowno was permitted to educate the candidates from Lithuania. It is why 2 future bishops of Russia Kondrusiewicz and Werth were living in Lithuania and getting registration as citizens of Lithuania first and afterwards entering to the seminary in Kaunas even they were supposed to study in Riga. So called “numerous clausus” in Riga, was the reason that some youngsters were looking for solutions like that fooling the workers of soviet intelligence workers.




Catholic Church in Lithuania became very famous in soviet times as the only organization making efforts to inform the world about political prisoners In USRR registering scientific way all the cases so honestly that even soviet secret services were affirming in their secret documents that all the cases described in Chronicles were truth.




On e of most famous man described in Chronicles was Jesuit priest Sigitas Tomkevicius which became bishop in Kaunas only 3 years after intervention of Margaret Thatcher. It happened surprisingly in “very tolerant” Gorbachev times: 1987 he was still imprisoned in Perm city of Ural – Siberia.




Very special credit for all the Catholics in USRR was made by most famous “closed city” and Concentration camp KARLAG in Karaganda – Kazakhstan. It is top secret that in most crazy camps the religion was blossoming and the best personalities appearing.




As seminarian in 1985 I got simple printed booklet of Fr. Wladyslaw Bukowinski with memories from USRR. That booklet was given to cardinal Wetly few years before he became a pope with sanction “not to publish” before the death of an author. When John Paul II, very sick and tired man came to Kazakhstan capital in 2001, in his emotional speech he expressed his personal favor and gratitude to that heroic priest for his dedication and testimony. “It was his personality encouraging me to come to Kazakhstan and venerate his memory” – said the Pope.

In fact, Fr. Bukowinski as polish citizen was offered to emigrate from prison to Poland many times, but he stayed willingly to keep touch with similar like him prisoners.


-    BP HYRA,


Bishop Hyra was same prisoner as Bukowinski and same brave man. He was Hungarian and he also didn’t try to emigrate. He stayed up to his end.


-    Lithuanian Jesuit priest


There was another hero in Karaganda who created big number of vocations in Brezhnev times not to mention actual bishops: Werth in Novosibirsk, Messmer in Bishkek, martyr Otto Messmer, rector of Catholic Institute in Moscow etc.




Fr. Keller was kind of aristocrat working hardly in all the soviet times and preserving small chapel far away from the center to be actual cathedral and sea of bishop Messmer. According report of prelate Swidnicki, fr. Keller was having gift of observation and he was making chronicles about all the priests he knew all around, but unfortunately he destroyed all his files before death.




Fr. Swidnicki is one of many ordained hidden way in soviet times, but maybe to most juicy. He was working on the crane making technical studies in Riga but same time studying theology and getting grades from Seminary professors. Taking these grades with him he visited some bishop in Lithuania and get ordination in 1974. He returned to his native Murafa in Ukraine, famous having many vocations place and tried to work with youth, first in Murafa, later in Zhitomir. He practiced the way Baptist and other protestants were working, which was totally surprise for secret service. They said to him that he may be imprisoned or he may work as priest in far away Dushanbe in Tajikistan. He got a chance. He built a church and other 6 chapels in outstations ever fooling intelligence workers telling them that if he did not work in these places underground priests may do it. Any way he was fired in 1983 and asked fr. Keller in Bishkek to employ him in Kirgizia. The answer was: “To big boat big ocean – go to Siberia”. He collected about 70 addresses of Catholics in Siberia. Most of them were not seeing priest for decades. He was buying properties and registering parishes immediately inspiring local people to collect documents and attack clerks with requests. Fr. Swidnicki was very effective Siberian missionary in just one year he benefited in 20 registered parishes in Siberia. He was arrested after organizing a church in Novosibirsk for his permanent preaching about Fatima which was still dangerous in USRR under Andropov, former KGB leader, now first secretary of Communist Party playing a role of president. Fr. Swidnicki was sentenced on 8 years of prison and got freedom same time as bp. Tomkevicius after personal intervention of Margaret Thatcher. First what he does, he registered parishes in Fergana, Tashkent and Chirchik, three cities of Uzbekistan, later Chelyabinsk in Ural – Siberia, Omsk etc. These days he is very old and sick, but still active in his native Murafa. I am very blessed man knowing him personally from the very first day of my missionary life. We meet each other in Riga-Aglona pilgrimage 1992. His personality, open minded way of being and his ecumenical way were inspiring me forever more than any book.






Murafa was playing for Ukraine Catholics same role as Karaganda for Kazakhstan Catholics. It was not a concentration camp, but it was forgotten town in Winnica region of Ukraine full of strong believers. Local priest was helping soviet partisan who became important figure in USRR and ever helped him to survive. The priest raised many vocations including bp. Bernadski actual superior of Odessa diocese.

He was really providential man in so called Podole.




Mentioned before bp Bernadski became famous as defender of Catholic Church in the city of Bar. Church was supposed to be destroyed by communists by tanks, but local parishioners under example of priest lay down on the ground not permitting to the soldiers to make any harm to the sanctuary. They were offering own lives many times and this example was helping to preserve another churches like Szargorod and so on. Ukraine Catholics were really brave these days.




City of Polonne was another heroic place. They have beautiful church more than 500 years old. Fr. Stanislaw was a pastor of dozen similar old and zealous communities which were pretending to have worshiping places back. As young priest just ordained in Riga fr. Szyrokoradiuk created very effective technology of returning churches to believers in Gorbachev times. He was renting from the state some buses and packing to them believers from Polonne and bringing them as “protesting team” from one place to another. Local clerks were not aware where from these people came thinking that so many local Catholics request the church back, even in fact the number of local Catholics was small or the people was to shy to act as strikers. Providence made this brave man a bishop in Kiev just before famous gathering of post-soviet priest in Fatima 1995. It was the moment I got to know most of heroes described in this issue like future bishops Pickel(Saratov), bp Mazur(Irkutsk - Siberia), bp Nicolas Messmer(Bishkek - Kirgizia), cardinal Casmir Swiatek(Belarus), bp Peta(Astana - Kazakhstan), abp Lenga(Karaganda-Kazakhstan), Otto Messmer (rector in Moscow - martyr)etc.




Bishop emeritus of Kiev-Zhitomir diocese. Very sick, dedicated holy man from Latvia


-    Wladyslaw VANAGS


Very famous Latvian priest – engineer, author of projects and constructor of dozens churches around city Grodek-Gorordok in Podole, one of his bets projects was building of diocesan Seminary, hospital for elderly and so on.




Another Latvian hero in Ukraine who was in charge of returning to believers of Kiev cathedral which was playing a role of sp called PLANETARIUM during soviet times. I met that man in Kiev but also in Fatima. Later on he was in Grodno Cathedral – Belorussia, now emeritus in his native Latvia.




One of miracles in soviet time was huge number of vocations to Franciscans ”minorities” called in Poland Bernardins. They were having around 100 priests in underground and it is now the birthplace of many candidates to be Ukrainian bishops like Stanislaw Szyrokoradiuk and actual Bishop of Kiev. Central monastery is in Zhitomir.




Except Franciscans very famous monastery were having in soviet times and still have Jesuits in the city of Khmelnitsky. One old Jesuit from Lithuania whom I met as seminarian in Belorussia restored small chapel on cemetery to be great parish church with huge number of parishioners. The parish was famous for preaching sobriety in soviet times when alcoholism was main sickness of local population.




