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Planned Parenthood VP & West Hollywood Gay Mayor, John Erickson, Meets Pope Francis

Planned Parenthood VP & West Hollywood Gay Mayor, John Erickson, Meets Pope Francis

West Hollywood’s Mayor, John Erickson, had a unique opportunity to represent the city in a big way over the Thanksgiving holiday. While others counted their blessings, Erickson said “thank you” to Pope Francis in the Holy City.

    • Erickson is also a VP at Planned Parenthood. It was unclear whether he mentioned this when meeting the Pope, which could be awkward. The Roman Catholic Church has consistently condemned abortion — the direct and purposeful taking of the life of the unborn child.


The city of West Hollywood co-sponsored a program, a part of Scholas, the nonprofit arm of Pope Francis, leader of the Roman Catholic Church, but specifically the Pelota de Travel program, which fosters civic and community engagement through sports.

Comedian George Carlin’s take on John Erickson presenting a gift to the Pope. 

Erickson said it was the most recent time he could remember that a representative of West Hollywood met with “one of the holiest figures in the entire world.” He said it was essential for leaders like himself to meet with the Pope.

Erickson is a member of St. Victor’s, one of two Roman Catholic churches in West Hollywood.

Erickson met with the Pope on two separate occasions during his stay in Italy and advocated for the needs of LGBTQ+ people worldwide.

John Erickson with West Hollywood City Council member Chelsea Byers and Mayor Sepi Shyne

  • “I represent a large LGBTQ community, and it’s essential for me that everyone knows they’re valued and children of God,” Erickson told the Pope. “The Pope’s answer to me was that he doesn’t believe in labels and that we should not be labeling people. [And] that his No. 1 rule … for all people of the faith and all over, is to love unconditionally.”

Pope Francis greets John Erickson.

  • The Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, a text that contains dogmas and teachings of the Church, names “homosexual acts” as “intrinsically immoral and contrary to the natural law” and names “homosexual tendencies” as “objectively disordered.” While the Catholic Church does not consider “homosexual orientation” sinful in and of itself, it does have a very negative attitude toward it.

John Erickson is a busy dude. Politian and abortion advocate.

The Pope has advocated for allowing everyone into the Church during his tenure. However, his stance has had some qualifications, including calling sexual relations outside of marriage a sin.
Erickson could gift the Pope as part of the delegation’s private audience.

  • “I brought him a rainbow city flag and a proclamation we made for the Scholas program and presented it to him,” he said. “His eyes lit up the moment he saw the city’s flag. A rainbow is a sign of peace in Rome.”

Erickson added that he was most proud to be an “out and proud” gay next mayor and represent his city that way.

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