Yvon Beaudoin writes:
It was on July 12, 1790 also that the decree of the civil constitution of the clergy, was issued. It was sanctioned by the king on August 24. By the decree of November 27, 1790, the new bishops appointed by an assembly of active citizens were obliged in the future to ask for canonical installation, no longer from the Pope, but from the archbishop. Moreover, the bishops, parish priests and public servants were obliged to swear that they accepted the Constitution. As a result, the clergy split into two camps: those who swore acceptance of the Constitution and those who did not swear to accept it; they were known as recusants. On March 10, 1791, Pope Pius VI condemned the civil constitution of the clergy. It was in the wake of these events that the recusants were persecuted and many of them left the country; churches were closed and a systematic dechristianisation was set in motion. Charles Auguste André de Mazenod, vicar general of Marseilles, and Fortuné, the vicar general of Aix, great uncle and uncle of Eugene, both of them recusants, left Provence in September of 1792 to join their family in Turin. During almost all of the reign of the First Republic, Eugene was in Italy. He says very little about it, but he often mentions Napoleon.