Never one to shy away from the big issues, Pope Francis has said today that women who terminate a pregnancy are like people who "hire a contract killer to solve a problem."
The Daily Mail reports that during his weekly audience on Saint Peter's Square, the pontiff departed from his prepared text and waded into the abortion argument in a big way.
Addressing his worshippers, Pope Francis said, "Interrupting a pregnancy is like eliminating someone... getting rid of a human being is like resorting to a contract killer to solve a problem.
"How can an act that suppresses innocent life be therapeutic, civil or even human?"During his address to the Vatican faithful, the Pope also pointed out that in the modern world there was a "depreciation of human life."
He pointed to wars, exploitation, a culture of wastefulness, and abortion as some of the reasons which have led to our moral and spiritual degradation.
Earlier this year, Pope Francis made headlines after voicing his opposition to a bill that would have legalized abortion in Argentina.
In the wake of the Pope's opposition, thousands of Argentine Catholics denounced their membership of the church in protest.
The pope has also faced criticism for stating that Lucifer is masterminding a plot to discredit the Roman Catholic Church.
He laid the blame for the church's recent sex abuse at the doorstep of Satan and has called on Catholics everywhere to recite a special prayer every day in October in an attempt to beat the horned one into submission.
The prayer reads, "St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defence against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls."
In September, the pope implored that "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."
Since his election five years ago, the pope has made it clear he believes the devil is real and a very clear and present danger.
'We should not think of the devil as a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea. This mistake would lead us to let down our guard, to grow careless and end up more vulnerable."Pope Francis has previously used the term "the great accuser " to describe Satan. The description has hit a raw nerve with many who believe it is a low shot at people who have found the courage to finally come forward and document the sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church.