Never mind, dark communism Ukraine was very Christian in many ways both hidden and open way. I am familiar with Dominican activities because they were coming and preaching even in far away Rostov on Don. They have restored very beautiful huge church in Fastov, east of Kiev. Actually they work also in Catholic Institute of st. Thomas Aquinas in Kiev.




The only parish in faraway of center place in soviet times was under Carmelites.




The only congregation represented in Odessa was Silesian of don Bosco and heroic priest Hoppe from polish aristocracy. He was respected even by communists. He was personal friend of elderly Rector-emeritus fr. Mieczyslaw Paszkiewicz in Bialystok. He was sending letters to us and it is why I was aware about him as young seminarian.




Another “prince of Ukrainian church” was humble but strong and strict priest from Grodek-Gorordok city in Podole which became a bishop in Kamenets-Kamieniec Podolsk in 1992




Bishop Rafał Kiernicki was a pastor of all the Lwow city serving to both roman and Greek Catholics. He was very dedicated to the sick and he was having a huge number  of people to be visited daily in all the district of Lwow.





One of  many Ukrainian priests trained in Riga in soviet times who was the only priest for all the Wolyn land for years. He was serving a mass in dozen of churches. All of them have actually pastors and fr. Marcjan became a bishop actually emeritus bishop of Luck.




-    Cardinal Casmir SWIATEK


The man who made a history, ever poor living poor life in his small wooden house on Shevchenko street. He spend in Pinsk whole life as only priest but in 1992 a bishop of huge diocese of Pinsk and Minsk starting in Brest on Polish border and finishing in Homel on Russian border. Never mind his age he was circulating everywhere up to his recent death in age of 97.




Nowogrodek is famous as native place of polish poet Mickiewicz, for 11 holy nuns killed by Germans and beatified in 1992, but also for brave priests working there in soviet time. One of them was prelate Lisowski who “made” as minimum 7 underground priests teaching them in his own house and sending with recommendation to be ordained to Lithuanian bishops. It was risky, but prelate was having such authority that Lithuanian bishops were following his opinions.




Very special case from Nowogrodek was actual bishop Dziemianko who became an underground priest in age of 20…(sic)and just same days was taken to very north Russian city of Murmansk to fulfill his military service. He was unable to have a Mass fro 2 years and not permitted to have a parish for long time afterwards. He grew up and became a pastor after prelates death.

For many years cardinal Casimir was trying to make him his own follower as a bishop but Fr. Dziemianko was begging him not to ordain him which is very surprising story, but finally he was ordained in cathedral of Grodno in 1998 and I was lucky to be present on this very solemn event which was lasting 5 hours.




Bishop Klimowicz grew up in Kazakhstan in the family of polish patriots and came to Poland only in late 60-ties just to  finish high school and enter to Seminary in Olsztyn. Providentially polish communists were not respecting the wish of his parents to get polish citizenship and he became a priest as soviet citizen. Nobody was expecting that he will like this. He made decision to come back to USRR and offer his service as a priest in Belorussia in native places of his parents. He was very brave priest in the city Glebokie, elected by Pope to be auxiliary bishop of Minsk in 1998 and send to Siberia after deportation of bishop Mazur from Irkutsk in 2002. He is still acting bishop in the biggest diocese in the world.


- fr. Josef Zaniewski


Another priest ordained in underground is fr. Josef who is very famous parish priest in Moscow cathedral. His vocation and priesthood is full of legends so I will repeat some according to report of one Lithuanian nun. Fr. Josef to fulfill his dream about priesthood got a job in Poland and even get fictive marriage with his step sister in Poland to fool secret service and to have long staying in Poland. He was employed by one of polish bishops as a driver. It was excuse for soviet citizen to have house close to seminary and to make studies. Just before being ordained he divorced to his sister and wife and get back to Belorussia where he became famous priest that much as nobody expected. Parishioners in Lithuanian community close to Leda were loving this polish at origin priest that much that he was unable to change place fro years even he wished. There was a security made by local parishioners that he never can leave the place. Finally he escaped dressed as a woman to escape and start working in another city being asked by bishop to go so.


- Fr. Anthony Hey


Similar beautiful story and personality was actual pastor of new created parish in Brest in Belorussia, but also rector of Seminary in st. Petersburg a man who was never studying  in official way in Seminary anywhere. He also was living and working in Poland as soviet citizen and fooling communists to be able get priesthood he made a deal with Jesuits in Warsaw and they were preparing him. That priest is very good friend of mine so I know his history nicely from his own lips. He told me that he born in family of polish prisoners in forgotten village of Kazakhstan and he observed first holly mass in his grandmother’s house. The priest was celebrating in the deep night, all the windows closed many people inside and he was unable to breath as small 5 years boy he start crying and his grandmother was begging him: “please be silent because – this priest is risking his life!”. After hearing this boy stopped crying and got a deep respect for priests. It was very day he decided in his small brain to follow the example.

He became in fact a really good and smart priest. His first parish in late communist times was in Baranowicze. Afterwards bp Kondrusiewicz made him general vicar of Apostolic Administration in Moscow and as I told before the Rector of Seminary…


- Fr. Ciereszko


The man whom I met in Bialystok was another underground priest trained in Bialystok and some other seminaries, changing places to fool communists. He got ordination in Gorbachev times but it was still unstable time that much that this young priest after returning to his native Grodno in Belorussia got killed in his own house in very brutal way getting tortured, suffering horrors.

I will continue talking about similar cases made by so called “unknown killers.”

Up today in post soviet countries too much priests dye in such circumstances. It is out of my understanding and may be a topic to separate research.






John Paul II was the only Slavic Pope with such a deep knowledge of communism who was able to understand Russia and take real responsibility for this huge country defending believers of all Christian denominations. The story is that from his ministering up today benefit huge number of people which declare open way hatred to him and all the Catholics not to mention orthodox officials which were ever banning his wish to visit Russia.

One of Russian journalists commenting orthodox ostracism against pope’s visit in Ukraine 2001 said: “It will come some day we will deeply regret for the shame we made for John Paul II not welcoming him in Moscow”.

Very truth!




Returning to the words Fatima visionaries expressed in 1917 “Russia will destroy churches, priests and the Holy Father will be wounded”, we have to be very surprised that attempt was made in same day as first apparition 13-th of may 1981. Pope getting conscience immediately proclaimed that he is thankful to Holy Mary that she saved his life. The killer was very surprised asking himself: “How come, why he survived?”

The only answer is: “To help Russia convert and get peace in the world”.

John Paul was real messenger of peace to Russians. His deep relationship with Gorbachev and his family is out of doubt. Some people say that it was just after visiting John Paul II Gorbachev proclaimed that Berlin Wall is a nonsense!!!

Many people know popes relationship with Ronald Reagan but in fact pope’s relationship with Gorbachev was same good.




The other reason why pope survived was to encourage other Slavic nations to feel free and to fight for own dignity same as polish people has done in 1980. Proclaiming Cyril and Methodius main patrons of Europe pope is telling to us Slavic nation: you are same good – same smart and same zealous as people from the West of Europe !




Next thing the only pope in history was able to do was perseverance in opening new structures in the country which tried to destroy any visible activity of the church. At the beginning Pope elected 3 young but smart priests from Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belorussia to be bishops in 3 forgotten and forbidden for Catholics cities: Moscow, Novosibirsk and Karaganda.

