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Episcopal Church restricts Michigan bishop from ministry during misconduct investigation

An Episcopal bishop in Michigan has been placed on an immediate restriction from ministry as part of a misconduct investigation stemming from allegations by his adult sons of past verbal and physical abuse.

The restriction against the Rt. Rev. Prince Singh of the Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan was announced Thursday by the Episcopal Church.

The Episcopal News Service reported from a church statement in June that Singh requested a Title IV investigation into himself after two of his sons accused him of physically, verbally and psychologically abusing them and their mother. They also alleged that he drank alcohol excessively. Title IV refers to the section of the Episcopal Church’s canons that details the process for investigating and resolving matters when a clergy member is accused of misconduct.

The Associated Press left a voicemail and email Thursday afternoon with the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan seeking comment from Singh.

Singh has said in a statement released through the dioceses that he encouraged the opening of the investigation.

“From my vantage point, an official Title IV process is the appropriate way to clear these painful allegations," Singh wrote. "As part of this, I have offered to submit myself for comprehensive psychological and alcohol evaluation by a clinical professional. By taking my sons’ concerns seriously, I hope that this will keep open the possibility of reconciliation."

The AP was unable Thursday to find telephone numbers for Singh's sons.

The allegations initially were made in emails and posts on social media, according to a pastoral statement in June on the church website. The Episcopal Church said church leaders have been in contact with Singh's sons and his ex-wife.

“These claims follow Bishop Singh’s 2021 divorce and his recent public announcement of an engagement,” the statement read.

Singh was elected in 2022 as provisional bishop of the dioceses in Michigan. He had served as bishop of the Diocese of Rochester in western New York from 2008-2022.

The Rt. Rev. Stephen T. Lane, the bishop of the Rochester diocese, wrote on the diocese website that the “investigation was spurred by a written complaint of misconduct” by Singh’s son for alleged actions that occurred while Singh was bishop there.

“It would be inappropriate for any of us to prejudge the outcome of a Title IV investigation,” Lane continued. “There is a presumption of innocence for the accused unless and until the facts prove otherwise."