Father Hippolyte Guibert had gone to Paris to fund-raise for the seminary in Corsica and to plead the cause of Eugene with King Louis Philippe. On 11 August 1835 he wrote to Father Tempier to report on his visit with the King. Guibert wrote:

I then told him that when passing through Marseilles, I had seen the venerable bishop who had ordained me and, knowing that I was coming to the capital, the venerable old man told me the grief he was suffering in the closing hours of his life, because of his nephew’s predicament and because of the calumnies of which he was the victim.

After the Ajaccio superior finished his vindication of the Bishop of Icosia, Louis Philippe answered:

that he was very glad to hear what I had just told him and that he hoped he had been mistaken; that, regardless of what had happened, he was still willing to forget everything. Once this first point was won, Guibert pushed on by recalling ‘the disastrous decree which had taken away French citizenship from a man like the Bishop of Icosia who is French to the very depths of his soul.’ The king then said to me: ‘Do you realize that he accepted a titular bishopric without my permission?’ ‘Yes, I know that, Sire, but I assure Your Majesty that it was done in good faith and in ignorance of the decree, and not from any motive.’

‘Very well! I take your word for that,’ replied the king. ‘For the rest, I would want nothing better than to withdraw that decree; however, the matter must be handled according to the usual procedure. Louis Philippe concluded by declaring that he would look ‘very favor­ ably upon any steps taken to restore harmony. Religion will gain by it.’ Quoted in Leflon II p. 494-495

A week later, Father Guibert had an audience with the Queen, reported in Leflon II p. 496:

On August 17, the queen to whom “the king had spoken regarding Guibert’s two requests,” in her turn, granted the superior of Ajaccio an audience. Marie- Amelie made quick dispatch of the first matter by promising “to provide for our chapel,” and then immediately took up the matter of the Bishop of Icosia. Guibert then offered his vindication, emphasized the worth of the prelate, “a man of great ability,” and requested the mediation of the queen, who proved “kind and understanding beyond all words.”

The path to reconciliation had been successfully begun.

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Rather than Eugene or another writing of the injustices he is experiencing Fr. Guibert speaks with the king and his wife. And the king is not closed to the idea of somehow withdrawing the decree against Eugene – stating only that it must be done following the procedures set up for that. He is open to the idea.

    I am reminded of a stream or small river which a landslide has blocked and where the waters can no longer get through. It would take years for the waters to wear down the rocks and eventually seep through solidly-packed trees and rocks. Rather than the waters just sitting there building up and taking over the lands and fields around it the stream finds a way around the blockade – making a new route around the landslide. The new path of the stream becomes deeper and its waters are carry new nutrients; and the fields on either side then flourish with new and richer life.

    Last year I was hit by a car and my injuries though not life-threatening resulted in my having to find some new ways of thinking and learning and performing some daily tasks. My life before the accident had been so very rich and I spent time comparing what it was like before the accident – wanting to have my ‘old’ life back. My reactions were like taking a very small hammer to try and break down the Berlin wall on my own. I now work on finding new ways to do certain tasks and creating some new paths of thought. I am learning to accept help and to finding new ways around some of life’s obstacles.

    Yesterday we received an invitation for all of us around the world to come together in prayer – specifically “Oraison”. I can only imagine what that must look like through the eyes of our God – this one big coming together with God. New steps, new way of us coming together. Many new paths of reconciliation beginning…

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