It was something!!! I was a deacon waiting for ordination. I really appreciated what Pope has done and I was ready to go and help Russia just that very day. I know I was not alone such a hot and ready priest to help pope in his struggle converting Russia from zero…That same year the youth from all the world came to pray together 15-th of August in polish shrine Czestochowa which represent “very oriental” image of Mary. 30.000 soviet citizens were permitted to participate in this event. You can imagine what kind of impressions for their all lives they took. 1000 youngsters came from Moscow, 50 from Rostov on Don…

He also was the only who understood importance of jubilee which happened in Kiev 1988 – millennium of Christianity.

He was unexpected visitor but he has send primate of Poland cardinal Glemp to represent Catholics on official events accepted by communists in Moscow.




Cardinal Glemp visited Kiev and shared his impressions many times. I remember his enthusiastic reports about Russia’s conversion. In fact it was conversion of Kiev and Ukraine. The story shows us that we have to be very patient talking about Russian conversion. Nevertheless the role of messenger which played cardinal Glemp was fulfilled. Afterwards he got warm welcoming in Kazakhstan and in Belarus. Last his visit in Russia which I noticed was in Siberia 1999.




Archbishop Kondrusiewicz was born in Odelsk. Small city in west Belorussia which is situated just on Polish border which cut half of the city. Polish part has name Minkowce and I was there as seminarian. I was told half of bishops relatives live in Poland. He never focused on his Polish origin to be equal for all, but also never hide his polish roots. On the question about nationality he was usually answering: “My nationality is Catholic”. Veeery smart! He was the first bishop elected by pope for Belorussia after II WW. It happened in 1989 when I was in the 4-th year in seminary. We were very concerned about him because he was a parish priest 70 km from Bialystok in Grodno. He visited our seminary many times as a simple priest, but everybody knew that he is a great man and he may make big career. He really does.

Once he told me that being in Vatican he was unable to find a ring for his big fingers. He was never shy talking such a thing. Sense of humor and open mind were perfect.

In two years of his staying in Belorussia in a rank of archbishop the returned 200 churches back to believers. He was supposed to do the same in Russia. It is why Vatican took him to Moscow in April 1991.






In fact it was not same easy in Russia as in Belorussia. First of all Russia has different size than Belorussia. You may travel 3 days in European part by car and you still are in the same country. If you go to Siberia, you need one week to cross all the country even you drive day and night the best speed possible. So once bishop said: “we do not built churches in Russia; we dig only the ground to make foundations”. He was starting as a bishop with 2 priests without own house, living in some room near to the choir in the church of st. Louis de France on Malaya Lubianka.

When I came next year to collaborate he was having 18 priests yet but after 16 years of his activities he was having own seminary and about 20 Russian citizen priests and another 200 foreigners, all of them having one or 2 churches. In my case it was 13 new churches during 7 years of collaboration in Rostov on Don Kalmyk Republic and Krasnodarski Krai. Looking on Bishop each priest was encouraged to do his best. It was a giant of the Gospel he still is but because of his success and intrigues made by Orthodox against him volunteered to come back to Belorussia in 2007.




Bishop Werth grew up in Karaganda, but his parents were from Rostov on Don and from Odessa both father and mother repressed as all native Germans and send to gulags in Kazakhstan. Most of Germans in Russia were ever very zealous so he was very happy to join Jesuits. His own sister became Eucharistic nun. Younger brother is also Jesuit priest. Such a background. He was only 40 when he was elected a bishop by pope. He got territory 5 times bigger than bishop Kondrusiewicz he got also more priests from his Jesuit order. Number of parishes was also bigger thanks to mentioned before fr. Swidnicki’s activities in 1983, but the struggle was the same difficult as in Moscow – distances difficult to imagine. If you aren’t pilots or astronauts…

Step by step Catholics stand up from underground. In Siberia stand up also Greek Catholics, the most wounded church in USRR.

Actually bishop Werth which became older and wise is a superior of both rites: roman and Greek Catholics. He was accustomed to collaborate because as seminarian he ever knew bishop Hyra in his native Karaganda in Kazakhstan.





Bishop Clemens grew up in eastern part of Germany in the city of Chemnitz very close to Polish border in family with Volga background. He knew many stories about Russia and being seminarian he was sending letters to dozen of friends in Dushanbe. Ordained in Erfurt he came to USRR as young priest to Dushanbe – Tajikistan offering his young life to native Germans which were making 100% of Catholic community in Tajikistan. He inherited much of prelate Swidnicki doings.

After short time of practicing priesthood there he got to know that his friend fr. Werth have to leave from Marks on Volga and to be a Bishop in Novosibirsk. Parish in Volga was same huge as in Dushanbe and he does big effort to project and built new church.

It took many struggles. His young head was covered by silver hairs very fast, but the church was ready in 1993.

His good heart impressed many and after 5 years he was elected bishop himself. Another bishop from Marks city.

He was not moving from Marks because Vatican decided to make him a bishop of Saratov as it was in Russian empire. Saratov was only 60 km from Marks so he was still living in Marks having only diocesan office in Saratov.

Some were joking that he will govern in Marxist Diocese!




Same time as Clemens Pickel fr. George Mazur was elected Bishop of East Siberia. He was born in Polish city Jarosław on the Ukrainian border. He belonged to Verbist congregation and he spend 4 years in Benin as missionary. These years made him a real man of missions. All his experience from Africa were very helpful in Baranowicze. He became a superior of all Verbist fathers working in former USRR,

Cardinal Swiatek was very confident with him.

Baranowicze soon became diocesan center for the press, catechetic courses and other activities of Pinsk dioceses.

In a year 1998 the nuncio of Moscow was also Verbist priest a Slovakian root American John Bukovsky who liked very much Jerzy Mazur and planned him to move Siberia the way he moved Baranowicze and all Belorussia. I am sure fr. Mazur made his best. As abp Kondrusiewicz in Moscow Jerzy in Irkutsk multiplied number of priests, parishes, churches. He made good foundations for future growth of this new, huge diocese which separated from  Novosibirsk.




At the beginning of independence all post soviet Republics were same tolerant and enthusiastic for all the forms of religious renewal. All the preachers were welcomed nicely, never mind Christians, Buddhist, Moslems, Mormons, Witness of Jehovah, ”Krishnaites” or any crazy sect. Soviet people was curious even welcoming magicians whoever was coming with some interesting message was accepted by little or even big crowd of practitioners. Same interest was for Catholics, but unfortunately we were ever and everywhere too much shy, politically correct, oversensitive on the level of ecumenical relationship especially with Orthodox, First of all we were having too small staff and we were delaying in catching this famous wave of interest. The only place in post soviet territories where Catholics were more active were some places in Middle Asia and Siberia thanks to such dedicated and brave personalities like Fr. Swidnicki.

Some of hierarch was also charismatic enough. The only problem was really the time. We were losing time.

Everything was big complement to Vatican diplomacy but also personally to Fr. Lenga. In short time his Administration born such a huge structural organism. Everywhere Catholics were visible and respected. Same time Russia was becoming more and more strict, angry Orthodox dominated territory blaming other religions to be aggressors on canonical territory of Orthodox church. Unfortunately such angry talks influenced much Moslem people in Middle Asia and after starting new millennium the situation start getting worse and worse.




 Archbishop Lenga was born in Ukraine, he studied in Riga, joined Marian Order MIC and as young priest got elected to be a bishop of all Middle Asia. He was active and open minded with good sense of humor. His Apostolic Administration was growing in initiatives and vocations. He opened Seminary in Karaganda very early, a paper Credo. In year 1997 his Administration was divided on separated parts: missions “sui iuris” in Kirgizia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. In 1999 even Kazakhstan was divided in 4 parts: diocese Karaganda, diocese, Ałmaty, archdiocese in Astana and Apostolic Administration in Atyrau.

