In 1832 Eugene had been appointed Titular Bishop of Icosia, without a connection to an actual diocese. Now, in order for his episcopal status to be recognized by the government, he was expected to be linked to an actual diocese in France.
In his letter dated August 17 to Father Tempier, Father Guibert said that he had made the proposal to the Minister that the government name the Bishop of Icosia coadjutor to his uncle or even to the first vacant diocese; this would oblige him to take the oath and to prove to the Government and to the King that he was not hostile to them. (cf REY, I. 645)
Eugene’s response was a categorical refusal.
My dear friend, what have you done? What is this abyss you wish to hurl me into? I have reached harbour, and do you want to expose my frail craft once again to tempest and reef, which it would be impossible for me to avoid? No, no, no! I’ve learnt by experience. I am not up to achieving any good in that elevated position in this day and age…
One would almost say that Providence made a mistake over the century in having me born in this one, with the dispositions and, if you like, the qualities that were needed to do great things two hundred years ago. I’m unable to compromise with error, lies and impiety. I’m a man of dedication; but the frankness of my character and my uprightness in all that I undertake hinder me from clouding the issue, as you have to do to succeed when one has to deal with people who don’t have a sincere desire for what is good, and apply themselves to it only because it’s politically correct.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 23 August 1835, EO VIII n 536