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Green Bay, Wisc. diocesan employee accused of stealing guitar from casket

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According to NBC affiliate WEAU Channel 13 News:

A grounds worker at a Green Bay area cemetery is accused of stealing a $2,000 guitar from the casket of a man who died recently.

Brown County sheriff's investigators say the worker was accused of stealing the Fender Telecaster from the mausoleum at Allouez Catholic Cemetery. His employer, the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, says the grounds superintendent is on unpaid leave pending the result of the criminal investigation.

On Saturday, deputies questioned 39-year-old Steven Conard who is the Grounds Superintendent for the Green Bay Diocese.

While being questioned, Conard admitted he had the stolen guitar at his home. Conard said, "This isn’t something I normally do, I just have a respect for fine musical instruments."

Deputies were able to recover the guitar from Conard's home. The guitar is a Fender, Telecaster valued at two thousand dollars.

Inequality is a moral dilemma for Catholics

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The Census Bureau reported that the rate of poverty in the United States has significantly increased in the last several years.

Last year 2.6 million people fell into poverty. Some 46.2 million people now live in poverty, the highest number since the bureau began reporting poverty levels 52 years ago.

At the same time, median household income fell by 6.4 percent since 2007.

I don't want to dwell on all these statistics; readers can easily research them. What I want to do is to reflect on what this means morally and ethically especially for American Catholics.

While the Bible tells us that the poor will always be with us, this doesn't mean that we should stand by and do nothing. Let's remember that Jesus was a poor man and that he ministered especially to the poor and oppressed.

The foundations of the Catholic church are found in the Jesus story and that is the story of a church that prioritizes the needs of the poor -- and not just from a spiritual level but also from a material one.

Israeli intellectuals express support for Palestinian statehood bid

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Friday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has submitted a bid to the UN to admit Palestine as a member state, despite U.S. threats to veto the move.

The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) currently has observer status at the UN which allows representatives to attend meetings, deliver speeches, but not to vote resolutions on other subject matters.

Will you see \"Machine Gun Preacher\"?

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Sr. Rose Pacatte has a funny story to tell about the interviews she did before writing about the new film "Machine Gun Preacher." Pacatte had gone to a screening of the film and met Sam Childers and publicity agents. The publicist, Pacatte told me, were somewhat taken aback when she called a few days later with serious questions about the film and Childers' methods and motives. "The publicist was uneasy. Childers wasn’t nervous — but he was hard to pin down," she said.

I bet those guys thought they had a softball review in the bag from Sister Rose. What they got instead was a thoughtful look at a troubling dilemma.

Online game, Spent, shows how tough poverty really is

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From The Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch:

You’ve lost your job. You’ve lost your house. You’re down to your last $1,000.

Can you make it through the month?

Jenny Nicholson is tired of hearing how the poor are poor because they make poor choices. Let’s see what kind of choices you make when it’s your turn to be flattened by the economy.

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