One of the difficulties of establishing missions by French religious and priests was that the people of the Kingdom were suspicious of foreigners who would bring in “revolutionary” ideas.
Would someone want to oppose us as foreigners? The members of a Congregation recognized by the Church, whose Superior is named by the Pope, are Catholic before all else.
Their lives are dedicated according to the spirit of their vocation to the service of souls without preference for persons or nations, their ministry is entirely spiritual, they belong to the country that adopts them, and live there under the protecting mantle of the law as faithful subjects, solely occupied with the purpose of their heavenly mission which strives to accomplish every duty, whether to God or to the Prince, his representative among men.
Eugene strengthens his argument by reminding them that the apostles were foreigners, as were all foreign missionaries around the world.
The Apostles were foreigners in the countries to which Our Lord Jesus Christ assigned them to preach the gospel. Religious who laid the first foundations of their Orders in various parts of Christianity were also foreigners and were not rejected because of that.
No one more than I will praise the wise measures that result in keeping a State from the contagion of evil doctrines and the influence of perverse men who trouble society elsewhere and shake its foundations; but would it be reasonable to suppose that one equally fears what is good, proven, what could only be useful and advantageous?
Letter to Fr. A Grassi SJ, 11 December 1830, EO XIII, n 76.
It was, in fact this suspicion, that won the day and the Oblates were not invited to the Kingdom.