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Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, shared a message of hope on Good Friday, as the coronavirus pandemic extends into Easter weekend.
Speaking to "Fox & Friends," Dolan explained why the health crisis enveloping the world makes this a "special" year.
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"What strikes me is the word emptiness. Some people might think 'Wait a minute, that’s not an Easter message. Easter is fullness, fullness of life, goodness, hope and light.' But before we can be full we got to be empty," he said.
"The essence of Easter Sunday morning was what? The empty tomb. The broken, dead body of Jesus was not there. He had risen from the dead. When they went to venerate the body the angels said what in the world are you looking for among the dead? Jesus is living, Jesus is alive. The tomb was empty."
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He said that God can help fill people with hope in times of emptiness and despair.
"There’s a sense of emptiness in our city, in our country, on this planet, that we call our temporary home. There’s an emptiness, we’ve lost people, we can’t see family and friends. The churches are empty. Now we can be depressed by that or we could say 'You know what? God wants to fill that emptiness.'”
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Dolan said people are not used to seeing empty churches at this time of year and it's an "eerie" sight, especially in New York City at St. Patrick's Cathedral, which is normally packed with crowds "flowing out the doors onto 5th Avenue."
"That gives a sense of community. That gives a sense of excitement when I look out. Because the church is Jesus, his presence to the world, but the church is also people. These church buildings, brick and mortar, they’re great, we need them, we love them, we want to get back into them. But the church--St. Paul tells us in the Bible-- would be the living stones and that’s our people," he said.