However, the church will continue to be anti-homosexuality.
The 75-page document is a working paper for the synod of Catholic bishops planned for the Vatican in October to discuss family issues. The document , known by its its Latin term "Instrumentum Laboris", also said the 1.2 billion member Church should become less exclusive and more humble.
The document was prepared based on responses to a 39-question survey which was sent to dioceses around the world ahead of the synod. It was for the first time in preparation for such a meeting, the bishops were asked to share the survey with parish priests.
The Church is traditionally against homosexuality and in some cases, the children of gay people were being excluded from Church activities.
Although new document did not hint at any change in the Church's approach to gays, its language was remarkably less judgmental and more compassionate than past Vatican statements. It said that the Church had to find a balance between its teachings on the traditional family "and a respectful, non-judgmental attitude towards people living in such unions", said Reuters report.