VA Bishops call on Governor to rescind appointment

August 27, 2019


Governor Ralph Northam appointed activist Gail Gordon Donegan to the Virginia Council on Women in his latest round of appointments to Commonwealth councils, boards and commissions.

First reported in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and subsequently by dozens of media outlets, Ms. Gordon Donegan has demonstrated a pattern of ridiculing Catholic beliefs and employing stereotypes designed to malign people of faith. Had these comments been directed toward any other group of persons, they would have disqualified her from this role.

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, and Bishop Barry C. Knestout, Catholic Diocese of Richmond, are jointly calling on the Governor to rescind this appointment. 

Bishop Burbidge noted, “We expect anyone appointed to a council, board or commission for the Commonwealth to be respectful of all faith groups and civil in his or her public comments. Her statements are offensive to Catholics and our faith.”

The Virginia Catholic Conference has issued an Action Alert to the faithful, asking all Catholics and people of good will to join Bishop Burbidge and Bishop Knestout in calling on the Governor to rescind this troubling appointment. 

CLICK HERE for the alert. Please call and/or email the Governor’s office to express your concern.

The Commonwealth of Virginia has a record of promoting and protecting religious freedom. Please act to ensuring we do not veer from this course now or in the future.


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