The Archbishop of Aix, who changed his mind nearly as often as he changed his clothes, also decided to draw profit from the situation. Leflon gives us the picture:
Forever changing with the tide and poorly disposed toward Father de Mazenod, whose interests Maunier and Deblieu had worked together to damage to justify their own defections, Bishop de Bausset quickly followed in his suffragan’s footsteps and announced his intention of reclaiming all his subjects from the Missionary Society. Nothing further was needed to throw panic into the community at Aix; two more priests decided to leave; Moreau for the Trappists and the other to join his diocese. According to Rey, the scholastic Jeancard, who would one day become the auxiliary Bishop of Marseilles, was also ready to leave, although his actual leaving did not take place until 1834. Each mail brought the Founder news of impending withdrawals which might easily turn into a stampede and mark the beginning of the end.
Once again, the Founder faced the issue squarely. His first concern was to restore the confidence of the motherhouse which had been severely shaken by the decision of the Fréjus Council and by Bishop de Bausset’s adoption of that decision. A long letter to Father Courtès, therefore, undertook to point out its weak points. Leflon II p. 247
It is a great crisis of which the consequences can be terrible…; but His Grace the Archbishop was not unaware that we were making vows. Was he not presumed to approve them when he continued to employ us as he did? I would be curious to know if our casuists from Fréjus consider the vows that St. Ignatius made at Montmartre with his companions to be null!
How many religious bodies have begun by thus engaging themselves before the formal approbation of the Church! The whole archiepiscopal administration knew of our engagements and made no complaint. I had spoken thereof to M. Duclaux who saw nothing other than what was quite edifying in that. All that proves there was no undue rush. The Society of M. Coudrin, spread over several dioceses of France and of which the headquarters is at Picpus, at Paris, makes vows as we do; never have the bishops complained about them; apparently the demon is more hostile to us than others.
Do not worry much. I fear lest this may do you harm. It is a new worry for me for, at present more than ever, I ask God that he will keep you as the apple of his eye.
Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 10 October 1823, EO VI n.115
“Vows made in storms are forgotten in calm.” Thomas Fuller