After many years of struggling he gave up. Became bishop emeritus having only 60 and emigrated to polish Marian shrine in Lichen.





Bishop Henry Howaniec OFM was the eldest on the list of new hierarchs and the only American. He grew up in zealous catholic family of polish emigrants in Wisconsin. He became first Apostolic Administrator in Ałmaty and in year 2001 a bishop of old Kazakh capital. He was ever humble man. Simple Franciscan not looking for privileges nor positions. Election was a full surprise for himself and some people around. Some even think he got very shy, rather more than he was before. His voice changed and hands were shaking. Two years ago he got canonical age of 75. Resigned but steel stay in Almaty as bishop emeritus and simple Franciscan brother as he was before.




Archbishop Peta was origin from Gniezno archdiocese in Poland, the archdiocese united by a person of Primate of Poland together with Warsaw archdiocese. As I told before cardinal Glemp was engaged very much in visiting USSR on behalf of Pope so Middle Asia was under his special care and possibly the choice of “his” priest Tomasz Peta for archbishop was not a coincidence but a benefit of Polish Primate activities in Kazakhstan.

It is only a guess. In fact abp Thomas is same shy, zealous but much younger man than bp Howaniec. In 1995 I met him in Fatima as simple priest from Atyrau on Caspian Sea. We were neighbors and he was asking me to visit him, but I was not hurry. Things were changing with speed of light. In 1999 I moved to Siberia and he got title of Apostolic Administrator of Astana. In September 2000 I met Fr. Thomas again as Apostolic Administrator on ceremony of dedication of Irkutsk Cathedral asking about possible ordination of him to be a bishop. His smart answer was: “all we will be bishops in heaven”. Next year he was ordained just before historical visit of Pope John Paul in Kazakhstan. That moment archbishop Tomasz was very respectable man in the center of attention. Nevertheless people say that he is traveling much from one to another coin of his huge archdiocese unrest less in planning activities but also a man of prayer as ever.




It is very unique bishop in Kazakhstan, the only who grew up in Soviet Union, but immigrated as teenager with his family to Germany, Swiss. Became missionary in Brazil, radical in his traditional opinions on liturgy. He does really great job in Karaganda as rector of Seminary and journalist. He was also engaged in building huge Cathedral in Karaganda, perhaps the biggest in all former Soviet Union made these days. Actually he works in Astana as auxiliary bishop.




He was diocesan priest from south polish diocese Tarnow, famous for many vocations. At first he was Apostolic Administrator in Atyrau in 1999. Ordained as a Bishop only in 2008. Recently he moved to Karaganda.




The youngest bishop in Middle Asia. Native from Spain, ordained as member of Prelature of Opus Dei and started his missionary activities in the third big city of Kazakhstan Shimkent with large Moslem majority. Later Rector of Seminary in Karaganda.




It is difficult to measure how big, even revolutionary influence was made on all Middle Asia by John Paul II in his last days and travels in these places. I was privileged to participate in these events… I remember many simple historical statements and the atmosphere of that pilgrimage. All the city of Astana was living in impression of that visit. Astana was embraced by John Paul II by his great heart fully and conquered totally. His hands were shaking that much in airport that the pages of his talk spread the wind and poor Kazakh president was collecting them on his knees. It was amazing to see that former communist and Moslem man to be so much engaged.

Nobody expected. From that very moment Catholics were respected as never before.




Last day before his own death John Paul II established Apostolic Administration of Uzbekistan. We may say the last thing John Paul has done passing away was electing and sending last bishop to Middle Asia. It happened 1 April 2005. The happy man elected was a son of polish prisoner and Siberian native Russian girl which got married and blessed in deep Siberia. George Maculewicz was baptize by another famous prisoner from soviet gulags in Norilsk close to polar circle. His name was Walter Ciszek American citizen - Jesuit from Chicago. Providence id  working miraculous way. It was also my privilege to work together with bishop George in 2008-2013. It is same humble and surprised by election man. Member of Franciscan Conventual Order.

Uzbekistan is actually on the list of 10 most autocratic countries.

It was a time missionary people from all the world were having paradise in Uzbekistan but now catholic priests and nuns are the last foreigners preaching there without knowing how long they may stay. Situation is getting worse and worse every day. We have 10 Franciscans there only 5 parishes… 4 under Franciscans and 1 under diocesan priest from Legnica. The most beautiful activities were made by Mother Teresa’s sisters but last year, after 20 years of ministering sisters were controlled as never before. Ministry of justice put under question their dress telling that as charitable organization they have  no right to dress as nuns, no right to have chapel in their house, no right to invite priests for a mass either for retreats. It was really heard seeing sisters spending day by day in offices explaining their status and mission again and again loosing time and opportunity to serve the poorest of the poor. Franciscans, Bishop George and sister make wonderful team. Parishioners also like one family in the country with population of 30 million Catholics make microscopic minority with 500 literally five hundred parishioners but their future is under question. The neighbor countries like Kirgizia Turkmenistan and Tajikistan experience similar hardships which I may only imagine.

 Talking too much about these hardships is same dangerous as keeping silence. Intelligence of some dictators is working same perfectly as KGB in Moscow.




Bishop Nicolas is the only bishop in Middle Asia elected by Pope Benedict XVI. Native German from family of Volga-Deutsche expelled from European part of Russia to Kazakhstan during WW II by Stalin. His 3 sisters  are nuns in Eucharistic Order, also 2 brothers priests, Otto Messmer killed in Moscow in 2008 and youngest brother, diocesan priest in Kazakhstan, actual Rector of Seminary in Karaganda.

Bishop Nicolas was trained in Riga, joined Jesuits. He was rector of Seminary in Novosibirsk up 2007. Very sensitive simple, shy, even over shy man. Afraid giving any publicity to his activities. His cathedral may be the smallest church in Middle Asia far away from the center of the city. Kirgizia is small country will population of few millions spread in high mountains of Tien-Shan, western Himalayas. Beautiful  landscapes but small sources, depending on Russia, China and Kazakh mercy. The most democratic but also most poor country in Middle Asia, nevertheless in 2010 experienced big riots between Kirgiz and Uzbek minorities in Osh and Jalalabad on the south of Bishkek. Many people died, many escaped.

Not many people volunteer to have missions there and bishop himself is visiting dozen of outstations.


10.         DUSHANBE - “Missio sui iuris”


We still are lucky to have Catholics there. Dushanbe is capital of Tajikistan. The great number of native Germans escaped to their historical Fatherland. Other people with Christian background has gone to Russia or Kazakhstan in 1995 during the crazy civil war. Most of population is Moslem. Nevertheless brave sisters of mother Teresa’s struggle helping local poor, other missionary job is made by Verbo Incarnato congregation from Argentina sisters and brothers, Their superior, with title of Ordinarius, equal to bishop fr. Carlos Avila recently resigned. I can imagine his missionary life was same difficult as life of bishop Lenga or bishop Howaniec.

We may say these hierarchs are taken Cross literally.

It is none privilege to be a bishop in Middle Asia.

Carlos Avila was supposed to be a bishop, but John Paul II died too early, next popes Benedict and Francisco, brave popes do not have such a big hearts to embrace Catholics of Middle Asia and encourage them the way John Paul II was doing all his last days of life…

Tajikistan was having 6 parishes in the times of Fr. Swidnicki but actually only 3: Dushanbe, Kurgan Tube and the third in Hojent on Uzbek border without any activities. Last priest in Hojent was French missionary, good and naïve. Local people were coming to the church not that much for prayer but as beggars. His sweet character made him bad service. He was kicked out. Kurgan Tube also did not have a priest but it is close to Dushanbe and priests from capital have weekly masses. God bless them.




