Communiqué from the CCEE Presidency on the apostolic letter "Misericordia et misera"
St. Gallen, 25 November 2016
"I will declare your name to my brothers" (Ps 22, 23)
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.
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.
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.
This commitment is also intended as a concrete response to the proposal of Pope Francis present in the apostolic letter Misericordia et misera, published at the conclusion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. We seize with enthusiasm his 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.
Card. Angelo Bagnasco, Archbishop of Genoa,
President of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, CCEE President
Card. Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster,
President of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, Vice-President of CCEE
His Grace Stanisław Gądecki, Archbishop of Poznań,
President of the Bishops’ Conference of Poland, Vice-President of CCEE