The Catholic Church in New Zealand is welcoming a paper setting out the Vatican's more compassionate attitude towards homosexuals.
The paper, prepared for the Synod in Rome, said homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer, and asks whether the church should accept gay men and women.
Father John O'Connor from the Catholic diocese of Christchurch said the church's role was to deepen people's relationship with Christ and the change of tone was a positive step towards that.
"One of the key points of this Synod has been the change of language, changes in the way that we speak about the heart of what we believe.
"I'm delighted to see that and I know that many Catholics and many others in New Zealand are also delighted."
He said the church had often been poor a communicator, leading to confusion and pushing people away.
The text does not recommend any change in the Church's condemnation of homosexual acts or its opposition to gay marriage, however.