Félicité de Lamennais was a priest much admired by Eugene for his ideals and his writings. During the anti-religious upheavals, however, he began to express the notion that the long-standing bond between the Church and the State should be separated. Eugene, seeing the Church through the eyes of royalist principles, strongly disagreed. (Cf. http://www.omiworld.org/en/dictionary/historical-dictionary_vol-1_l/778/lamennais-f-licit-de/ )
… If the doctrines of M. de Lamennais are the same as those stated by his disciples, I renounce him completely. I am revolted by the trends of the “Memorial” and the “Revue.” Into what sort of principles do they want to drag the Catholics? As soon as our subscription is finished, cease to renew it…
Great God! Into what deviations the human spirit sinks by wishing to assimilate the most contrary theories! They finish by losing all reason.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 13 September 1830, EO VII n 363
Several of the younger Oblates belonged to the same school of thought as Lamennais
…When our subscriptions to the “Memorial” and to “L’Avenir” are expired, I do not wish them to be renewed. Write this to Notre Dame du Laus and to Aix. I am not in a mood to pay so dearly for the extravagances of the school of M. de Lamennais and I would be inconsolable should anyone amongst us be taken by these crazy notions.
While disagreeing with his ideas, Eugene admires the talents of the man.
It is a great pity to see a man of his genius waste time writing newspaper articles in order to establish a ridiculous system which presumes that Catholics are in power in France while not even having a party… Much more could be said about this. Let him rather busy himself bringing to completion the writings which Europe awaits with rightful impatience. Therein lies the vocation of this great man, and he is not responding to it.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 26 October 1830, EO VII n 368
“A dictatorship of relativism is being constituted that recognizes nothing as absolute and which only leaves the ‘I’ and its whims as the ultimate measure. We have another measure: the Son of God, true man.” Pope Benedict