In perhaps his strongest rebuke of abortion yet, Pope Francis has compared the procedure to “hiring a hit man to solve a problem.”
The leader of the Catholic Church made the comments Wednesday while celebrating Mass at St. Peter’s Square, where he asked those gathered if it’s ever OK to “take out a human life,” Reuters reported.
“I ask you, is it right to take out a human life to solve a problem? What do you think? Is it right? Is it right or not?” he asked. “Is it right to hire a hit man to solve a problem? You cannot, it is not right to kill a human being, regardless of how small it is, to solve a problem. It is like hiring a hit man to solve a problem.”
Many in the crowd responded, “No,” when Francis asked if it’s “right” to “take out a human life.”
The pontiff went on to ask how abortion can be “civilized” when it “suppresses an innocent and helpless life that is germinating.”
While Pope Francis is seen as more liberal than some of his papal predecessors, he has maintained a conservative view of abortion. In November 2016, he began allowing priests to absolve those who have terminated their pregnancies and seek reconciliation, but reaffirmed the Church’s doctrinal belief that abortion is a “grave sin.”