Adult sons and ex-wife accuse Bishop Prince Singh of alcohol-fueled physical, verbal violence and call out Presiding Bishop Michael Curry for mishandling their disclosure.
Six months after their initial disclosure to The Episcopal Church (TEC), the two adult sons and ex-wife of Provisional Bishop Prince Singh of the Dioceses of Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan have publicly accused Bishop Singh of a chronic pattern of domestic abuse and alcoholism. They also claim that Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and Bishop Todd Ousley, the intake officer for bishop-related misconduct reports, failed to handle the disclosure according to the Title IV disciplinary procedures of TEC, allowing Bishop Singh to control his own disciplinary process and to downplay the concerns of his ex-wife and sons.
Nivedhan Singh, Bp. Singh’s eldest son, initially disclosed his father’s history of physical abuse in an email to Curry—who, as presiding bishop, serves as chief pastor to the denomination—on December 29, 2022.
“It was Presiding Bishop Curry’s responsibility to identify our experience as a Title IV offense, warranting an investigation and disciplinary process. Instead, we were met with negligence, misdirection, and an unethical process filled with conflicts of interest. The ‘therapeutic process’ in which we were invited to participate was not with a licensed therapist, but rather, my father’s life-long friend from back in India; an Evangelical pastor. With the help of Presiding Bishop Curry and our father’s friends and colleagues, the power structures and public relations instruments of the Episcopal Church were used to cover up and minimize the nature of our abuse,” says Nivedhan Singh. “As Indian Americans, we are a minority family in The Episcopal Church. Given that our mother is a woman of color, and we are men of color, we believe that it is necessary to ask critical questions about the patriarchal and racial biases at play.”
“The public part of our story emerged in the context of our parents’ recent divorce, but this is not a story about divorce,” says Eklan Singh, Bp. Singh’s youngest son. “People get divorced all the time, even priests and bishops, but our parents’ divorce process—and especially the public perception of it—became tainted almost immediately by our father’s unchecked authority in the church. With the help of official church communication channels, he was able to publish a face-saving, image-managing narrative, on February 24, 2021, about how the divorce came to pass, not only violating our privacy but convincing others—including Presiding Bishop Curry—that we should be abandoned by the church in the name of ‘respecting our privacy.’ Our father made this public before we did.”
“The entire Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, the Presiding Bishop, the House of Bishops, clergy outside this Diocese and 10,000 laypeople received a letter from Bishop Singh on Feb 24th, 2021, announcing the end of our marriage and reporting that I was the initiator. In so doing, the Bishop made unilateral use of his position and power to intentionally preserve his image at the cost of my reputation – and the truth,” says Jebaroja Singh, Bp. Singh’s ex-wife and human rights activist for Dalits. Jebaroja says that a June 7, 2020 email from Bp. Singh referenced their Caste differences, suggesting that he never viewed them as equals in their marriage or their divorce. The divorce became final in June 2022.
At this time, Jebaroja, Nivedhan, and Eklan Singh are moving forward with TEC’s Title IV process but have little hope that it will produce results. They believe that the events of the past six months are hallmarks of an institution that is not prepared to run a thorough and independent investigation of abuse allegations; they suggest concern for optics and status rather than for survivors.
“Our case has been mishandled,” says Nivedhan Singh. “It’s time for that to change, and for justice to emerge.”
The Singh family has an excellent website on these issues, located at https://episcopalaccountability.com.
Among the justice the Singh family seeks is a Title IV investigation into Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and Bishop Todd Ousley for mishandling their allegations of child abuse, alcoholism, and domestic violence. Ousley is the intake officer for Title IV complaints against Episcopal bishops. The family also asks for Singh to be defrocked and for those who oppose domestic violence to withhold funds until the denomination repents of its mishandling of abuse allegations.
Indeed, Nivedhan Singh’s description of ferocious beatings by his father and the resulting PTSD is heartrending.
Moreover, Anglican Watch finds the Singh allegations highly credible. We heard related complaints about Prince Singh for several years. We also have seen countless cases in which diocesan and national church officials, including Michael Curry and Todd Ousley, have knowingly ignored the requirements of Title IV, minimized complaints, and ignored inconvenient truths. This misfeasance extends to brushing off criminal conduct by Episcopal priests.
It is time for corruption in the Episcopal Church to stop, and it needs to stop now.
We stand with the Singh family in this matter.