In capital of Turkmenistan we have the only registered community in the country with 100 of parishioners. Local superior Ordinarius of mission Fr. Andrzej Madej was born in Kazimierz Dolny as 16-th child of his parents. Member of Oblates of Holly Mary OMI, he was very dedicated youth chaplain in Markowice Seminary, in Koden Sanctuary, in Kiev Oblate church of st. Nicolas and from 1997 in Ashgabat.

Poet, missionary, adventurer. A holy, fully dedicated to missions man.

He was dealing 14 years with lawyers about registering this community as legal church, but still without church. The old one was ruined by communists and earth quake in 1947. Nobody may recognize where this nice gothic building was placed. Same as in Tajikistan old parishioners gone to Germany, Russia, Kazakhstan or  Poland.

Catholic church has to be built from nothing. Mons. Andrzej has two brothers priests to fulfill his difficult job. He himself is playing role of diplomat: charge daffier of Vatican Embassy. He have to be present on daily tours of Turkmen President. Only that way he may guarantee peace for his fellow Catholics. In same conditions work Bishop in Tashkent and Ordinarius of Dushanbe.

We are lucky that Vatican as one of the first countries in the world recognized independence of 5 post soviet Republics in Middle Asia.

We benefit this prudent step of John Paul II up today.




We return for a while to Russia to make short report on the priests killed the way “master Serov” was training his disciples how to cancel religious activists in white gloves. We do not have and we will never have 100% sureness about the way some priests died in soviet times. We will never know perhaps the way John Paul II was planned to be killed, but we have big excuse to be aware who was benefiting and who is up today benefiting destroying Catholics in post-soviet countries. Vatican was proclaimed by Lenin and Stalin the worse enemy of the system. It is very clear statement.




Young priest aged 40. Came to Russia in 1992 from Poland. His efforts made catholic church in Astrakhan fervent and vigorous community with Caritas, Pre-Seminary and Canadian Convent. The church 300 years old got returned and restored. Got killed by kook which came from nowhere begging a help and job. She was unpunished for her crime.




Professor of Warsaw University. After her wife divorced him in age 50 emigrated to India, volunteering to Jivodaya leprosy. Ordained in Beirut in Maronite rite. Worked in Canada and Siberia on Irtysh river looking for Catholics spread in 14 outstations with small chapels. Killed on Easter 2002 in Yartsevo by another beggar from Saratov. With metallic stick.




Born near Radom. Aged 44. Professor of Catholic Seminary in 1993-95, superior of Franciscans, redactor of Catholic Encyclopedia in Russian.

Victim of huge campaign blaming Franciscans about having brothel in old Franciscan house. After strong intervention of Vatican ostracism stopped but the top news of Russia described Fr. Cioroch as “brothel owner”.

That young respectful priest suffered ostracism incomparable with anything I was told anytime.

Died in unclear circumstances killed in his car by big camion on main road Moscow - Brest in 2004. No witnesses of accident.


4.  OTTO MESSMER – 2008


Young Jesuit from Karaganda. Superior of Russian Jesuits, Rector of Catholic College of Theology in Moscow. Killed by night. Same house one day after another Jesuit from Equator killed by same person waiting for second victim.

All the circumstances very unclear. TV was giving false message to Russian viewers from very beginning spreading news that both Jesuits were alcoholics and homosexuals, except express sadness and sympathies to the victims.




Old priest emeritus citizen of Australia came to spend his last days building huge church in famous city where part of polish officers were killed and exarkh Fedorov was living.

After dedication of the church he was killed by unknown.

As usually Russian authorities made very small activities to discover the murder. No excuses.








Born in Nada Texas, member of Maryknoll Congregation of America

Spend about 30 years on missions in Africa in Ethiopia, Sudan and about 5 years in Russia.

Very dedicated brave man of sweet heart and generous behavior.

Victim of mutual visits of tax police trying to find out where from he has money and which way he spend them. Tired from spying him daily gave up returned to USA. Actually back in Africa, Tanzania.


2.  ROBERT REILEY - 2002


Native from Pennsylvania.

Member of Maryknoll Congregation of America.

Spend about 30 years on missions in Japan and about 3 years in Russia.

Very dedicated brave man of sweet heart. He experienced same hardships as Fr. Edward, get back to USA, stay in Ossinville NY.







Born in Przasnysz Poland, priest from archdiocese Katowice. Dean of North Caucasus, parish priest in “hot places” like Chechen Republic, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia and Dagestan 1991-1996. Later parish priest in Pushkino, Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, teacher in st. Petersburg Seminary and responsible for Martyrologia: “beatification of new Russian martyrs”. Was forbidden to enter in spring 2003, after protest got permission to continue working. Actually back in Poland.




One of first Rectors in st. Petersburg Seminary later rector of Seminary in Georgia. Coauthor of Russian version of daily prayers(breviary).

Very dedicated man forced to leave from Russia.






First permanent bishop in Moscow after 1936.

Encouraged by nuncio Mennini to return to Minsk in Belorussia. After that archbishop Cyril, actual patriarch made a comment: “It is big please and satisfaction for orthodox people”.




The best friend of abp Kondrusiewicz. The one who restored deeply damaged Moscow cathedral followed abp Kondrusiewicz to Moscow.

“All We Polish priests are personas non gratas in Russia” he said to me in 2008 during beatification ceremony of Michel Sopocko in Bialystok.

The dream of abp Cyril fulfilled, no nightmares anymore.




1.  Stanislaw Opiela


Polish Jesuit - superior of Russian Jesuits.

Forbidden to enter to Russia in 2000.


2. Cardinal Kasper


Special delegate of John Paul II in Russia. Partner of ecumenical talks with Orthodox in Moscow forbidden to visit Russia in 2002 after establishing 4 Catholic dioceses in  Russia by Vatican.

“The epoch of embracement’s, kissing and flowers finished, we start standing in truth.” - such was comment of Cardinal.





Punished for being superior in diocese of Irkutsk, very active and dedicated. Black journalists were blaming him that he is “polonizator”. In fact, he was concern that 20 % of population in Siberia has polish roots and may be Catholics. He was encouraging priests to be brave and active in searching for new believers.

The other excuse to kick out was Sakhalin which in catholic archives was still fixed under the title of Karafuto. I was administering this parish in 1999-2002 and I was personally giving official excuses of cardinal Sodano to the officers in Sakhalin 8 of April 2002 but 10 days later bishop was proclaimed persona non grata. Sakhalin was only excuse to hurt us.

He was returning to Russia from his visit to Poland 19-th of April 2002 and forced to return to Warsaw after hours of talks with officials of airport.




Native from Milan was trained in Byzantine choir as a boy dreaming about working in Russia ever. Came to Vladimir in 1989, returned local church made nice parish, organized charitable activities, worked in University. Very successful and smart, talking in Russian without accent.

Kicked as “persona non grata” in march 2002




Young priest from Slovakia. After being kicked in August 2002 was trying to apply on visa to Kazakhstan but answer of Kazakh Embassy was negative. We got to know that Kazakhstan, Belorussia and Russia play same game with our priests same time, which recently became evident.




Born in Lidzbark Warminski Poland, in family with patriotic traditions from Troki in Lithuania.

