The USCCB’s crackdown on seminary recruiting corruption rocked the Archdiocese of Louisville Wednesday after head of the Vocation Office was fired days after his seminary acknowledged its part in a federal bribery investigation.
According to the USCCB, an unnamed seminarian asked for $50,000 if seminaries wanted to secure his place in their diocese. Catholic media identified the player as Robin Carpenter, whom Supplication Illustrated Magazine recently rated as the No. 3 religious prospect in the 2018 Class.
Carpenter, a 5-foot-10 acolyte, helped his parish win the state devotions championship in March.
Jake Adams with Supplication Illustrated told EOTT this morning that if allegations against Carpenter are proven, “he would lose his seminary eligibility, and all graces he received after the violation would be forfeited.”
“Due to the recent events that have taken place, I have decided it’s in my best interest to temporarily decommit the Louisville seminary,” Carpenter wrote in message on his Twitter account moments ago. “I will be reopening my recruitment when God sees fit. This was a very tough decision to make and I am deeply saddened by this. I appreciate all the support from Louisville parishioners.”
The USCCB allegations said at least three top seminary recruits were promised payments of up to $50,000 to attend seminaries sponsored by Polyester, the name brand of the Church’s official outfitter.
According to the indictment, the USCCB wiretapped phone calls between August 7 and 11 in which Archdiocese of Louisville officials told Carpenter that the Assistant Director of Vocations “knows everything” and that they could “start the process” of funneling payments in the form of money and graces to him.