Pope Francis has compared abortion to “renting a hitman to solve a problem”.
Addressing crowds gathered in St Peter’s Square on Wednesday, Francis said that all evil that is done in the world could be summarised as “contempt for life”.
Included in this, he said, is “the suppression of human life in the womb”.
“How can an act that suppresses an innocent and helpless life as it blossoms be therapeutic, civil or, simply, humane?”, he said.
He continued, asking the crowds: “Is it right to "take out" a human life to solve a problem? Is it right to rent a hitman to solve a problem?
“One cannot,” he said, “’take out’ a human being, albeit small, to solve a problem.”
Francis, who was speaking on the biblical commandment: ‘Thou shalt not kill’, cited wars, exploitation and "a culture of wastefulness" as signs of “contempt for life”, other than abortion.
He also said parents should not reject sick children.
"When during pregnancy parents discover that their child is affected by a disease, they need real closeness, real solidarity, to face reality overcoming understandable fears. Instead, they often receive hasty advice to terminate the pregnancy," he said.
Francis continued, explaining that it is “the idols of this world” – money, power and success – that lead man to have “contempt for life”.
“These are incorrect parameters to evaluate life,” he said.
Instead, the Pontiff said God’s love is the only correct measure of life.
“It is worthwhile to accept every life because every man is worth the blood of Christ himself” he said. “One can not despise what God so loved!”
Francis concluded: We must tell the men and women of the world: do not despise your life!”