Frustrated in Rome with the slow progress in resolving the situation with the French government, Eugene chides Father Tempier for having waited six weeks before responding to an unjust condemnatory letter sent to the diocese of Marseilles by the antagonistic Minister of Worship of France.
It is inconceivable that you should have handled it as you have. You have dragged your feet in the matter and I am faced with an inexplicable lack of energy. One would think you were struck dumb or blind.
… the Bishop of Marseilles cannot forgo issuing a condemnation of the Minister of Worship’s outrageous letter. If you were at a loss to know how to reply to that letter, you ought to have turned to somebody who has some mettle, you ought to have written to Paris, have gone there if need be, rather than let seven weeks go by without replying to such a letter as the Minister’s. The blow struck at his episcopal jurisdiction demanded a protest… That the first day should find you dumbfounded at the effrontery of the blow delivered I can understand, but that with reflection you were not moved to any action, surpasses my capacity to understand.
Having vented his frustration, he strikes a conciliatory tone by looking at the situation through the eyes of his faith on God’s providence and refocusing in prayer:
Moreover, all my observations are made without bitterness. I have made them because I owe you the truth; but above all I must acknowledge God’s will to which I submit myself heart and soul. I do not love you any the less for what is more mistake than neglect of my affairs, you wouldn’t he capable of that. You were lacking in discernment, but rest assured that my distress will lessen the moment I put myself in God’s presence.
I send my affectionate greetings to all and assure you of my accustomed esteem and friendship.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 5 November 1833, EO VIII n 473