Eugene had been told that three bishops of France had written a joint letter to the Vatican to withdraw their support for the approbation of the Oblates. He rushed to meet with Cardinal Pedicini to be shown the letter and to defend the Oblates.
I ran over to Cardinal Pedicini whom I found still with our volume in his hands. Great compliments and great praise, he found not a word to criticize, all is taken care of, all is admirable, all is holy.
“But, Monseigneur, that certain letter? I come here to reply to it”. “There it is, read it aloud”. And, while I was reading it, he did not leave to me the trouble of refuting it but took charge of that himself by citing the very words of our document. In fact it was such a pitiable thing that I blush for the honour of our Episcopate. It has been miserably produced by this fine Bishop of Gap, the hand-writing being that of his secretary, and at its foot there are the signatures of the Archbishop of Aix, the Bishop of Digne and his own.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 5 January 1826, EO VII n 216
The objections that the three Bishops had made had already been dealt with in the text of the Oblate Rule. In effect, this attempt of the bishops proved to be counter-productive for them because it showed Rome the necessity to give papal approval to the Oblates so as to protect them from this very type of destructive attack in the future.
The conduct of the Bishop of Gap is inexplicable… One must admit that the demon has employed a means very suitable to allow him to attain his ends, that of using a bishop to snuff out the good that he has so many reasons to fear. Let us pray to God that the enemy may not prevail, but you will understand that, in spite of doing my utmost to stay resigned, I cannot help having some very distressing moments ….
Letter to Marius Suzanne, 25 January 1826, EO VII n 220
“I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.” Thomas Jefferson