AN ATTACK THAT BACK-FIRED

Eugene had been told that three bishops of France had written a joint letter to the Vatican to withdraw their support for the approbation of the Oblates. He rushed to meet with Cardinal Pedicini to be shown the letter and to defend the Oblates.

I ran over to Cardinal Pedicini whom I found still with our volume in his hands. Great compliments and great praise, he found not a word to criticize, all is taken care of, all is admirable, all is holy.
“But, Monseigneur, that certain letter? I come here to reply to it”. “There it is, read it aloud”. And, while I was reading it, he did not leave to me the trouble of refuting it but took charge of that himself by citing the very words of our document. In fact it was such a pitiable thing that I blush for the honour of our Episcopate. It has been miserably produced by this fine Bishop of Gap, the hand-writing being that of his secretary, and at its foot there are the signatures of the Archbishop of Aix, the Bishop of Digne and his own.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 5 January 1826, EO VII n 216

 The objections that the three Bishops had made had already been dealt with in the text of the Oblate Rule. In effect, this attempt of the bishops proved to be counter-productive for them because it showed Rome the necessity to give papal approval to the Oblates so as to protect them from this very type of destructive attack in the future.

The conduct of the Bishop of Gap is inexplicable… One must admit that the demon has employed a means very suitable to allow him to attain his ends, that of using a bishop to snuff out the good that he has so many reasons to fear. Let us pray to God that the enemy may not prevail, but you will understand that, in spite of doing my utmost to stay resigned, I cannot help having some very distressing moments ….

Letter to Marius Suzanne, 25 January 1826, EO VII n 220

 

“I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.”   Thomas Jefferson

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One Response to AN ATTACK THAT BACK-FIRED

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “One must admit that the demon has employed a means very suitable to allow him to attain his ends, that of using a bishop to snuff out the good that he has so many reasons to fear.” For some reason we – make that I – seem to find that there is a part of myself who is surprised that the devil would be able to make use of a priest or bishop, a cardinal or the pope. What – that they are all human, just like me? At a time in my life when I have been critical of some clerics and religious as setting themselves apart from (or above) the rest of us – I look and see that I am guilty of doing that to them – of demanding that they be God rather than human.

    Not a particularly flattering light that I see myself sitting in. I want to explain, I want to excuse myself, to try to hide away this less than perfect view of myself – from God, from others, from myself. I find myself wondering if other people think as I do, if they behave as do I – even just within themselves. It is easier to think that I am not alone in being like this, that it is but a part of my humanness. It sorrows me a little though.

    I need to take a page out of Eugene’s life; “… Let us pray to God that the enemy may not prevail …”. That enemy of which he speaks, that I find within my very self – the divine and the less than …

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