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Northam appointee resigns after anti-Catholic tweets surface

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Gail Gordon Donegan resigned from the Virginia Council on Women Aug. 28. 

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge and Richmond Bishop Barry C. Knestout earlier had called on Gov. Ralph Northam to rescind his appointment of Donegan after the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported she had posted several profane and insulting tweets targeting Catholics. After an alert regarding her appointment was sent out Aug. 27 from the diocese and the Virginia Catholic Conference, nearly 1,200 people emailed the governor via the VCC asking him to remove Donegan.

“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,” said Bishop Burbidge. “Her statements are offensive to Catholics and our faith.”


Though her Twitter account was locked, the Times-Dispatch reported she repeatedly attacked the Church for its pro-life position, tweeted “Go tell a Catholic they have dirt on their forehead #waystooffend” on Ash Wednesday, and joked about child sexual abuse by priests.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019