(THE NEW AMERICAN) — As some totalitarian-minded governments escalate their attacks on parental rights and homeschooling, the Vatican’s delegation to the United Nations called on the world to respect families, the rights of parents to direct the upbringing of their children, and non-governmental forms of education. The Holy See’s representatives also called on governments last week to stop indoctrinating the youth.

Noting that there are around 250,000 Catholic schools around the globe, the Church’s permanent observer mission to the UN said its religious educational institutions are there to help. Parents, meanwhile, “have the right and duty to choose schools inclusive of homeschooling, and they must possess the freedom to do so, which in turn, must be respected and facilitated by the State.”

Analysts heralded the strongly worded diplomatic statement to the UN as a “significant victory” for parental rights worldwide. Of course, there are well over 1 billion Catholics in the world today — about 20 percent of humanity — so when the Holy See says something, people and governments tend to listen. And those on the front lines of the battle for educational freedom celebrated the news.

“That’s huge,” media relations director Jeremiah Lorrig with the U.S.-based Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) told LifeSiteNews.com. “Having the support of the Vatican ambassador would invaluable to the homeschool movement.”

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