Pope Francis compares abortion to hiring a hit man
Pope Francis on Wednesday compared abortion to hiring a "hit man to solve a problem," and reiterated his statement about the "depreciation of human life", a point he also made on his visit to Ireland earlier this year.
During his weekly audience on Saint Peter's Square, Francis steered from his prepared text to make the declaration, and is one of his most damning statements yet on abortion.
"Interrupting a pregnancy is like eliminating someone," Francis said.
"Is it fair to hire a hit man to solve a problem? It is not fair. We cannot take out a human being, even if it is small."
On his recent trip to Ireland, Francis questioned whether a change in culture had made people less empathetic towards other members of society, including the unborn.
He asked whether the "materialistic, throwaway culture" has made people "increasingly indifferent to the poor and to the most defenceless members of our human family, including the unborn, deprived of the very right to life".
His words come just days after he laid the blame for clerical abuse and divisions in the Catholic Church at the feet of the devil itself.
In a statement earlier this week, Francis said: "(The Church must be) saved from the attacks of the malign one, the great accuser and at the same time be made ever more aware of its guilt, its mistakes, and abuses committed in the present and the past."