The Roman Catholic Church must be less judgemental of gay people, a Vatican document has stated.

RTE reports the 75-page document, known by its Latin term “Instrumentum Laboris” calls on the Church to balance its opposition to same-sex marriage and gay adoption rights by welcoming same-sex couples, and their children, with equal dignity.

Catholic doctrine against same-sex activity has led to some cases of the children of gay people being excluded from Church activities.

“However, when people living in such unions request a child’s baptism, almost all the responses emphasise that the child must be received with the same care, tenderness and concern which is given to other children,” the report said.

While Vatican officials have stressed that Church teachings against same-sex activity would not change under pressure of public opinion, the document said “many responses” called for “theological study in dialogue with the human sciences to develop a multi-faceted look at the phenomenon of homosexuality”.

Bishops will consider the report when they meet later in October. Any recommendations on changing Church teachings require approval of Pope Francis.

Speaking to reporters in July last year, Pope Francis said that gay people should not be judged or marginalised and should be integrated into society.

In March, Pope Francis said: “matrimony is between a man and a woman”.