Eugene continues to express his anguish at the situation in which he found himself. The King was willing to offer a reconciliation, but the price was heavy if his episcopal status was to be recognized – it was to accept a diocese.
The idea that anyone at Paris could take seriously the project of offering me a diocese disturbs me and leaves me no more peace. My repugnance towards entering into that career at fifty-four years of age, with the tastes I have at present, and in the position I find myself in vis-à-vis the Government and the universal Church, is insurmountable; it goes against my conscience, my happiness and my honour. My conscience imperiously demands that I reject the burden with all my strength; all the more because it is certain that, notwithstanding all the good will in the world, and even if you like with a connatural understanding of what the duties of a bishop are, and even if I could work miracles, I would never be able to obtain satisfactory results. The reason for this is basically the prejudices that have been disseminated everywhere against me…
Not only had he collected many prejudices against him from political authorities and from some in the Church itself, but now would be in danger of being accused of personal ambition, of sacrificing his principles in order to gain a promotion.
Again, do you not see that my honour would be as compromised as my happiness in the new career into which they want to push me? In the first place, everyone will say that I have sold my loyalty in exchange for a diocese; that this is what I was after all along, etc.
The very Government, believing me capable of such baseness, will think to buy me for that price and will persuade itself that it will be able to make demands upon me that my conscience and my tact would no less have refused it; and then what will happen?
Letter to Henri Tempier, 25 August 1835, EO VIII n 537