ROME, January 7, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The strongly pro-abortion “human rights” organization The Elders has just announced the hiring of Lesley Anne Knight, recently fired by the Vatican as head of Caritas International, as its new CEO. The Elders is an NGO made up of a cadre of far-left “elder statesmen,” that as part of its work promotes the global population control agenda as a means of establishing economic “equality.” It was founded by Nelson Mandela to “help resolve some of the world’s most intractable conflicts.”

“I am thrilled with Lesley-Anne’s appointment and warmly welcome her to The Elders’ family,” Desmond Tutu, chairman of The Elders, said. “She has an outstanding track record as a compassionate and visionary leader and we all look forward to working with her.”

In 2011 the Vatican forced Lesley Anne Knight to give up her position at the head of the world’s largest Catholic charitable agency, citing the need to re-establish the organisation’s Catholic identity. Cardinal Robert Sarah, head of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, told Zenit news agency that Caritas Internationalis would be entering into a phase of renewal in which the group would forge closer collaborative ties with the Holy See.

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In an address to Caritas’ General Assembly in May 2011, Pope Benedict XVI said that agency must ensure that “its humanitarian and charitable activity, and the content of its documents, are completely in accord with the Apostolic See and the Church’s Magisterium”. A year later, the Vatican announced it would be reasserting more direct control over the agency.

In December, Pope Benedict issued clear directives saying that all Catholic charitable agencies must be run in accordance with the entirety of Catholic teaching and must “avoid becoming just another form of organized social assistance”.

The Elders’ leadership roster reads like a who’s-who of the globalist agenda: former Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan; South African Anglican bishop and apartheid opponent Desmond Tutu; Gro Harlem Brundtland, a Norwegian leftist politician and promoter of “sustainable development”; former president of the Irish Republic and radical feminist, Mary Robinson; former US President Jimmy Carter; Li Zhaoxing, a former foreign minister of the People’s Republic of China and Nelson Mandela.

Anthony Ozimic, communications manager of the UK-based Society of the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), told LifeSiteNews.com that Knight’s hiring by The Elders needs to be taken as a signal warning Caritas and Church leadership to ensure that their hires are in keeping with their ethos.

“It is incumbent,” he said, “not least in the light of Pope Benedict’s recent document on Catholic charities, that Catholic agencies ensure that they are not revolving doors for career activists who do not have a commitment to pro-life and pro-family principles.”