Mar Gregorios and Communists


John Philipose


I have gone through a lot of the publications on the web and else where about PMG. But I have to say that one of the most powerful statements has been missed out. This statement was made by His grace in 1977 or 1978, when the annual MGOCSM conference was held at the Old Seminary at Kottayam (His Grace Coorilos of Bombay was a priest and the present Bishop - Elect Rev Fr. M C Cherian was just a Deacon). I was able to participate and during the evening sessions various elders and bishops of the church would answer questions from the students... This was the time when a Bishop of the Catholic Church in Latin America denounced the regimes supported by the US in Latin America and called on his folk to support the Leftists to escape the oppression of their rulers... The result was immediate. The brave Bishop was shot down by the special anti-left forces while he was conducting mass.

We asked a question to His Grace PMG during the conference: Is it right for the priests to take an active part in the social reform & or support communists? What is your opinion of the Arch-Bishop Romero who was assassinated? His Grace’s answer was precise and to the point: No servant of Christ is absolved of the responsibility to his fellow man. If you se oppression and injustice, and if you do not openly support those who fight that injustice, then when you are up before the bar of final justice, you will be found guilty as an accomplice to the crime being committed by the perpetrators. This applies to all especially to those who are in His Service, and in Episcopal roles. If we the bishops do not speak out for the liberation of the masses, we are no true bishops. In fact I envy that Arch-bishop. He will have the right to claim from Our Master the title “Good and Faithful Servant”... I would consider it the best gift we (the bishops) can have form Our Lord - the chance to lay down our lives for justice and liberty.

(From Gregorian Study Circle Daily Digest Tue, 13 Jul 2004)