Paulos Gregorios

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Paulos Mar Gregorios
Paulos Gregorios (1981).jpg
Paulos Gregorios (1981)
Personal details
Born 9 August 1922

Paulos Gregorios, born Paul Verghese or Vargīsa Pôla (1922–1996), was Metropolitan of the Delhi diocese of the Orthodox Syrian Church for over two decades.

Life[edit]

Gregorios was born on 9 August 1922 in Tripunithura to a traditional Christian family. He started his career as a freelance journalist, contributing articles and reports to various newspapers in Kochi and Malabar. Later, after working with the Cochin Transport Company, he joined the Post & Telegraphs Department in 1942. He then took up a job as a teacher in Ethiopia. He came to the attention of the Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I.[1] The relationship that developed between them led Verghese to appointments as the head of various institutions in Ethiopia.He was sent to the United States for higher studies. He received his education there from Goshen College, the University of Oklahoma, Princeton and Yale. In 1954, he returned to India with a masters degree in theology. He worked as a director of the Fellowship house in Aluva and a visiting professor of Union Christian College Aluva. In 1955, he joined the faculty of the Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam. He also served as the general secretary of the Orthodox Students Christian Movement. During the Ethiopian Emperor's visit to India, in 1956, Verghese was persuaded to return to Ethiopia. There he served as the Emperor's personal aide and advisor.

In 1959, he returned to India and in 1961 he was ordained as a priest. Fr. Verghese continued to pursue theological studies. He did his doctoral studies in Oxford and Germany and received his Doctorate in Theology from Serampore College in Calcutta.[2]

In 1975, Fr. Paul Varghese was elevated as a bishop with the name Paulos Gregorios. He took charge of the newly formed Diocese of Delhi, a position he held until his death. He established the Delhi Orthodox Centre, where he began such ambitious projects as the Neeti Shanti Kendra for promoting peace and justice, and Sarva Dharma Nilaya for inter- religious dialogue and cooperation.[3]

Concurrently, Mar Gregorios was the Principal of the Orthodox Theological Seminary at Kottayam, the premier teaching and training institution for the priests of the Church. He raised it to a college recognized for the award of graduate and post graduate degrees. He established the Sophia Centre linked to the Seminary.[4]

He held various positions in the W.C.C. (World Council of Churches). There he headed the Division of Ecumenical Action as an Associate General Secretary. Later, he was a member of the Central Committee and of the Executive Committee, Moderator of the Commission on Church and Society (1975–83), and one of its Presidents (1983–91). He led WCC delegations to major conferences including the UN General Assembly Special Sessions on Disarmament (1983,1988). In WCC forums and beyond, he persistently opposed apartheid and the old and new colonialism. He chaired the World Conference on Faith, Science and the Future in Cambridge, USA (1979). He was the vice-president of the Christian Peace Conference (1970–90).[5]

A member of the Senate of the Kerala and Serampore Universities for a number of years, Mar Gregorios was a visiting Professor at Denver, Harvard, Wooster, and Princeton. He was a fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study at Shimla, the vice-president of the Kerala philosophical Congress, and the president of the Indian Philosophical Congress. [6]

Selected works[edit]

  • The Joy of Freedom: Eastern Worship and Modern Man, London, Lutterworth P., (1967)
  • The Freedom of Man; an Inquiry Into Some Roots of the Tension Between Freedom and Authority in Our Society, Westminster Press (1972) ISBN 0-664-20928-9
  • Freedom and Authority, Madras, Christian Literature Society, (1974)
  • The Human Presence: an Orthodox View of Nature, Geneva, World Council of Churches, (c1978) ISBN 2-8254-0575-2
  • Truth Without Tradition: Special Lectures, Tirupati, Sri Venkateswara University, (c1978)
  • Science for Sane Societies, Paragon House, (c1987) ISBN 0-913757-70-5
  • Cosmic Man : the Divine Presence : the Theology of St. Gregory of Nyssa, Paragon House, (1988) ISBN 0-913757-91-8
  • The Meaning and Nature of Diakonia, WCC Publications, (c1988) ISBN 2-8254-0926-X
  • Enlightenment, East & West: Pointers in the Quest for India’s Secular Identity, Indian Institute of Advance Study in association with B.R. Pub. Corp. (1989) ISBN 81-7018-560-2

Awards[edit]

Certificate of Merit for Distinguished Service and Inspired Leadership of the World Church, Cambridge (UK); Order of St.Vladimir (USSR); Order of St.Sergius, First Rank (USSR); Order of St.Mary Magdalene (Poland); "Doctor of Theology" - Leningrad Theological Academy (USSR); "Doctor of Theology" - Lutheran Theological Academy (Budapest); "Doctor of Theology"- Jan Hus Faculty (Prague); "Doctor of Theology (h.c.)" - Orthodox Faculty (Czechoslovakia); The International Biographical Roll of Honour for Distinguished Service to World Unity and Understanding Among Religions (USA); Distinguished Leadership Award for Extraordinary Service, Peace and Unity (USA); Hall of Fame Award for Extraordinary Services to Peace and Unity (USA); Hidalgo de San Antonio de Bejar (Texas, USA); Otto Nuschke Prize for Peace (GDR); Soviet Land Nehru Award (India); "Man of the Year Award", Bhai Param Vir Singh International Award (India); Golden Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement (USA); Eminent Ecumenical Educator Award (India); Acharya Award (India); Distinguished Alumnus Award, Princeton Theological Seminary (USA); Oskar Pfister Award, American Psychiatric Association (USA); Social Services Award, Goshen College (USA).

External links[edit]

  • [1] Paulos Mar Gregorios