Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Thank you for the support and care you have shown us and one another over the last several days, as our dioceses have stepped into a sensitive situation along with our bishop. We write today with an update on the progress of the Title IV process and to underscore some important understandings about this unique status.
First, an update. The comprehensive psychological and alcohol evaluation that the Presiding Bishop has requested and that has been readily accepted by Bishop Singh has been scheduled and will take place the week of July 17th with a multi-disciplinary team of clinicians. This is an important step in further information gathering and will give us an accurate portrayal of the bishop’s current mental health, any concern for addictive behaviors, and more. The bishop’s schedule will be cleared and rearranged in order to give time and space for this intense examination. Additionally, the Presiding Bishop has assigned an intake officer for this matter. She will facilitate the intake process and manage this case. We are pleased with the swiftness at which these steps are taking place.
We also want to articulate some of the ways in which this unfolding situation is unique, especially the ways in which it is different from our previous experience of bishop discipline.
- Bishop Singh is voluntarily participating in a Title IV process in light of the accusations made against him by his sons through social media and email. Typically, a Title IV process would be imposed on a bishop by the Presiding Bishop’s Office of Pastoral Development in response to an official complaint filed with an intake officer.
- At this point in the process, the intake officer is gathering information and assessing the allegations to determine if the situation rises to the level of a Title IV offense. Typically, a Title IV process at this intake stage would not be announced publicly until and unless offenses were officially identified by the Intake Officer and forwarded to the Reference Panel. Because of the public and targeted nature of the accusations, it was important to Bishop Singh and your Standing Committee Presidents that we talk openly and transparently about how the dioceses and church respond to such a serious matter, keeping you updated as we move along and respond to the process.
- Bishop Singh has not been suspended or restricted from ministry and continues with his normal schedule and activities, including visitations. Typically, restrictions would be instituted if the bishop under Title IV had acknowledged guilt (our previous experience) or if individuals or the church were in immediate harm.
This website is a resource to understand the Title IV process in The Episcopal Church.
After the intake process is complete, the intake officer will submit her report to the Reference Panel, articulating whether she recommends proceedings based on the information gathered. If it is determined that the alleged offenses would constitute a Title IV matter, we will move forward accordingly, aligned with our Episcopal Church canons, our careful stewardship of our faith communities, and with priority for the continuing vital and transformational mission and ministry of our partnering dioceses.
Bishop Singh has recorded a message to the dioceses, an update on his process, and personal reflection. We invite you to hear directly from our bishop:
Please continue to hold our dioceses in prayer: Bishop Singh and his family, the Joint Standing Committees, our joint staff, and one another. We have traveled far together over the last three years of partnership, through moments of deep challenge and moments of vibrant, Christ-centered ministry. Through all we’ve experienced together, we have grown in beloved community, in the healthy and balanced leadership of all orders, and in our trust and reliance on one another. This movement continues. This season is another challenge; one we will meet with compassion, sensitivity, and an ear toward the movement of the Holy Spirit.
Please direct any questions about this process to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. They will be answered or directed to the appropriate place.
Yours in Christ,
President of the Standing Committee
The Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan
The Rev. Randall Warren, D.Min.
President of the Standing Committee
The Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan