“As faith leaders from a diverse range of traditions, we call on President [Donald] Trump and Attorney General [William] Barr to stop the scheduled federal executions,” the statement read.
In 2021, Zinkula established a “Diocesan Gender Committee” to study the phenomenon of transgenderism with an eye toward drafting a statement or policy “to help guide Catholic schools, parishes, and others in their interactions with transgender persons and their families.”
The group and its activities have been criticized for not being sufficiently grounded in Catholic teaching. A Nov. 18, 2021, presentation by members of the Gender Committee, including Davenport vicar general Father Thom Hennen, to diocesan school principals and pastors received pushback for using language and concepts inconsistent with Catholic anthropology in its presentation of gender issues and in the role-playing activities in which attendees were asked to participate.
Davenport’s diocesan newspaper has also been criticized for its associated series, “A Pastoral Approach to Gender.” The series included a feature story on a Florida deacon’s son who identified as a woman. The Dec. 16, 2021, piece described the young man as the deacon’s “daughter,” used feminine pronouns throughout, and closed with a quote from the deacon that “there’s more to human beings and human sexuality than is incorporated into that Christian anthropology we believe in … It isn’t just male and female he created them.”
In a follow-up editorial, Zinkula defended running the article as “a way to put a human face on the issue,” although he described the trans-identifying person who had been featured in the piece as the “child” of the deacon and his wife, not their “daughter.”
According to diocesan sources, no guidance based on the committee’s work has been issued, but a study day addressing the topic is scheduled for November.
More recently, the Diocese of Davenport has focused heavily on synodality as part of the universal Church’s ongoing Synod on Synodality. Zinkula was also one of eight bishops who took part in the North American Synod Team during the continental stage of the process.
Regarding the Synod, Zinkula told Davenport’s diocesan paper that while “some people are expecting big doctrinal changes … we don’t want to lead them on.”
“This is not what the synodal process is about,” he said.