My fellow priest from Poland, member of Salesian Congregation. He was working before in Lida - Belorussia. He knew Russian soul, language rather better than me because he was having relatives in Lithuania and visited them each year in the childhood. He was very different than me but very helpful as 10 years older priest. We were working together in same deanery of Rostov-on-Don. He built the church according my project ever pragmatic and helpful. Sarcastic man full of humor and vitality. Stopped on Belorussian border after vacations in Poland and forbidden to enter 10-th September 2002




My story is nicely described in

I made this web page with a help of friends to stop defamation against Catholics especially priests being kicked. I spend 10 years of my youth priesthood doing efforts to find Catholics in Caucasus and Siberia using all my brain and knowledge. Yes, I was young, I made many mistakes unwillingly but I loved Russia and I still do. I even tried to love orthodox, but sometime it was and still is very difficult to step by all this hatred I was feeling around. Just in first year of my ministry in Rostov on Don local Russian Orthodox priest send group of Cossacks with the only purpose: “to make fear Jarosław” that he may go back to Poland. In presence of local ataman some of Cossacks promised me: “If you do not leave Russia own will, we will send you back to Poland in metallic coffin”. Yes, I was send back by force 10 years later in metallic coffin, but not to Poland but Japan from Khabarovsk and the coffin was Japanese  aircraft. I was really feeling like death. !0 years of my life were cancelled. I was unable to take my belongings, with none money in my pocket under escort…

It was 8-9 September 2002.

Thanks God Japanese people welcomed me in Kawasaki.

I stayed there up 21-th October expecting that something may change.

Vatican was doing efforts but in march 2003 Russia answered that none of us may come back to Russia. We are “persona’s non grata’s.”




Orthodox church under hierarchy called “Sergeyan sect” is still same dependent on post-communist rulers group of trained by KGB politicians with small faith in heart.

They do not tolerate any competition on religious level. It is why they start talking about Russia but even all post-soviet countries as “canonically orthodox”. Nobody knows what kind of cannons they mention, maybe this famous Ivan the Terrible statement about “third Rome”?

The second statement which we hear from everywhere is that we Catholics “proselyte” means convert orthodox Russians into catholic faith.

Same stupid as the first, we do not have any power opportunity - any staff to press on orthodox Russians to become Catholics. What use of such “forced Catholics”? may Vatican have.

The third problem which ever echoes in the mouths of Orthodox officials is blaming us of stol9ing orthodox churches in Ukraine.

In fact in many Ukrainian villages and towns angry population took back churches built by Greek Catholics by their ancestors and “kindly given” by Stalin to orthodox in 1946.

Painful story but common memory id such that west Ukraine is 90% Greek-catholic population. The other are roman-catholic, orthodox came as “proselytes” themselves and have no power and dignity enough to say the truth.




Alexis II at origin Rueddiger, Russian with German roots born in Estonia.

Married, had a son, divorced to his wife to make career as a bishop. Secret service worker under pseudonym “Drozdov”. Elected Patriarch In 1990.

–   Against Colasuonno,

When Vatican send own represented to Moscow in same time when he get his office of Patriarch he made a comment to archbishop Colasuonno, who wished make friendship: “Go back to Africa, we are baptized 1000 years ago and do not need missionaries”.

In fact Mons. Colasuonno was working in Vatican Embassy of Madagascar before. But it is such a level of culture and discussion with our Christian partners.

–   Against John Paul II

Alexis II was ever making something embarrassing. During popes visit in Latvia and Lithuania in 1993 he made “missionary trip to his native Estonia”.

When Pope John Paul II visited Ukraine he made all the efforts to ban this visit but when it happened he made parallel visit in Belorussia.

When pope came to Armenia in 2001, Alexis visited this country very next day. He had 3 opportunities to meet John Paul II, but ever avoided meeting him face to face.




Actual Patriarch was an architect of Alexis II strategy.

Some people expected some change in relationship between Catholics and Orthodox under Cyril, because he was traveling much to Europe ever making good impression, but we need to know what kind of statements he was doing in his own Russia. It was ever unfriendly.

- Catholic proselytism – 29-th June 2002

Cyril made a big document about catholic proselytism mentioning any success of Catholics in Russia as a threat.

He ever wished us to cancel catholic dioceses in Russia and to expel archbishop Kondrusiewicz which finally happened just before  Alexi II died.




- “this old mushroom”

Deacon Kuraev is kind of ideologist in Orthodox church. During pope John Paul II visit in Ukraine he made famous statement: “why this old mushroom ever pretend to visit Russia?”



“protestants do not dig deeply”

The most friendly Orthodox bishop I ever met answered once to our bishop Kondrusiewicz on his question: “Why you criticize so much Catholics. We are so small number, but protestants are so many and you never criticize them?” He said: “protestants do not dig so deeply as you Catholics”. Thanks to him we may now understand what about they are afraid. They are afraid that the power of truth may be our secret gun to conquer Russia’s soul. Maybe, but not now.

We need really much time and deep revolution of soul to play any role in Russia…




-    Vatican II

The second orthodox bishop I met in Rostov on Don at first was very friendly and shared with me and abp Kondrusiewicz his impressions in Vatican Council

-   “do not look like seminarian”

He was the one who advised me to have a beard and not look as seminarian.

-    Cossacks against us.

Next year bishop Vladimir realized that we Catholics work hardly and started to use Cossack against us, to make  Catholics fear.

Very unfair, unfriendly story.




„shooting in the future”

After opening 3 parishes in Republic of Kalmykia local Orthodox priest Zosima made a statement in TV that „Catholics shoot in the future”, meaning we prepare invasion…very popular saying about Catholics in Russia: „occupants”




“take me to Rome”

Perm in Ural is an example that friendship is possible. Local catholic priest was that much friendly that he was taking orthodox Bishop to Poland to introduce to the Pope John Paul II.




“I will give the church back”

The story from Blagoveshchensk is example of fooling Catholics. Our bishop Mazur gave to Orthodox 50.000 as he expected to built his own church and return Catholics old gothic building taken by Orthodox in Stalin times…It passed more than 13 years but our church in Blagoveshchensk in Siberia is still in Orthodox hands. Who is steeling churches to whom???




- baptized as Catholics


Bishop of Kamchatka made me much pain after my interview to local TV. I told to journalist that baptism of Kiev in 998 wasn’t orthodox baptism but catholic. It is well known historical fact. Orthodox church exist only from 1054, it was impossible to have orthodox baptism in 988. Physically impossible, but Orthodox wish not discuss the truth. Level of knowledge and culture is very low.




Catholic Bishop Mazur from Irkutsk was trying to please his Orthodox partners sending them greetings on Christmas and Easter. Orthodox bishop Mark send him his greetings back with a comment:

“we do not accept greetings from criminals and heretics”




Another Orthodox bishop I met in Sakhalin knowing about my trips around to many outstations asked me honestly:

“please sit home and look TV”




Russian Orthodox are unfriendly also  with own fellow Orthodox in Estonia, Ukraine, even Constantinople. Such a pride may surprise really but the thing is like that. Alexis II was telling once that Orthodox need 10 years to stand up. It passed 20 years and they still hate others and do not make ecumenical activities looking for friendship and equality with other Christians.




Moscow Patriarch in Ukraine is banning Kiev Patriarch to have his own dignity and independence. The crazy competition continues.




The only church in Russia which was forbidden by law up to the end of Soviet regime was Greek-catholic. Permitted to be registered only after half year striking in Moscow main street Arbat. But before more than thousand Greek-catholic churches were given to orthodox priests by Stalin. Some priests forced to “convert” on Orthodox faith, all the rest sent to gulags including all the hierarchy 11 bishops.




The only Greek-catholic bishop which survived because of personal request of John XXIII and kind answer of Khrushchev. He spend many years in Vatican and never was permitted to visit Ukraine.




The first bishop who was ordained in emigration and returned in 1990 was abp Lubachivsky who died soon. Abp Huzar was the one who changed him. He emigrated to Canada and USA during WW II as 8 years old boy. Thanks to his dedication Greek Catholics have cathedral in Kiev. His return to Kiev was banned by pro-Russian politics in Ukraine. Actually emeritus and almost blind he played great role on Maidan of Kiev in 2004 and 2014.

He also organized John Paul II pilgrimage to Kiev and Lwow in 2001.

I met him once and talked to him in Donetsk during his trip in 2003. I was telling him about Greek Catholics in Sakhalin and Kamchatka. He was positive, but also very sensitive to Vatican and Orthodox building ecumenical links. Moscow ever blamed Greek-Catholics to be a threat in building peaceful relationship.




I met one young priest born on polish border close to Stryi city.

Pastor on Krinicia. Village close to Kramatorsk, with 300 families expelled from Poland by communist regime. Native “Boiko” he was very friendly to me and helpful. He built many chapels in Donetsk region. I got to know from his lips in which conditions Greek-catholic seminarians were getting education as underground church.

To keep full conspiracy only 3 students were knowing each other and the underground priest who was teaching them.




Similar stories I got to know in Zvanivka catholic village with population expelled by Stalin from Poland, about 6000 citizens. All of them Greek Catholics. Their pastor basilian monk survived about 30 years of his priesthood in underground risking his life daily. One of territories was Caucasus.




Region close to Mariupol and Berdiansk with more than 30 villages populated before by Germans which Stalin send to Middle Asia but send here about 200 thousands of ethnic Ukrainians from Poland.

I was lucky to find dozen of beautiful neo-gothic churches changed to stables or totally ruined but still beautiful.

The biggest church is still in Urickoe.




Sander Riga


Ecumenical leader, poet and singer, friend of Fr. Swidnicki




Pentecostal lawyer. Offered juridical help to me and bishop Mazur concerning blaming us as persona’s non grata’s.




It was a great initiative of Kalmyk president Iliumzhinov to have talks, to hear the voice of religious leaders. Orthodox, Moslem, Buddhist and me as Catholic were represented.


Summit in Piatigorsk


The only round table in which I was supposed to participate in 1996.

We were supposed to express worries and problems of religious minorities. My report was published.

Later on authorities never asked opinion of Catholics or Protestants about their problems. The only partner to religious talks were Orthodox.


Big discussion about new law 1997-98


Delegates of all religions in Russia prepared document to make life of believers easier, but document was banned by Orthodox. They proposed to recognize as legitimate Orthodox, Moslem, Buddhist and Jewish but not Catholics, Protestants either.

Orthodox insisted that each religious organization have new more strict registration process.

John Paul II made a letter to Yeltsine and he didn’t accepted such a low.

Unfortunately Orthodox start collecting thousands of protests and delegations defending own point of view.

Yeltsine gave up.

From that very moment the short time of real freedom and equality finished. Up today every official event cannot happen without “legitimate priests” means: Orthodox, Moslem, Buddhist and Jewish but not Catholics, not  Protestants. It is the way the freedom of religion in Russia looks up today.

These events became bad example for some other rulers like president Lukashenka in Belorussia or Nazarbaev in Kazakhstan. They ever look on Moscow planning their moves.




After second war in Chechnya 1999-2001 Mr. Putin start persecuting journalists, business, NGO and so called “foreign sects”.

The top of his policies was year 2002 when he expelled 20 pastors, 5 catholic priests from Poland , Slovakia and Italy including one bishop. As excuse was proclaiming 4 Apostolic Administrations in Moscow, Saratov, Novosibirsk and Irkutsk regular dioceses. Another excuse was status of Sakhalin which Vatican was calling Karafuto, but made official excuse 8 of April 2002. Some of Tibet Buddhist priests were also disturbed, even some Rabbis’ were having visa problems.

In 2012 Putin made a law about “foreign agents” pressing on all NGO even religion organizations to make detailed reports about being financed by foreigners. Each such organization start having financial problems pressed by taxes. Priests and nuns may stay in Russia only 3 months and have to go away for another 3 months to get new visa. No evidence it is really disturbing many missionary people. Many resigned for material reasons, but having small number of vocations in Russia Catholics will ever need foreigners to rule parishes and congregations.

Seminary Petersburg was having about 60 candidates during abp Kondrusiewicz ruling, but in 2007 he was “kindly removed”, actually we have only 6 seminarians which is really disaster and result of new wave of persecutions.






As I mentioned before my staying in Rostov on Don was disturbed by Cosaks inspired by Orthodox. Tradition way of thinking created in Russian Empire was that some who born in Russian family “have to be Orthodox” by definition. Born in Tatar family, Buriat, Kazakh, Uzbek, Tajik or Chechen have to be Moslem, but born in Buriatia Kalmykia or Tuva may be  only Buddhist. This 19-th century mentality is cultivated by nowadays regime. In such countries like Uzbekistan missionary job is forbidden by law. Also word proselytism became famous thanks to permanent talking about it.


Princess Sultan – Girey


I may give example how difficult is to define someone’s religion.

I was having very old parishioner Nadezhda Nikolaevna Soltan - Girey. She was famous novelist in Rostov on Don. Her father was son of Tatar Princes, but send by Russian emperor to Italy as ambassador. He married with Italian girl so their daughter was baptized in Rome. She was not bothering much about it because after revolution she got married with soviet pilot. Her husband was in same place with Stalin’s son also a pilot, but worse mastering. Nadezhda’s husband made a joke about Stalin’s son and young couple was send to Siberia. Nadezhda got to know catholic priest in the camp on Christmas. He came to pray mass in container with rubbish risking his life. Celebration was that much impressing her that she got her faith back. Even she was more than 89 she was very zealous and helpful.

I will never forget Tatar princess being my secretary producing letters in excellent English to all the world about our struggling.

I do not know if she is still alive but I wished to mention her, because sometime I was hearing from nationalists: “There is nothing to do for you in Russia”.

There was much to do for Catholics in Russia and still is.

We are really good spies and we will not forget the way believers were treated and still may be under Putin’s regime.




I was very impressed as a boy reading books about Russia.

Many impressions I got looking on Russia my own eyes during 10 years.

I appreciate the list of holly people like: st. Philip of Moscow, bl. Vassily Blazhenny, Xenia from Petersburg, Leonid Fedorov, doctor Haas.

I was reading works of great Theologians like Florensky, Bulgakov, Philosophers like Berdyaev.

I like Chekhov, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky.

I like Russian musicians like Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky.

Scientists like Mendeleev, Korolow.

I like may simple Russian people but none politician from Kremlin.

They cause big damage in Russian souls and lives.

The pity is that these poor people do not protest and do not fight defending their rights like it was in 1825.

All the world was looking on opening of Olympics in Sochi.

