A BISHOP in the Episcopal Church in the United States has requested that he be investigated after his sons accused him of both abusive behaviour towards them and their mother and excessive drinking.
The sons of the Rt Revd Prince Singh, Bishop Provisional of the dioceses of Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan, made public the allegations that their father had physically abused them as children.
Eklan Singh, aged 22, an actor and musician in Fairport, New York, wrote on Facebook of one incident: “He was holding our landline phone in his hands and raising his voice like an angry god. He then threw the phone at my mother, but it missed and hit me instead.”
The boys’ mother, Bishop Singh’s former wife, Roja Singh, is an associate professor in Rochester, where he was previously Bishop. She told The Living Church that she “validated” her sons’ experiences. She said that she left the family home in 2021 because she did not feel safe, and their divorce was finalised in 2022.
Bishop Singh requested that a Title IV investigation be carried out into his conduct. Title IV refers to the canons that govern clergy conduct. He said that his sons’ accusations had been prompted by the news that he was to marry again.
In a statement to the two dioceses, he said: “Divorce is messy and mine was no exception. While we separated amicably at that time, it was not without years of spousal conflict and not without some time spent in family therapy. It has not been a simple process since.”
He said that an investigation was “the appropriate way to clear these painful allegations”, and has offered to undergo professional psychological and alcohol evaluations. “By taking my sons’ concerns seriously, I hope that this will keep open the possibility of reconciliation,” he said. He has not been suspended, but will shortly be taking some annual leave.
A statement from the office of the Presiding Bishop, the Most Revd Michael Curry, said: “Please be assured that these allegations are being taken seriously, and that Bishop Curry has been in contact with Bishop Singh’s sons and his ex-spouse during the past several months.”
Bishop Singh is to replace Bishop Whayne Hougland, who resigned in 2021 after an extramarital affair (News, 9 July 2021).
The two dioceses have been sharing some structures and resources since 2019, including a bishop.