Bishop Arbaud of Gap was not happy about men from his diocese joining the Oblates and believed that he still had the power to dispense them from their vows if they had become Oblates and he wanted them back in his diocese. He had not understood the basic principles of religious life, and so Eugene clarified the situation for him.
Our vows are as perpetual as the most solemn vows in the world. When we made the vow of perseverance we intended to oblige ourselves to live and die in the Congregation that has accepted our commitment. It is not up to the individual to operate according to his schemes and whims, much less to foresee a possible case of dispensation. Such a thing would not be permissible before the profession and it is absolutely impossible afterwards (questo poi è anticanonico, – this is not canonical -the Sovereign Pontiff said regarding this matter).
In our Congregation, dispensation is considered so great a disaster that we like to think there will never be any such case, now that we have been approved by the Church and have been placed in the same rank as the Lazarists, Passionists and Redemptorists …
Letter to Bishop Arbaud of Gap, 13 August 1826, EO XIII n 59
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