Home Christian News Episcopal Bishop’s Family Accuses Denomination of Mishandling Abuse Allegations

Episcopal Bishop’s Family Accuses Denomination of Mishandling Abuse Allegations

“I remember him screaming at my mother that he is through with her and that the marriage is over on numerous occasions,” Eklan said in an open letter published on EpiscopalAccountability.com.

Suganthy-Singh recalled feeling numb when the bishop’s email went out. Though Prince Singh had sent her his drafts, Suganthy-Singh said she’d felt pressured to agree to send the announcement before the divorce was finalized.

“This Diocese called me to serve as one spiritually married to you. As a diocesan leader, I feel responsible to let everyone in the diocese know that has changed,” Prince Singh wrote in a February 2021 email to Suganthy-Singh. “I would want to get this word out next week because of the spiritual separation that has already taken place.”

In response to one of the drafts, Suganthy-Singh asked her then-husband to remove a line saying the email was sent with her consent.

Afterward, Suganthy-Singh and her sons have said they felt as if they were erased from their church family. They said no words of comfort were forthcoming from diocesan friends, even when, months after the letter, their house — where only Prince Singh was living at the time — burned, with their belongings. At a January 2022 farewell service for Prince Singh, after his election to serve in Michigan, they maintain their names were barely mentioned.

On Dec. 1, 2022, Nivedhan and Eklan Singh and Suganthy-Singh were dismayed to learn of an email Prince Singh sent to his seminary friends announcing he’d made a “Bollywood-like” commitment with an old girlfriend from seminary days in India, six months after his divorce was finalized. Prince Singh described the reconnection as a “miracle” and evidence of “God’s favor.”

The news of his father’s engagement upset Nivedhan Singh, in part because his father had used liturgical language to endorse his actions as God-ordained. The engagement also came as Nivedhan Singh was coming to grips with harsh realities from his childhood. He alleged that his father physically abused him between the ages of 3 and 13, often punitively and while drunk: that he broke a Super Nintendo game system, kicked Nivedhan, smashed a glass chess board and a cellphone in anger, and regularly hit him.

“This was more than spanking,” he wrote in an open letter. “I remember the intensity of my heaving sobs during the abuse. I found it hard to breathe, and remember gasping for air while being struck. After the abuse, I would be sent to my room where I would cry myself to sleep. Sometimes I would urinate on my own carpet in silent protest.”

He described attempting suicide with a lamp cord at age 10 to “escape the beatings,” and suffering from bedwetting until age 13.

“I wasn’t just oversensitive,” Nivedhan Singh told RNS. “I realized, no, I’m just a survivor of domestic abuse. My dad, who I always thought was just a strict, bossy dad, was actually a physical abuser and a narcissist who had been manipulating me, and us, my whole life.”

Nivedhan Singh felt he could trust Curry, a family friend, with these realizations. On Dec. 29, 2022, he and his brother sent letters documenting what they said they’d experienced, citing examples of alcoholism and physical violence.

In January, Curry thanked the brothers via email and said that while there was no “quick fix,” he’d consult with Ousley. Ousley has been criticized for failing to report conflicts of interest during Title IV investigations, rewarding clergy misconduct and failing to enforce Title IV requirements on bishops under his purview.