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Davenport Diocese Welcomes New Bishop

Credit Diocese of Davenport

Thomas Zinkula became the ninth Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport Thursday in a standing room only mass at St. John Vianney.

He comes to Davenport from Dubuque.

"The people with whom and to whom I ministered in the Archdiocese of Dubuque taught me how to be a priest, so I'm counting on you to show me how to be a Bishop," he said during the mass. "So if I don't do a good job, it's your fault because you didn't teach me very well. I'm not going to take any blame for anything."

Zinkula didn't always plan on entering the priesthood. He grew up on a farm outside Mount Vernon, Iowa and played football at Cornell College. Then, he went to law school at the University of Iowa. He worked as an attorney for three years before entering the priesthood in 1990.

"Studying law helps you become a critical thinker and teaches you how to analyze situations," he says. "It was part of my route; it helped me to be prepared to be a priest and now to be a Bishop."

Zinkula replaces Bishop Martin Amos, who has led the Davenport Diocese since 2006. He was named Bishop just two days after the Diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy following a sex abuse scandal.

"He came here at a tough time and he did a great job," Zinkula says. "People love him and it's great to follow somebody like that."

Amos is retiring to his hometown of Cleveland.

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