Three weeks earlier, Eugene’s despondency and suffering as the result of the harsh treatment he had received from the local authorities and from some of the priests of Marseilles (which we saw in earlier entries) had led him to this outburst.
As to my position concerning Marseilles, it has been made absolutely clear, my ties were broken by my resignation and the appointment to the office of vicar general of my successor.
I’m not the pastor of the people of Marseilles, and I don’t ever want to be; what does their opinion matter to me? People’s injustice has taught me to scorn infamous judgments that come down always on the side of lies rather than truth.
Regarding Marseilles, I gave them all for twelve years; sacrifices of all kinds; complete devotedness, with no return on the part of the townsfolk except the basest ingratitude. I made up my mind long ago, that after the death of my much loved and venerable uncle, I’d keep my independence and free myself of all the cares that have taken their toll of me during all the years I was everyone’s lackey, even my bitter enemies’.
I do not want to become the pastor of Marseilles, never with a capital N.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 31 July 1835, EO VIII n 528
Now, just a few weeks later, they were pressurizing him to change his mind and accept a diocese!