In an amazing display of chutzpah and complete disrespect for the American tradition of separation of Church and State, Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, head of Catholic education for the Vatican, says “the United States is a disaster” because, in his words, “the state does not recognize full democracy for Catholic schools.” “Democracy,” according to his definition, means the government must pay for sectarian schools which inculcate a particular religious viewpoint. One of the members of his department called for states to respect the “sacrosanct liberty of parents to choose the educational option for their children.” The United States does. Any parent can choose to send their kids to any school, public or private. No one has to attend public schools. But the government funds public schools to ensure that all do have access to education.
In essence, both men argued, an absence of state support prices some families out of private education, thereby compromising their freedom of choice.
If the Vatican wants more Catholic children to go to Catholic schools, then it (along with dioceses and parishes) should reduce or eliminate tuition at those schools. It should eliminate entrance exams at its high schools. It has the power to make a difference. It chooses not to.