VATICAN CITY (TheBlaze/AP) — Pope Francis’ comments on issues like capitalism and gay marriage have been known to spark a plethora of debate.

And his proclamations about abortion earlier today are likely to do the same, as he criticized the procedure as part of a “throwaway culture” that wastes people as well as food.

Francis pointedly called abortion “horrific” during his “State of the World” address, leaving little to the imagination regarding where he stands on the issue.

“It is horrific even to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day,” Francis said during Monday’s annual speech on world crises.

Pope Francis Hard Hitting Abortion Proclamations Leave Little Room to Question Where He Stands

Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. (Image source: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

The pontiff added, “Unfortunately what is thrown away is not only food and dispensable objects but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as unnecessary.”

Reuters dubbed the comments Francis’ “toughest remarks to date” on the controversial social issue.

In September, Francis came under fire for an interview with Italy’s Civilta Cattolica during which he said that the Catholic Church’s moral edifice might “fall like a house of cards” if it doesn’t balance its divisive rules about abortion, gays and contraception with the greater need to make the church a merciful, more welcoming place for all.

These latest comments, though, make his views on abortion more than clear.

During the speech, Francis also urged better respect for migrants and denounced the persecution of Christians in Asia, Africa and the Middle East in his address to diplomats accredited to the Holy See.

The pope said Italy should do more for migrants and generously “take in the weakest and most vulnerable.” Each year, thousands attempt risky voyages across the Mediterranean in unseaworthy boats heading toward Italy and other European Union nations, and hundreds die en route.

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