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The Jewish friend who will be accompanying Pope Francis on his pilgrimage Saturday to the Holy Land said the pope “values the significance of the state of Israel and the land of Israel for the Jewish people.” Rabbi Abraham Skorka, the rector of the Latin American rabbinic seminary in Buenos Aires, told journalists at the Jerusalem Press Club that he hopes Israelis, many of whom have a deep mistrust of the Roman Catholic Church after centuries of Jewish persecution, will welcome the pope “with open arms.”

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