(from our correspondent in Ypres) The Plenary Assembly of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) opened in Ypres, Flanders, this morning (ending Friday). In the Belgian city where two of the bloodiest battles of the First World War (1914-1918) were fought – whose centenary is celebrated this year -, the prelates, led by the first vice-president of COMECE, Mgr. Mariano Crociata, Bishop of Latina (the President, Mgr. Jean-Claude Hollerich, Archbishop of Luxembourg, is attending the Synod on Young People in Rome, editor’s note), paid tribute to all the victims of the conflict with a Mass celebrated in St Martin’s Cathedral, packed with students. The commemoration, a statement from COMECE reports, continued with an ecumenical prayer service at St George’s Memorial Church and the laying of wreaths at the German military cemetery and the Commonwealth cemetery. “To mark the centenary of the end of the Great War – the statement reads -, the Bishops of COMECE invite all people of good will to work together to promote dialogue – a key element in the EU peace project – and preserve the diversity of the European historical memory. The appeal comes directly from Ypres, which was the scene of some of the bloodiest and fiercest fighting in the conflict”. On Thursday and Friday, the Bishops of COMECE will continue their plenary assembly. They will focus on the forthcoming European elections in May 2019 and will have talks with Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission; the EU’s chief negotiator for Brexit, Michel Barnier; Luca Jahier, President of the European Economic and Social Committee; and with Christopher Glück, President of the Young European Federalists.