RELIGION

Pope Francis Closes New York Papal Visit with Mass Celebration at MSG

From the pillars of international diplomacy, to the voids where the towers once stood, Pope Francis’ delivered a consistent message. Faith that the human spirit can overcome all the ills of the planet and save it, too. Everywhere his Fiat went, adoring crowds lined heavily fortified streets, everywhere he stopped, people sang and if his travels caused a little inconvenience — it’s the Pope. NJTV News Correspondent David Cruz is standing by outside a packed Madison Square Garden. He told Anchor Mary Alice Williams that New Yorkers are used to busy events like the papal visit.

“I wanted to say that these New Yorkers were all used to this stuff,” said Cruz. “You know, you got tens of thousands of people getting out of work right now and another tens of thousands tourists who frequent this area. Times Square is not too far from here and you’ve got the U.N. General Assembly and of course the Pope on top of that, and New York is able to pull it off.”

As the mass at Madison Square Garden was scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., Cruz said while many are not expecting to see the pope as they pass the Garden, they do however expect to feel the Pope’s presence.

While Pope Francis continues his stay in New York, Cruz said that the pope has had an intense schedule, especially for a 78-year-old. The Pope’s day began with the address to the U.N. General Assembly, a visit to the 9/11 memorial, a visit to a East Harlem school and a procession through Central Park. The Pope’s activities on Friday are expected to end with the celebration of the Mass at Madison Square Garden, where about 20,000 people are expected to be in attendance.

As the papal visit in New York continues, Cruz said there was a massive amount of people within the area and that there was a line that stretched from Madison Square Garden to 29th Street and Seventh Avenue.

“Some of the people, most people were on their way to that. New Yorkers were wise to stay away form the area. Some that we talked to were a little bit annoyed, but one person came up to me and asked what’s going on today and the crowd around me just kind of looked at him and said, ‘Are you kidding?’ So, kind of a New York response. Mostly everybody going along with the flow, but a few people annoyed at the Pope for messing up their engagement in the middle of Manhattan on a Friday afternoon,” said Cruz.