A Title IV Investigation
Dear Friends in Christ,
Accompanying this letter is a statement from The Episcopal Church announcing a Title IV investigation of Bishop Provisional Prince Singh of the Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan. That investigation was spurred by a written complaint of misconduct made by Bishop Singh’s son for alleged actions that occurred while Bishop Singh was Bishop of Rochester. Some of you may have received a copy of that complaint.
The complaint came to me last week, and I deemed that it constituted a complaint of misconduct as defined by the disciplinary canons (Title IV) of The Episcopal Church. As prescribed by those canons, I forwarded the complaint to the Intake Officer for Bishops. The announcement by The Episcopal Church makes it clear that a formal disciplinary process has begun. More information will be made available as the process moves along, although such matters usually take several months, at a minimum.
I have heard from a few of you over the past week saying that the letter from Bishop Singh’s son served to reawaken painful experiences with Bishop Singh. I’ve heard from others saying that the allegations are unfounded and make for an unnecessary distraction from the work of mission and ministry. For others, I’m sure this is a surprising and confusing development. It would be inappropriate for any of us to prejudge the outcome of a Title IV investigation. There is a presumption of innocence for the accused unless and until the facts prove otherwise. At the same time, it is important that we take the whole matter with great seriousness. I want to offer to any and all of you the opportunity to talk to me about your concerns and questions. If you believe you have a complaint, I’m ready to hear it. You may contact me by phone or email or by reaching out to Sarah, my Executive Assistant.
An allegation of misconduct is always an occasion for disappointment and somber reflection. As I said, there is a presumption of innocence for the accused. There is also a need for deliberate and thorough process. There is a wound in the body which must be attended to and healed. Our disciplinary canons are meant to provide for justice, healing, and reconciliation. I pray that this will be the case in this situation. I promise that our diocese will participate fully according to both the spirit and the letter of the canons.
I conclude by asking for your prayers – for the Singh family, for the Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan, and for all of us here in the Diocese of Rochester. I believe we are part of a larger healing process by which God intends for us to know both justice and mercy. I pray that such will be the outcome of this disciplinary process and that we may go forward as a people united in God’s merciful love.
The Rt. Rev. Stephen T. Lane
Bishop Provisional in Rochester
Click for the Pastoral statement on the Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan