By Douglas LeBlanc
Bishop Prince Singh is now restricted from any form of ordained ministry, but that is less of a relief to his adult sons and his former wife than it could have been many months ago.
Jebaroja Suganthy-Singh and her sons Nivedhan and Eklan provided a statement in response to TLC’s request for comment on the newly announced restrictions.
The bishop’s sons say their father was physically and verbally abusive for 28 years. Their mother backs her sons, and says the bishop was abusive to her as well.
In December 2022 the sons asked Presiding Bishop Michael Curry to discipline Bishop Singh. Bishop Curry responded with a sympathetic letter, but a Title IV case did not begin against the bishop until the sons took their concerns public.
“We are grateful to see this progress, but are also wary because this could have and should have been done shortly after we first disclosed abuse to Presiding Bishop Michael Curry in late December of 2022,” their statement of September 7 said.
Mother and sons do not yet take encouragement from a letter of August 31, in which more than 50 bishops asked for accountability in initiating Title IV inquiries.
“Fifty-five members of the House of Bishops recently signed a letter professing that bishops should not get free passes for misconduct,” the family members wrote. “Until they follow up on this sentiment with real action by taking steps to hold Bishops Curry and [Todd] Ousley [of the Office of Pastoral Development] accountable … we cannot take this profession to be anything more than sentimentality and image management.”
Amanda Skofstad of the church’s Office of Public Affairs addressed a portion of one question posed by TLC about the restrictions, confirming that Bishop Clifton Daniel III, in his role as presiding bishop-designate, made the decision about the restrictions placed on Bishop Singh.
“I can confirm that decisions regarding restrictions on the ministry of a bishop are the responsibility of the presiding bishop or the presiding bishop-designate. We cannot comment further on the process leading to the issuance of this restriction.”
The announcement said that Bishop Daniel “issued this restriction in his role as presiding bishop-designate.” TLC asked whether the church attorney had recommended the restrictions.
These were TLC’s other three questions:
- Are these restrictions an indication that Bishop Singh’s case has entered the next phase of Title IV, or will enter it soon?
- Will someone from the Church Center need to consult with the dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan to find another provisional bishop?
- Were these restrictions under discussion before the letter of concern issued by multiple bishops on August 31?
Skofstad directed the question about the dioceses’ future leadership to the dioceses.
TLC has asked the Rev. Canon Katie Forsyth for the dioceses’ response to the charges, and will report any further information as it emerges.
Bishop Curry has recused himself from the Title IV cases of Singh and Bishop Ed Konieczny.