Scrap Catholic Schools to Beat Sectarianism, Says Rangers Star Amoruso; Former Ibrox Captain Re-Ignites Debate over Separate Faith Education

By Jardine, Peter; Grant, Graham | Daily Mail (London), June 20, 2003 | Go to article overview

Scrap Catholic Schools to Beat Sectarianism, Says Rangers Star Amoruso; Former Ibrox Captain Re-Ignites Debate over Separate Faith Education


Jardine, Peter, Grant, Graham, Daily Mail (London)


Byline: PETER JARDINE;GRAHAM GRANT

RANGERS star Lorenzo Amoruso yesterday called for Roman Catholic schools to be scrapped in a bid to stamp out bigotry.

Amoruso, the first Catholic to captain Rangers, said sectarianism was the 'saddest thing' he had encountered in Scotland.

He said the only way to combat bigotry was for separate schooling to be abolished so that Catholic and Protestant children could mix.

The player, who is due to transfer to Blackburn Rovers, claimed the current system breeds prejudice and intolerance from an early age.

His comments will re-ignite the row over Catholic schools after First Minister Jack McConnell backed more 'shared campuses' earlier this year, sparking a fierce backlash from the Catholic community.

Speaking exclusively to the Scottish Daily Mail, Amoruso said: 'The way forward has to be to scrap the system of separate schools for Protestants and Catholics.

' That is setting down differences and prejudice from a very young age.

'I think merging them is a far better way forward. Kids would support Rangers or support Celtic but at least they would be growing up together and that might help.

'I think in six years there has been an improvement and hopefully there will be more in the years ahead.

'Hopefully the next generation and the next after that will feel less and less about these things.' Amoruso has helped to bring Protestant and Catholic children together by getting involved with Rangers' education programme for Glasgow schoolchildren, called the Fans United workshops.

Speaking about bigotry he said: 'The players are doing their best to try to stop it and I hope they will carry on doing that.' Earlier this year, a survey showed almost half of Scots believe the country's 416 publicly-funded Catholic schools should be abolished.

The NFO System Three survey also revealed that 29 per cent of Catholics support the abolition of the singlefaith schools. …

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