WASHINGTON - Catholics across the country are coming to D.C., New York and Philadelphia this week to be in the presence of Pope Francis. The pope's trip to the United States is being celebrated by millions of Catholics, but what about people of other faiths?
Pope Francis' D.C. visit happens to coincide with Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year.
"There are a lot of concerns in the Jewish community in D.C. about the traffic and about a lot of the problems of getting to synagogue, and so there are the thoughts about the appropriateness of the time," said Rabbi Gil Steinlauf of Adas Israel Congregation in Northwest. "But what I would like us to think about as Jewish people is really what this visit means and really the larger picture of what the pope and his relationship to the community is about."
Rabbi Steinlauf said that Pope Francis stands for values that many faiths share, such as caring for the poor. Reverend Mary Lewis Wilson of Union Temple Baptist Church in Southeast agreed.
"I believe that everyone should care that he's here because he does not just represent the Catholic Church. I think he represents the goodness in all of humanity, and that is what we're really striving for," said Reverend Wilson. "I call this pope a rock star because he really does appeal to the masses - not in a financial sense or not in a popularity sense - but I think in terms of the passion and the compassion that he brings to the whole situation."