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Wearing a colourful shirt from Ghana, Bishop Tim Norton SVD addresses the Summit 2023 conference in Brisbane last month (The Catholic Leader)

Brisbane Auxiliary Bishop Tim Norton SVD says “interculturality” is a way of building a powerful new discipleship, inviting people to become advocates to break down barriers that separate cultural groups. Source: The Catholic Leader.

Bishop Norton, a Divine Word Missionary priest, explained the complexities of intercultural difference at Brisbane Archdiocese’s Summit 2023 forum last month. 

He said people’s own primary culture determines the way they interpret the world.

He also spoke of ways that every person develops their culture based on family and community upbringing. 

There are a small number of cultural elements which someone from outside that culture may be readily aware of (such as forms of dress or dietary practices); however there are many more elements that are less obvious (such as deep-seated attitudes, beliefs and values). 

Within the Brisbane Archdiocese, Bishop Norton invited summit attendees to become intercultural advocates to break down barriers that isolate and separate cultural groups.

“Our challenge is to move from labelling to embracing,” he said, “to grow in the consciousness of our own ethnocentrism in the remarks we make, in the attitudes that we have, to try our best to understand that other people have a history, a place in the world from which they’ve come. 

“And sometimes that place is a place of great trauma, of famine, of war.

“Let’s drink together of a new world order of intercultural communities of disciples of Jesus.”

Bishop Norton quoted from Galatians 3:28: “For there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”


What is ‘interculturality’? Brisbane bishop says it is key to forming new disciples (By Mark Bowling, The Catholic Leader)