Having left Switzerland, Eugene was now in Nice with his uncle, Bishop Fortuné. He was able to appraise the tension and dangers to the Church from the new government.
The civil authorities tried on every possible occasion to create difficulties for the diocese of Marseilles. Fr. Tempier, who was keeping things going as Vicar General had written to the newspaper about the dispute following an incident provoked by young people during a service in the church of St Theodore.
I would have wished that some expressions be removed from your letters and especially that you had not thought of printing your claim in a newspaper… I think that in the circumstances one must be strong but measured in one’s terms.
In Paris, the Minister of Worship, had published a letter ordering that there be no gatherings in churches except on Sundays and on four religious holidays retained by the Concordat of 1801. Eugene advised Henri Tempier to respond:
It is this tone that is moderate, but firm, that I advise you to take in the reply that you will make to the inconceivable and truly ridiculous letter of Monsieur Merilhou. I think one must keep the heaviest words for the last extremity. I admit nevertheless that there is reason to lose patience…. A little word on freedom could be inserted appropriately. We cannot hide from the fact that the persecution is beginning. Write to us immediately after Christmas; I fear some scandal on that holy night and they will not ask for better than to make you responsible for it.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 24 December 1830, EO VII n 375