“The Catholic Church in Europe has lived with joy and hope the Jubilee Year which has just ended. Many graces were received and shared during the Holy Year. We strongly believe that the fruits of this holy season will continue to enrich the journey of faith of the Church in Europe”. This is the beginning of the statement released today by the new Presidency of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) about the Apostolic Letter “Misericordia et misera”. The communiqué, signed by CCEE President Card. Angelo Bagnasco and by the two Vice-Presidents Card. Vincent Nichols and Monsignor Stanisław Gądecki, states that: “The deafening noise of wars, ideological struggles, conflicts, cultural deviations and growing forms of social exclusion and poverty amplify the sense of bewilderment spread into European societies. However, we cannot forget that behind all this is the abandonment of the great values promoted and supported by the Gospel which have inspired European culture”. The European Bishops believe that “today there is need to sustain hope, to look to the future with confidence, to renew the Christian memory that gave a human dimension to European history. In the practical experience of the Divine Mercy, lived during the Holy Year, is grafted the commitment of Europe’s Bishops for a New Evangelization, that can restore hope to the hearts and inspire new forms of solidarity”. On behalf of the Churches in Europe, the CCEE welcomes “with enthusiasm” Pope Francis’ invitation to “strengthen our knowledge of the Word of God and our sacramental practice, especially rediscovering the sacrament of reconciliation. In the coming months, the CCEE will be responsive in helping the Bishops’ Conferences to identify the best ways to respond to the various concrete proposals made by the Holy Father both in the ministry and the social commitment of every faithful and every local community. Adhering to the intuition of Pope Francis, we thus hope for a renewal of the face of the Church by means of a pastoral conversion that makes brighter a ‘Culture of Mercy’ (cf. Misericordia et misera, 20). We are grateful to the Holy Father who was inspired to summon us to celebrate this time of grace under the sign of mercy. We assure him of our filial closeness, our prayer and our desire to continue with enthusiasm the pastoral task that has been entrusted to us to serve the Church which is in Europe”.