Former Bishop of Episcopal Diocese of Rochester resigns after abuse allegations

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A prominent leader in the Episcopal faith who once headed the Diocese of Rochester is facing allegations of abuse.

The Rt. Rev. Prince G. Singh served as the eighth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester from 2008- 2022. In 2022, Bishop Singh began serving as Bishop Provisional for the Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan.

According to the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, Bishop Singh’s two sons allege they and their mother suffered domestic abuse by their father. The Episcopal Church launched a clergy misconduct investigation into the claims. Some members of the Diocese of Rochester have also alleged misconduct. The investigation is ongoing.

News10NBC spoke with one of the sons, Nivedhan Singh. He said as a child, he was threatened with beatings, struck several times and even kicked once.

“My father would administer to me what was called an Adi. In my language, which is South Indian language, called Tamil, which translates to beating,” he said. “My earliest memory of abuse by my father, would’ve been around the age of three years old for me.”

Nivedhan said his father has always been known for his charisma, leadership and skilled preacher skills. But, he said Singh has yet to take accountability for the alleged abuse.

“It was so normalized,” said Nivedhan, it took me until 30 to realize that what happened to me growing up was not a cultural norm for my parents being immigrants, we’re here in the United States of America, and physical, punitive abuse of a child is illegal,” he said.

The sons have not threatened formal litigation, amid the ongoing church investigations.

But, Nivedhan hopes that by speaking out, he can spark change in the way these allegations are handled.

“We reported our case in December 2022, were administered a pastoral response, with a rigged family therapy process, overseen by my fathers close personal friend David Singh, a clear conflict of interest, he was not a licensed therapist,” said Nivedhan.

The Episcopal Diocese of Rochester released the following statement:

“The Episcopal Diocese of Rochester views each and every allegation of abuse and misconduct with the utmost seriousness. We are committed to keeping all children, church members, leaders, volunteers, employees, and staff safe, and we provide education and information regarding abuse prevention by following New York State and The Episcopal Church policies, guidelines, and training.

On Thursday, the Disciplinary Board of Bishops restricted Singh’s role. He is currently prohibited from serving as a priest or bishop.

Rev. Stephen Lane, Bishop Provisional in Rochester, wrote Thursday that the investigation into Singh began after Sing’s son filed a written complaint of misconduct over alleged actions that occurred while Singh was in charge in Rochester.

He also asked for the community’s prayers.

On Friday, Singh resigned from his role as bishop provisional in Michigan.

Singh tells News10NBC, “Out of respect for the integrity of the disciplinary process in the church. I do not want to make any comment at this time.”

In a statement from the Diocese of Eastern and Western Michigan, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said all allegations are being taken seriously, and he has been in contact with Bishop Singh’s sons and his ex-spouse during the past several months.

Singh’s sons share more about their experiences, along with advice for others here.