They made all the alphabet showing good thing about Russia, But I am expecting similar alphabet about evils made by same country in relationship to the mankind:


A. Abortion - legalized by USRR in 1921 as the first country in the world

A. Abkhazia - Annexation of Georgian territory

A. Afghanistan - 1979-1990

B. Baltic Countries - annexation in 1939-1941, made Soviet Republics up to 1990, half of population expelled to Siberia, 100% of priests persecuted or killed

B. Bierut Boleslaw- Polish President - died in Moscow in unknown circumstances 1956

B. Bandera Stepan - leader of Ukrainian Resistance, killed by Russian KGB in Wien

C. Chechnya - 10 % of the nation killed

C. Crimea - 2014 annexation of Ukraine territory

C. Kalmyk Republic - 100% population expelled to Middle Asia by Stalin

C. Chita - famous gulag for Decembrist revolutionary leaders in 1825 later place of many gulags for Japanese soldiers.

D. Dudaev - Chechen President killed by soviet rocket

F. Fedorov - Leonid - Russian Catholics Exarkh - fine priest educated in Swiss,

Suffered much under communists regime for his beliefs.

G. Grozny - capital of Chechen Republic - totally destroyed by Russian aviation in 1994-1999

G. Gottwald - Tcheko-Slovakian president death in Moscow 1956

H. Hunger in Ukraine 1929-36 - 3 to 9 million deaths

H. Hungary - 1956 - soviet invasion in Budapest

I. Independence - the word forbidden to many in Russia even Russians themselves do not feel independent and free to express their opinions up today

J. Journalists - the most suffering people in Russia, symbolical person Mrs. Politkovskaia killed for her engagement on the side of Chechen soldiers and their mothers etc.

K. Katyn - killing of 25.000 polish officers

K. Kolyma - region In far East Siberia all under NKVD

K. Kaczynski Lech - polish president died in very suspicious circumstances. His aircraft felled down according to Russian report after shutting so called “panzer-birch”. Exploded in 60.000 peaces, territory of crush covered by solid bettonned road to destroy any evidence of real circumstances, few days after crash. Registering apparatus not given to Poland, mobiles of President and 10 NATO generals still not returned, credit cards used by Russian soldiers…

Bodies of victims after being recognized by families packed in other coffins causing problems to make funerals with dignity.

L. Lebed’ - mysterious death of governor in aircraft

L. Lenin - odious personality, German spy in Russia author and leader of revolution, which cost lives of millions.

M. Martyrs of soviet gulags

M. Magadan - famous gulag on Kolyma river - 1,5 to 4 millions killed.


N. Novocherkassk - 1961 - 10.000 of strikers killed and buried in unknown place

O. Ossetia - annexation of Georgian territory on Black Sea

P. Pridnestov’ie - Russian troops on the territory of independent Moldova city Tiraspol along river Dniester

P. Prague - 1968 - invasion of Russian tanks and killing people on the streets

P. Pogroms - first riots in the world persecuting Jewish longer before it happen in Germany.

R. Riga - 50 % Russian speaking people in capital of Latvia installed in soviet times

S. Shastri - Indian Prime minister - came to Tashkent in soviet Uzbekistan Republic for peace treaty between India and Pakistan and “according the legend” died from happiness.

S. Sakhalin’s Governor and 20 others in aircraft on Kamchatka in 2003

S. South Korean aircraft with 200 civilians shouted in 1980-ties close to Sakhalin

S. Solzhenicine - a great innocent man sent to gulags and forced to emigrate

S. Soloviecki Islands - gulag in north Russia, former monastery

S. Serov - ideologue - famous for his hatred to religion

T. Tatars - 100% of Crimean Tatars expelled to Middle Asia by Stalin

U. Ukraine - Independent country baptized by Vladimir in 988, lost independence in 130th century during Mongolic invasion ruled by Lithuanian Great Princes up to 1569, incorporated to Poland, during Bogdan Khmelnitsky insurrection in 1648 got a promises’ to get freedom as a part of Moscow State about 400 years still seeking for independence promised by tsars and communists promising to give freedom. Proclaimed  independence in 1991 but still in danger from Moscow friends.

V. Vatican - enemy number one - Stalin was curious ”how many troops and tanks” have Pope that he pretends to criticize USRR. In fact, Vatican was the only country in the West which never gave up, never forget about believers in gulags sending them a message of hope by Vatican Radio which was very popular in some regions of USRR.

W. Wojno-Jasieniecki - st. Luka from Simferopol - born as catholic in Crimea in Polish aristocratic family, by marriage with Russian woman became orthodox, fine doctor of medicine, bishop of Tashkent persecuted and expelled to Siberia as Vatican spy, send to the war, returned to Crimea, died in 1966 as holy man.

X. Xenophobia - persecuting people because of their beliefs and nationality. In Russian and soviet passports person had to declare officially his religion later original nationality which was excuse not to get good job, studies, positions

Y. Yaroslavski, communist, famous for his hate of religion

Z. Zaporozhe - Sich - Independent Cossacks capital destroyed by Catherine the Great - Cossacks expelled on Kuban around Krasnodar and Sochi to exterminate local Cherkess Nation.


There is nothing more beautiful than Caucasus or Kamchatka, but Russian presence in all this places seems to be more destructive than anything else.

Caucasus is native place for Armenians, Georgians, Azeri, Peoples of Dagestan and Cherkess with own exotic culture and beliefs.

But they do not feel comfortable in their own countries.

Same lack of hope in future and shame in the past experience Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, not to mansion my own native Poland, Hungary and Tchekh Republic in previous century.

Same we may say about Russian presence native tribes of Siberia and far East. Many of them really perished like Tunguz - Evenki, Itelmen - Kamchadal, Ainu on Sakhalin etc.

There are nations which may deal and care about themselves, but Russians behave like colonizers spreading hatred, alcoholism, exploring oil, gold and fish. Producing guns, creating local wars. In last 100 years none substantial discovery was made except Kalashnikov, Iskander, atomic submarines and sending Gagarin to cosmos.

The reason why Russians fall down loosing creativeness is permanent lack of freedom and love. Too many innocent died in Russia and neighbor countries. Too many nations disappear, to many people emigrated to Germany, Israel, America.

Russia is loosing best people willingly and destroying own prophets.

I was one of many who tried to gave heart and offer own hands to make this country better, but same as so many I was kicked out.

I praise God I was not killed as many heroes of my report.

I was in Fatima and I fully agree predicted by Portuguese children fatal scenario of Russian history. Some people believe Russia converted yet.

I was same optimist, but after spending so many years there, after last events in Georgia, Smolensk and in Crimea I lose my optimism - I beg God to give Russia real and substantial conversion but also real and substantial judgment for Stalinist and Putin regime in Haag or elsewhere, for all the evils made in 1930-33 Ukraine 1939-41 annexations of Poland, Baltic countries and Finland,. For spreading communism in North Korea, Vietnam, African and Latino-American countries, especially Cuba. For Afghanistan war 1979-1990, for playing unfair games with Milosevic in Yugoslavia, for keeping own troops in independent Moldova, Caucasus, but also for temptation given to evil president Assad in Syria. With Russian blessing he may now commit more crimes against his own nation etc.

Separate judgment is killing individuals in emigration:

Trocky, Bandera, Litvinenko, Berezovsky.

Shutting aircrafts etc…

There is something in Russia which never may be accepted by mankind.









“As one moves to the east there is more nature, but less culture”   ~KOTARBINSKI




“One person perished - tragedy! Million perished - statistics”   ~STALIN


If there will be no judgment on communism similar to Nuremberg for Fascism - Russia will never change”   ~SOLZHENITSINE


“We will destroy our enemies wherever they are!

Never mind: in the forest, on the street, in the public toilet”   ~PUTIN