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Nelson Mandela’s Group of Global “Elders” a Who’s Who of Pro-Abortion, Pro-Population Control Moveme

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LifeSiteNews.com

By John Jalsevac

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, July 20, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - World famous opponent of South African apartheid, Nelson Mandela, celebrated his 89th birthday last Wednesday by announcing the formation of a Global council of elders, known simply as "The Elders."

So far The Elders includes Kofi Annan, Desmond Tutu, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Mary Robinson, Jimmy Carter, Li Zhaoxing, Muhammad Yunus, Ela Bhatt, Graca Machel, and, of course, Nelson Mandela. 

The group of high-profile international leaders is intended to be an independent body of "wise" men and women that will use their combined experience to solve any of the host of problems currently facing the "global village". "The only agenda of The Elders is that of humanity," reads The Elders’ website.

"I see The Elders as a small but independent group that may fill an existing void in the world community," said Elders member, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter. Carter claimed that the group is "almost impervious to the consequences of outside criticism." Members of The Elders cannot currently be in political office, with the intent of creating a non-partisan body.

Nevertheless, while some would debate the notion that the members of the group are ‘non-partisan’ in the first place, what is more certain is that its members are by and large united by a common commitment to radical social liberalism and population control.

The Elders is the brainchild of British entrepreneur Richard Branson, owner of Virgin, and singer Peter Gabriel, who together approached Mandela about the project a number of years ago. According to The Times Online, the pair has already raise £9 million for the group, which will be used for its first three years of operation.

"This group can speak freely and boldly, working both publicly and behind the scenes on whatever actions need to be taken," said Mandela. He continued, outlining The Elders lofty goal: "to support courage where there is fear, foster agreement where there is conflict, and inspire hope where there is despair."

However, with one of the primary figureheads of the group being the Anglican priest Desmond Tutu, who is well known to pro-life and pro-family advocates for his vociferous support of "family planning," including abortion in certain circumstances, and for criticizing the Catholic Church for its teachings on homosexuality and contraception, it is unlikely that The Elders’ agenda will be as innocuous as Mandela’s statement indicates.

"I’m not particularly reassured by that group," said Jim Hughes, president of Campaign Life Coalition, Canada and vice-president of International Right to Life. "Given that almost all of the members of the group are well-known, powerful figures in pro-abortion, pro-population control, pro-everything else circles, I can imagine what sort of ‘wisdom’ they plan on offering the world. Personally, I think the world would be a much better place without that sort of wisdom."  

"The fact that they are touting themselves as the world’s wise men is simply a big joke. I would rather refer to them as the wise-guys. That’s closer to the truth," he said.

  Austin Ruse, the president of C-Fam, a non-profit, non-partisan research and educational institute focusing on international social policy, had similar remarks about The Elders. “Rather than ‘the Elders’, the group should be called the Crotchety Left Wing Gasbags," said Ruse. "I am certain they will only bloviate on radical social policy. Only the hard left could cook up something so cringe-worthy.”

  The group also includes the former head of the World Health Organization, Dr. Gro Bruntland, who, during her stint as Director-General of the WHO pushed for abortion, contraception, and population control under the euphemism of "reproductive health" and women’s health 

  Kofi Annan, another member of The Elders, is one of the world’s foremost defenders of population control, and has long supported same-sex "marriage" and human cloning. At the Cairo+5 sessions in 1999, Annan stated that "since Cairo" the world understands "we have to stabilize the population of this planet…. There is a limit to the pressures our global environment can stand. One form of pressure is the sheer size of the world’s population." Annan’s solution to this "pressure" is the now entrenched agenda of the UN - to pressure countries around the world to allow for abortion and contraception on demand.

  Even more astonishingly, The Elders has welcomed Li Zhaoxing, the former Foreign Minister of communist China, as one of its "wise" men. Zhaoxing was the foreign representative for a country that is known for extensive human rights abuses, including a coercive one-child policy that has resulted in forced abortion and forced sterilizations. In one question and answer session at the Institute for Corean-American Studies, Inc. in 2000, Zhaoxing responded to questions about the one-child policy by stating that it is an admirable policy worthy of emulation elsewhere.

"Generally speaking," said Zhaoxing about the one-child policy, "this policy reflects the interests of the nation and people support it. And we really don’t know why some politicians in this country (America) don’t. I believe if they go to China and see for themselves, they would have a different idea."

  Other Elders include Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, who, during her tenure at the UN, was one of the most outspoken proponents of homosexuality and abortion under the guise of protection from discrimination based on "sexual orientation" and "reproductive rights." Another member, Graca Machel, Nelson Mandela’s wife, has pushed for universal access to contraception as being an integral part of "women’s health." Nelson Mandela himself also has a pro-abortion record, and has in the past proved himself an advocate of the pro-homosexual movement.

  The Elders have not yet announced the particulars of what, exactly, they plan on doing, but have indicated that they are embarking on a several month-long process of forming an agenda for the group.

See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:

  United Nations Chief Kofi Annan Endorses Human Cloning
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2004/oct/041021a.html

  U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan Supports Homosexual ‘Marriage’
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2003/aug/03080501.html

  Kofi Annan Enthusiastically Accepts Award from Radical Abortion Promoters
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2004/mar/04030403.html

MARY ROBINSON RESIGNS FROM UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS
  http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2002/mar/02031805.html 

  In 1996, Mandela signed into law one of the world’s most pro-abortion laws
  http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2001/nov/01112003.html

  See the Elders website
  http://www.theelders.org/

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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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