VATICAN, Mar 2 (  Addressing the Pontifical Academy for Life on Saturday, Pope John Paul II reiterated the Church’s condemnation of “euthanasia understood in the strict sense as an action or omission which of itself and by intention causes death, with the purpose of eliminating all suffering.”

“Suicide must be likewise condemned,” said the pontiff, “because, ‘when viewed objectively,  it is a gravely immoral act … it involves the rejection of love of self and the renunciation of the obligation of justice and charity towards one’s neighbor, towards the communities to which one belongs, and towards society as a whole.” John Paul encouraged the faithful to fight against the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide in the public arena and parliament. However, he said such measures alone were insufficient; “there must be a commitment from society and the very structures of the Church to a worthy assistance to the dying person.”