Published Thursday, 21 October 2010
Last week Mr Robinson said did not object to church-run schools, but objected to the state funding them, branding the segregated system operating in Northern Ireland a "benign form of apartheid".
On Thursday, Cardinal Sean Brady said the First Minister's remarks were "disappointing" and "unhelpful".
"I'm disappointed with the First Minister's comments," the All-Ireland Primate said. "I think they are unhelpful at this time.
"Catholic schools are very dear to the Catholic people of Northern Ireland. It is a justice issue. There is no reason why we should settle for being second-class citizens in this matter and settling for denial of our rights which would be available to us in Scotland, Wales and England," Cardinal Brady told UTV.
In a speech, he said Mr Robinson's comments were a stark warning, which set back the future of education in Northern Ireland.
"People in Northern Ireland deserve to live in a normal society. Diversity is part of a normal society, including diversity in the range of schools available for parents to choose from."
Cardinal Brady added the remarks were not conducive to "a constructive atmosphere of collaboration, sensitivity and mutual respect."
But Mr Robinson, who has called for the creation of a commission to look at ways to implement integrated education across Northern Ireland, defended his remarks.
"It was a simple and heartfelt plea that young Protestant and Catholic children could be educated together, and that we could end the divisions in our society," the DUP leader told UTV on Thursday.
"I hope the church, as soon as they settle down, will have a rational and open debate about the matter, rather than simply storming and indicating that you're threatened every time someone opens a debate."
© UTV News