The aims and methods of Oblate preaching were always clear: break the Word of God for the most abandoned by speaking simply in their language. In Eugene’s time it was the Provençal language – and only rarely did he permit the Missionaries to deviate from that course.
We have an example here. We do not know who this “elite audience” was for Courtès, but Eugene gave him permission to preach to them, with certain conditions.
As I usually decide on the basis of some good reason, this is a case which pains me because you deviate from what our Rules prescribe regarding how we instruct the people.
If I have authorized you to preach in the style that you have adopted, and prepare sermons for elite audiences, it is because I do not wish to put obstacles in the way of your talents and that I count on your leaving some records of what it produces, so that after you others can use your compositions. That means you must write and correct with care your sermons before or after giving them.
If you deceive my expectations and do not write your sermons, I will no longer have sufficient reason to permit an exception which involves disadvantages which ought necessarily to be compensated.
It is in fact a great inconvenience not to be understood by half or three quarters of your listeners.
Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 28 January 1824, EO VI n. 129
We have other examples where Eugene chided an Oblate for preaching in French to the disadvantage of those in the church who could not understand. It was those who were not being touched by the structures of the Church that the Oblates were meant to reach out to. As long as there were any of that group present in a church congregation, then it was on them that the Missionaries had to focus.
“Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.” Gilbert K. Chesterton