Paulose Mar Gregorios, who shepherded the Delhi Diocese,
as Metropolitan, for over two decades, was a larger-than-life-figure.
He was gifted with a penetrating intelligence and remarkable
clarity of mind. He is known for his unusual versatility
and profound social sensitivity.
Gregorios was born on August 9, 1922 at Tripunithura,
in a traditional family of practicing Christians, to T.P.
Paiely and Aley. Young Paul was a brilliant student, a
top-notcher in academics, an extraordinary talented orator,
proficient in English and a prodigy in learning. The poverty
stricken family atmosphere left Paul, without much desires
and ambitions but molded him, to carve and chisel his
person, with strong faith in the Creator.
The multi-linguist, Paul Varghese 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. His keenness
to help the poor suppressed and exploited workers found
him hand-in-hand with trade union activities. The turning
point in his life came five years later, quite by an accident
of circumstances. He took up a job as a teacher in Ethiopia.
He knew this was the answer to his prayers. As a teacher
in Ethiopia, he imbibed the rich culture of the Ethiopian
people, mastering Amharic their ancient and official language.
The Ethiopian Emperor, H.H. Haile Sellassi, learned about
his capabilities and enthusiasm and soon took him under
his wings. The strong bond of friendship that developed
between them helped Paul Varghese to head various institutions
in Ethiopia. Paul Varghese declined many faculties and
even citizenship that was offered. He was reminded of
his promise to God, to dedicate his life for others in
a vision. He was sent to the United States for higher
studies. He received his education from Goshen College,
Oklahoma University, Princeton and Yale. In 1954, he returned
to India with a Masters Degree in Theology. He worked
a Director of the Fellowship house in Alwaye and a visiting
Professor of Union Christian College, Alwaye. In 1955,
he joined the faculty of The Orthodox Theological Seminary,
Kottayam. He also served as the General Secretary of Orthodox
Students Christian Movement. It was during his tenure,
the movement accepted the present name MGOCSM. For his
efficient leadership, explicit thoughts and teachings
provided a foundational framework for the young and growing
During the Ethiopian Emperors visit to India, in
1956, Paul Varghese was persuaded to return to Ethiopia.
He served as Emperors personal aide and advisor.
In 1958, he returned to India and was ordained as Deacon.
In 1961 he was ordained as Fr. Paul Varghese by the Catholicose,
the supreme head of the Church.
Fr. Paul Varghese continued to pursue theological studies.
He did his Doctoral studies in Oxford and Germany and
received his Doctorate in Theology from Serampore University
in Calcutta. He had an over wakeful luminous mind. The
locus of his vision was the Kingdom of God, and the basis
of his theology was the Christian affirmation of the Union
of God and humanity in Christ, perfect union of divinity
and humanity without confusion and separation. This cosmic
vision enabled him to head numerous important and responsible
position of W.C.C. (World Council of Churches). He served
as Associate General Secretary, Member of Central and
Executive Committee and Member of Commission of Faith
and Order. He was one of the Presidents of W.C.C. (1983-91)
and Vice-President of Christian Peace Conference (1970-90).
Position held: General Secretary - Orthodox Students Movement,
Personal Staff and Advisor - Emperor Haile Selassie (Ethiopia),
Honorary Lecturer _ U.C. College, Alwaye & University
College of Addis Ababa, Principal, Orthodox Theological
Seminary, Kottayam, Secretary - Orthodox Episcopal Synod,
President - World Council of Churches (Geneva), President
- Synodal Committee for Inter-Church Relations, Leader
- WCC delegation to UNESCO, Heads of African States &
UN General Assembly, Observer - Second Vatican Council,
Member - Senate of Kerala and Serampore Universities,
Vice-President - Christian Pace Conference (Prague), Chairman
- Oriental Orthodox Curriculum Committee International,
Patron - council for the Worlds Religions (New York),
President - Inter Religious Federation for World Peace(New
In 1967, he was appointed as the Principal of Orthodox
Theologian Seminary, Kottayam. As Metropolitan, on February
16, 1975, by H.H. Moran Mar Baselios Augen I. A year later,
H.G. Dr. Paulose Mar Grgorios took charge of the Delhi
Diocese. He established the Delhi Orthodox Centre, where
he made a beginning to various ambitious projects, to
disseminate the beauty and luster of the Orthodox Church.
He was an outstanding and renowned theologian, a stimulative
thinker and powerful author. In the course of his lifelong
spiritual quest with a social purpose, Mar Gregorios has
authored a number of books, apart from numerous periodicals,
articles, contributions to symposia and encyclopedia in
India and abroad. Some of his books are,
Publications Author: The Joy of Freedom, The Gospel of
the Kingdom, The freedom of Man, Be still and Know, Freedom
and Authority, The Quest of Certainty, The Human Presence,
Truth without Tradition, Science for Sane Societies, Cosmic
Man, The Indian Orthodox Church - an overview, Enlightenment,
East & West, The meaning of Diakonia, etc.etc.
He was a sensible Philosopher, an inspiring preacher and
an effective teacher. He was associated and lectured in,
scores of Universities both at national and international
level. This intelligent giant could handle Theology, Nuclear
Physics, Genetics, Inter-religious dialogues, holistic
healing and health and various other philosophical subjects
with ease, He was the strong pillar of our Church, a torchbearer
of our church to the world.
He was an untiring champion of Peace and Justice. He was
the first religious personality of stature in India, who
started participating in the peace movement. He was also
a constructive analyst, who was active in the campaign
to get-rid of the Nuclear weapons from the world. It was
this anti-nuclear campaign that earned him the name The
Red Bishop from the Western media. He was a spiritual
father and a compassionate friend of the poor. He was
deeply sensitive for an urgent response to human suffering
and multi-faced poverty. The Orphanage for the boys, at
Thalakode in Kerala, his role in the Vietnam War, is just
modest examples. Bishop Gregorios, according to his close
friends, was deeply anguished when cities were bombed
and tens of thousands were massacred in the war.
He was a loving Shepherd, a spiritual father and a lucid
teacher of the Holy Bible. He cherished freedom for others.
He was an ardent activist for peace and justice. He preached
and practiced, that only through the realization of truth,
that peace, justice, freedom, equality, oneness of human
family can be expected to come. This towering spiritual
giant of the Orthodox Church was a recipient of many awards,
prizes and honours.
Honours, Prizes, Awards etc.: 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 Nusche 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),
Oskar Pfister Award, American Psychiatric Association
(USA), Social Services Award, Goshen College (USA), etc.etc
Biographical references of this ardent ascetic and philanthropic
humanist appear in many works.
Biographical references: Dictionary of International Biography,
International Whos Who, Whos Who in America,
National Register of Prominent & International Notables,
Whos Who in Switzerland, Whos Who in the Far
East, Dictionary of the International Community Services,
Men of Achievements, Men & Women of Distinction, International
Whos Who of Intellectuals, Kerala Whos Who,
Indias Whos Who, World Whos Who, International
Authors & Writers Whos Who, The
International Directory of Distinguished Scholarship,
Five Thousand Personalities of the World, The International
Book Of Honour, etc. etc.
Dr. Paulose Mar Gregorios, who lived true to his name,
(Gregorios means ever awake) lived a full life, a lifelong
commitment to knowledge, and a life in pursuit of excellence.
None of us may reach this stature. It was aptly fitting
to dedicate the newly constructed Parish Hall, to Dr.
Paulose Mar Gregorios, who lived a life for a noble cause
and left for his heavenly abode on November 24, 1996.