In the coming entries we focus again on the long-standing difficulties that Eugene had been living through, not only with the government but also with some clergy in the diocese. We have noted that in Marseilles, as the Vicar General of Bishop Fortuné, he had had to be the disciplinarian to rectify many situations which were not correct on the part of some priests. Some were very vociferous in their condemnations of Bishops Fortuné and Eugene, and used the anti-religious newspaper the “Sémaphore” as the vehicle to make their grievances and calumnies public.
Eugene confides to Father Courtès:
Goodbye, my dear son, you see that I’m always the same. Abuses shock me, afflict me wherever I come across them, but that doesn’t result in their abolition and when that holy man M. Duclaux said one day before the whole seminary that God had raised me up to put the Church’s drooping discipline on its feet again, he might have added that in the little world I move in it would be the death of me and I would be a martyr to it. Goodbye.
Letter to Hippolyte Courtès. 4 June 1835, EO VIII n 517
(NB Please note that the word “abuse’ as used by Eugene in the 19th century referred to priests who were not living up to the rules and regulations of their priestly commitment or the rules and practices of the Diocese of Marseilles. Eugene’s use of this word does NOT have the tragic connotations that it has in today’s usage)