Bishop Paulos Mar Gregorios, born Paul Verghese or "Vargīsa Pôla" (1922 - 1996), was Metropolitan of the Delhi Diocese of the Orthodox Syrian Church for over two decades.

Early life

Gregorios was born on August 9, 1922 at 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, H.H. Haile Sellassie. The relationship that developed between them led Verghese to appointments as the head of various institutions in Ethiopia.[which?] He was sent to the United States for higher studies. He received his education there from Goshen College, Oklahoma University, 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. He served as the Emperor's personal aide and advisor.


In 1958, he returned to India and was ordained as Deacon. In 1961 he was ordained as "Father Paul Verghese" by the Catholicose, the supreme head of the Church. 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. 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, a perfect union of divinity and humanity without confusion and separation. This cosmic vision enabled him to head numerous important and responsible positions in the W.C.C. (World Council of Churches). He served as "Associate General Secretary", a member of the Central and Executive Committees and a member of the "Commission of Faith and Order". He was one of the Presidents of W.C.C. (1983-91) and Vice-President of the Christian Peace Conference (1970-90). In 1967, he was appointed as the Principal of the Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam. He was appointed Metropolitan, on February 16, 1975, by H.H. Moran Mar Baselios Augen I. A year later, H.G. Dr. Paulos Mar Gregorios took charge of the Delhi Diocese and established the Delhi Orthodox Centre. He died on November 24, 1996.

Selected works

  • 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 81-701-8560-2


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

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