by PETER NOLAN
THE Vatican's Ostpolitik is to be studied by American Catholic professors and others on a two-year LI 4,000
project, funded by the Ford Foundation, at the Centre for the Study of Religion and Communism at Keston College, Kent.
The centre was founded by the Rev Michael Bourdeaux, an Anglican who studied at Moscow University in 1960, and its work has received increasing recognition as the only institution studying religion under communism.
Mr David Kelly, the centre's Press Officer, said they had moved to Keston College, near Bromley, last year. and now employed eight full-time and II part-time staff, all "paid at little more than half the rate they would get at a university."
Professor Dennis Dunn, of South-west Texas State University: Professor V. Stanley Vardys, of Oklahoma University; and Professor Bohdan Bociurkiw, of Carleton University. Ottawa. are the members of the research under Mr I3ourdeaux who will study Catholics in the Soviet Union.
Professor Vardys is a Uniatc Catholic and much of the study will he concerned with Lithuania, the Baltic country absorbed into the USSR ("where Catholics are re asserting themselves vigorously," said Mr Kelly) and also with the Uniate Catholic Church in the Ukraine.
Miss Marite Sapiets, writing in the current issue of the centre's journal, describes how Dr Andrei Sakharov, the new Nobel Peace Prize winner, sent an appeal received from five Catholic Lithuanian priests to the World Council of Churches for publication.
The Catholic priests were appealing on behalf of five Lithuanian Catholics falsely accused of anti-Soviet activities for publishing prayer-hooks and printing the "Chronicle of the Lithuanian Catholic Church."
The Soviet authorities held Iwo of the accused for 13 months without trial, breaking the Lithuanian Criminal Code, which allows people to be held without trial for only nine months.
The authorities also had great difficulty in making the charges, as freedom of religion is nominally permitted in the USSR.
A former hospital patient embarrassed the judges by confirming the report in the Chronicle that doctors had refused to allow a priest to give hint the last rites.
Patrons of the college include Cardinal Heenan, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Cardinal Iconig, Archbishop of Vienna.
Copies of the centres journal from: Keston College, Fleathfield Road. Keston, Kent, BR2 6BA,