Didn’t the church just promise to do better on issues of impaired clergy after the Heather Cook debacle? If so, why are Michael Curry and Todd Ousley wringing their hands and saying they don’t know what to do about allegations of alcohol abuse by Bishop Prince Singh?
Earlier, we wrote about the issues with Dan McClain and the need for a psych evaluation from him. That raises the point: what is happening with the Bishop Singh Title IV complaint?
Last we heard, Singh would submit to comprehensive physical and psychological testing. We understand that this testing was scheduled for the week of July 20th, which means that results should be available by now.
Moreover, knowing the denomination’s tendency to suppress bad news, while trumpeting favorable news to the skies, Anglican Watch is confident that, had the report been good, we’d be hearing it from every angle.
So where is Singh’s report? After all, he’s the one who requested it. The fact it hasn’t seen the light of day suggests to us that we are correct in our belief that his former wife and sons indeed were abused.
While we’re on the topic, we are shocked and appalled that an alleged child abuser remains in office with no restrictions. It doesn’t matter that these issues may have happened long ago. Nor does it matter that it’s his wife and sons–or rather, when the abuse involves your wife and sons, it’s doubly bad.
We also note that in denominations that take these issues seriously, like the Roman Catholic church, Singh would be immediately suspended and could never have contact with children.
And despite all the issues in the Roman Church, its approach to abuse is appropriate. Prior abuse correlates with likely future abuse, and substance abuse increases the risk.
Meanwhile, Michael Curry’s slow-walking these allegations and doesn’t appear to take claims of domestic violence seriously. That’s a finger in the eye to the millions of people who experience domestic violence and coercive control every year in the United States.
Put in different terms, if you want to really add insult to injury, make sure victims of abuse know they’re a C-list priority by dragging things out. And that is exactly what is happening here.
The indifferent response from Curry and corrupt Todd Ousley also makes clear that they neither understand domestic violence nor how to provide an appropriate pastoral response.
So, we want to be very clear:
- Singh should be suspended immediately.
- There is an appalling lack of transparency to date in this matter that needs to be corrected.
- Michael Curry’s failure to immediately begin Title IV proceedings in the face of allegations of domestic violence warrants Title IV proceedings against him.
- Similarly, Todd Ousley should be subject to Title IV proceedings in light of his persistent refusal to follow the Title IV canons–which is, by definition, a Title IV violation.
- The national church needs to take Title IV seriously and immediately provide the Singh family the pastoral response mandated by the canons.
As things stand, this case is, like Ousley’s abysmal handling of the Hougland debacle, an example of Title IV and the Episcopal Church at their worst.
Simply put, the Episcopal Church needs to take domestic violence and impairment seriously before we have another Heather Cook DUI or a domestic violence death on our hands.