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Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, joined “The Story” Thursday night to share a message from Pope Francis to the people of New York, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.

“He simply said, ‘I’m thinking of you, I wanted to call, I realize New York is at the epicenter, and my love and my prayers go to you and your people: those who have died, their families, those who are suffering and those who are caring for them,'” said Dolan, who told host Martha MacCallum that he had taken a call from the pontiff the day before.

“He said, ‘I have a closeness with all of you. I am praying for you and with you a lot. Please convey that to the people.'”

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MacCallum asked Dolan how he would respond to those who question the presence or existence of God amid such death and misery.

“God is right in the middle of it, that’s what the Bible tells us,” Dolan responded. “We saw that six days ago on Good Friday, right in the middle of one of the worst moments in human history, when evil and viciousness and darkness and death seemed to be having the last word, there was Jesus … [saying] moments before he died, ‘my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'”

“He was asking the same question you just asked and many of us are asking, ‘Where is God?’ God was there on the cross. God was there listening to his only begotten Son and just moments later, right before he bowed his head on the cross, [a] three o’clock Good Friday afternoon, what did he say? ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit’.

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“That trust, that faith, that humility, that hope, that’s what Easter is about,” Dolan added. “That’s what Passover is about. That’s what spring is all about and that’s what we need now.”

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