Pope Francis has denounced the modern “throwaway culture” that discards unwanted human beings through abortion and euthanasia.

In a wide-ranging interview with Spain’s COPE radio station, the pope once again compared the practice of abortion to hiring a hit man to assassinate somebody who stands in your way.

Regarding Europe’s demographic winter, the pope pointed to abortion as a root cause.

“This throwaway culture has marked us. And it marks the young and the old,” he said. “It has a strong influence on one of the dramas of today’s European culture.”

“In Italy, the average age is 47 years old. In Spain, I think it is older,” he continued. “That is to say, the pyramid has been inverted. It is the demographic winter of births, in which there are more cases of abortion.”

He also defended the Vatican deal with China’s communist government on the appointment of Catholic bishops, saying an uneasy dialogue is better than no dialogue at all.

He compared it to the Vatican’s dialogue with East European countries during the Cold War which, he said, eventually resulted in many freedoms for the Church there.